A Mighty Girl

What a great story! Did you know that KGP has an educational fund? It’s called the Cornaro Scholarship Fund. Funded by donations, we help further our members higher education through scholarships.

The incredible story of Hilde Back and Chris Mburu, showing how even small acts of kindness can touch many lives in ways entirely unforeseen, is especially timely for today’s World Kindness Day. When she was a girl, a stranger’s kindness saved Hilde Back’s life by helping her to escape to Sweden from Nazi Germany where both her parents died in concentration camps. Back eventually became a teacher and, remembering her days as a Jewish girl in Germany when she was denied the opportunity to attend school under the Nazi Nuremberg Laws, she decided to pay for the education of a child who would otherwise not have a chance to go to school. The child she sponsored was Chris Mburu.

Mburu grew up in a poor family in rural Kenya whose family could not afford to pay the small tuition fee required for children to continue their studies beyond elementary school. Due to his excellent grades, he was selected for participation in a Swedish sponsorship program and Hilde Back paid his way through secondary school. Mburu excelled in school and went on to earn degrees from the University of Nairobi and Harvard Law School.

In order to help other talented children from poor families continue their studies at secondary school, Mburu created a foundation in 2001. With the support of the Swedish Ambassador in Kenya, Mburu was able to track down the benefactor who had transformed his life and named the foundation in her honor: The Hilde Back Education Fund.

Back’s small act of kindness grew in ways that she never could have imagined — The Fund has now helped over 802 children in Kenya continue their studies and her sponsored child has gone on to become an attorney and human rights advocate for the United Nations. In 2012, Back had the opportunity to travel to Kenya with Mburu and celebrate her 90th birthday by meeting many of the children whose lives have been changed by the foundation that bears her name.

To learn more about the Hilde Back Education Fund and how to support their work, visit http://hildebackeducationfund.com/

Hilde and Chris’ inspiring story is told in the powerful documentary, “A Small Act” — to learn more or stream it, visit http://amzn.to/1iulOyF

For two inspiring Mighty Girl stories that show how even a small act of kindness can bloom into something much greater, we recommend “Plant a Kiss” for ages 3 to 8 (https://www.amightygirl.com/plant-a-kiss) and “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed” for ages 4 to 8 (https://www.amightygirl.com/ordinary-mary)

For more picture books about the importance of kindness, check out our blog post, “22 Children’s Books That Teach Kids to Be Kind,” at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=19359

And, for two stories that recount escapes during WWII similar to that made by Hilde Back to Sweden, we recommend the picture book “The Whispering Town” for ages 5 to 9 (https://www.amightygirl.com/the-whispering-town) and the Newbery Award-winning novel “Number the Stars” for ages 9 and up (https://www.amightygirl.com/number-the-stars)

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