Preserving Her Native Culture
Faraja Kurubai '10 is influencing lives in her native Tanzania.
In her recent Student Lecture Series talk, Kurubai said intense demand for food in Tanzania is forcing Maasai to change from self-reliance of owning land and cattle to a cash economy, or "selling wealth to buy poverty," which is undermining traditional Maasai life.
Microloans, says Kurubai, is one way of enabling Maasai to preserve their pastoralist culture.
Her idea to create sustainable development has helped families previously unable to afford it to send their children to school.
Last year, Kurubai gave 10 women in her village small loans so they could sell breakfasts, milk and rice locally, and create jewelry that Kurubai sells here. Profits earned by the women were used for tuition payments. When the loans are repaid, money is redistributed so other women can launch businesses.
Kurubai raised the seed money from a Tri-College leadership initiative grant, gifts from Concordia faculty and friends, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead.
You can e-mail Kurubai at email@example.com.
Flood Efforts Lead to Scholarship
When Dr. Rod Rothlisberger of Moorhead needed help to build a dike to save his home from the flood, Concordia students were there to help. In fact, they built his 1,500-bag dike with gusto.
"They were wonderful kids," Rothlisberger says. "They stayed the day until it was done. Because of their help, I had very few expenses this year related to the flood."
The music professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead returned the favor by giving the music department a $1,000 check. The money will contribute to the Gay Mohr Voice Scholarship Fund, named for his late wife and former music faculty member at Concordia. Rothlisberger is also a former Concordia faculty member and longtime friend of music chair Dr. Robert Chabora.
Concordia students, faculty and staff gave many other hours of their time throughout the days of flood preparation, culminating in the March 21 crest at 36.99 feet. More than 70 students turned out for a March 10 sandbag-filling college night sponsored by the City of Moorhead. Hundreds of others - freed from classes for the day March 16 - helped build sandbag dikes along the rapidly swelling Red River in Moorhead.
Watch a video of students sandbagging at Rothlisberger's home at www.ConcordiaCollege.edu/sandbagging.
Flood-Inspired Painting Travels to Japan
A painting inspired by the Red River Valley flood of 2009 will be on display in April at the National Art Center, Tokyo. David Boggs, Concordia professor of art, will be one of 30 artists to represent the United States in the exhibit.
The work, titled "Height of the Flood," is painted in transparent watercolor, a medium that is generally regarded as one of the most difficult to master and one of the most highly esteemed in Asia.
"The white light of the sun, low against the water at a mostly orange sunset, were characteristics I observed from the Main Avenue bridge at the height of the flood," Boggs says.
Japan and the U.S. have exchanged art as part of a special program. Last year, Japanese artists' watercolor paintings were on display in the U.S. This year, American artists will display their work in Japan at the National Art Center, which is the country's largest exhibition facility.
Members of the Watercolor USA Honor Society competed to be eligible for the exchange. Paintings had to meet certain requirements, including media and size. The society selected participating artists in June.
Learn more about art at Concordia at www.ConcordiaCollege.edu/art.