For this year’s International Women’s Day,  I am reflecting on the inspiration I’ve derived from immigrant women and third world women- specifically the Mozambican women I met during my Peace Corps service…


These women showed uncompromising resolve in the face of extreme poverty and adversity. My time spent working with a girls’ empowerment initiative solidified the reality that girls and women bear a disproportionate burden from poverty, poor education infrastructure and health services… (in addition to political instability and food insecurity).

Despite these challenges, my colleagues, neighbors and girls showed that their resilience and hope for a brighter future was unshaken. Working with them was the highlight of my service…. and quite frankly, of my short and insignificant life. I remember them often and I derive strength from their courage, perseverance, and stories.

Vilma’s voice ring in my head, “Eu VOU conseguir.”  

{i will succeed}

….Saudades, manas. Força.



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