Marie Da Silva, Jacaranda Foundation
Several weeks ago, I posted about my visit with Ricki Lake and her amazing work creating The Business of Being Born documentary. Since that time, I have grown to see how loved and respected she is by many many woman for her dedication to this topic. In that post, I also mentioned that Ricki had introduced me to the work of Marie Da Silva, and the Jacaranda Foundation. Marie is a passionate and dedicated woman from Malawi who saw a great need to educate children who are AIDS orphans in her home community. Her tireless work to creating funding for a school and home for the children earned her recognition from CNN as one of their Heroes in 2008. Maria was also Ricki’s nanny and while Ricki was very supportive of her mission and did make gifts to the work, it was Marie’s continued efforts and gathering of her nanny friends that created the foundation. There were even days when the Foundation had negative balances in the accounts, but Marie pushed forward and never gave up. Today, the school provides eduction for over 400 kids.
Last week, Ricki sent me a letter from Marie about a young girl who died of AIDS, Upile. The story was a powerful one which described how the quality of life for this girl had been transformed with friendship and love as a result of her ability to attend school and form those close bonds. The pictures below are from Maria and show Upile at the school in Malawi.
Yesterday I had the benefit of speaking to Marie live via Skype. It was an uplifting experience and one that I have been thinking deeply about over the last 24 hours. In our talk, Marie confirmed to me the amazing qualities of women, as she and her sisters in Malawi and her nanny friends in America, understood the the need these children had for mothering and love and how the school would literally change the community.
There is so much I could write about this angel of a women and it was a challenge to pair down the video. I will post the entire interview on youtube for those who are interested. For more information on here work, please visit the Jacaranda Foundation website. Marie is now full time working for the Foundation. I hope you enjoy watching these videos as much as I did meeting with Marie and making them.
Marie on the Foundation
Marie on the Nannies, CNN and Girls
Marie on Women