WE DID IT!!!!
October 20, 2016
BENEFITING: Zara Aina
On October 27th, I will turn 30 years old. Hooray! In honor of this, I hope to raise $900 to support Zara Aina, a phenomenal organization that brings storytelling and theatre education to at-risk youth throughout Madagascar and across the United States.
Why $900? Because $30 for 30 days or $30 from 30 people (or however it all happens!) is the way we reach this goal together. But don't feel pressured to donate $30 if that's not the number for you. Any amount, large or small, will support this incredible group. Or! Feel free to share this online or shout it from the rooftops. All will be deeply appreciated.
As a child, the tools I gained from theatre and its community provided me with a voice, and continues to give me the strength to connect with others--this is the gift that Zara Aina is providing for children across these communities.
Zara Aina was founded by Broadway actors Lucas Caleb Rooney and Bryce Pinkham in 2012 to address the lack of educational opportunities in developing countries through the use of teacher training, artist initiatives, and theatrical workshops. They have partnered with several organizations and foundations, including UNICEF, to make their Madagascar program a reality. Since I couldn't say it better than they do on their website--
"Students spend three years in the Youth Company, which are the three years of their middle school education and the most crucial time for keeping them in school. During these three years, Zara Aina sponsors the cost of our Youth Company’s tuition, food, and medical costs, with the conditions that our members stay in school and show up to after-school rehearsals and additional instruction, including English classes. Through these after-school sessions, Zara Aina aims to provide our student members with a safe, educational, and fun environment that keeps them engaged with their education as well as providing them with sustainable theatrical and storytelling programming that
1. increases their confidence;
2. enhances their self-expression;
and 3. engages them with their community.
The responsibilities and opportunities for our Youth Company increase with each year of the program, and eventually culminates in a third-year touring performance circuit."
Zara Aina has also developed programs in NYC shelters and youth organizations, and recently traveled to teach in Alabama schools. Please visit their site to read about their mission, watch their inspiring videos, and even find out how you can get involved.
In conjunction with this project, I am writing one personal story a day on my blog, MaybeThereWillBeCupcakes.com, as both a personal challenge and a way to reach out to my blogging community. Each day, I will encourage readers to share their own life accounts within the theme of that post. My goal is the provide an ear and a place to celebrate the personal experiences that make up our time on this earth together. I will also be thanking each donor on my blog as the days go on. If you would like me to also link your name to a blog or website, I am happy to do so. Please send me a private message via my blog with any requests. Thank you for already making this a meaningful birthday, and for jumping on to this journey with me.
Photo and video use are from ZaraAina.org.