Donations for a Cause

Rivers Turn is commited to sharing our practices with communities and organizations who are also aimed at increasing accessibility toward health and wellbeing. It is our deepest truth that in community we thrive together, while we may be far apart it is important to share our journey with others.

Each year we will highlight an organization in which 30% of all proceeds will be donated. This year’s (2021) organization is one near and dear to my heart.

(Abakashana Basambilile )

Women Honoring the Past, Embracing the Present, and Leading the Future

First group of grantee recipients with co-founder Christopher Chileshe, 2009

Bakashana is an 501C3 non-profit organization (est. Decmber 2009) based in Kasama, Zambia providing educational scholarships for young women. It is a US-Zambian collaborative project to offer support for young women and their futures (to understand how this organization came to be, read up at the post “Creating Bakashana”). They offer a boarding school in which they hold workshops, computer trainings, and provide mentoring. They also have an on-site clinic for healthcare access and sexual education and are instrumental in promoting the education of young girls by guiding them into secondary school.

Bakashana has 3 primary objectives:
— To provide women with financial and emotional support for their education;
— To build female empowerment by challenging “traditional” gender norms and developing self-confidence and healthy habits;
— To prepare young women for employment, education, or empowerment agents in their villages.

(View more details at the Bakashana website)

Pottery Workshop with founders Claire Albertch and Justin Hosteter

I collaborated with Bakashana while I was living in Zambia as a Health Extension Agent in Luwingu District with the Peace Corps (2017-2019). The impact of Bakashana, a place where young women may continue their education and build on their dreams, directly created confidence and community. In a country where the education of females is not often financially supported, this organization offers an outlet for smart, dedicated women to continue to grow into their wellbeing.

In May 2019, I participated in a Poetry Workshop with Kinship of Rivers artist and founder Wang Ping and collaborator Joe Lerro. We listened to the stories these young women told of how they perceived the world around them, their dreams of the future and connection to the rivers, and joined them in dance to celebrate women.

While I have been away from Zambia for over a year and a half, this organization has never left my heart and mind.

It is possible, through our donations that we may sponsor a new group of young women toward being leaders in their community, social change activists, and empowered women.

Our wellbeing is only as great as all our communities, when we can spread out our intentions we can begin to weave a web that unites us and aids toward our collective healing.

Visit the Bakashana website to learn more or support a student, and join in Rivers Turn classes and workshops to contribute to this Donation for a Cause.

Published by Rachael Schmoker

Healing through the embodied self with care for community and environment. Engaging in trauma informed, holistic healing methodologies to support a community of healing.

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