Writer and entrepreneur, Martin Ganda (right foreground) visits a Miami-Dade County seventh grade class as the kick off to The Betsy Book Club. Martin recalls to a rapt audience of young people how letters can change lives. “ Be grateful to your family, your teachers and your friends.”
He spoke to the children about his book, the true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe, and the letter that changed both of their lives forever. During the visit, Ganda got the kids excited about being pen pals to the Zara Center children in South Africa. Ganda introduced the students to Zara’s Center, the organization that provides care for AIDS-impacted orphans and other vulnerable children in Bulayawe, Zimbabwe, the town in South Africa that Ganda calls home. One of the students was so moved by Ganda’s story that she donated her lunch money. These gratifying moments are reminders that there is a lot we can learn from children. In this school session, the 7th graders will begin writing to their new friends in Zimbabwe to share life stories across continents.
Ganda visited Miami as part of The Betsy Writer’s Room Writers for Young Readers Series, and presented his memoir at Books & Books Coral Gables during his visit.