Reflections on the work of Paola Gianturco

Reflections on the work of Paola Gianturco

The following are reflections by the Pencils for Africa Editorial Team on the work of Paola Gianturco.


Lucia's Question


I have had a great experience being introduced to Paola Gianturco. A woman like her who has traveled the world teaming up with kids at Saint Hilary School like me, to share her experiences can really make a difference in the direction we choose for our future. It is hard to explain why. Just knowing that people with totally different experiences and life styles are working to change the life of woman and girls is amazing.

When she gave me a hug at the end of her visit at St. Hilary School, I knew right then that she is kind of person I would want to be like when I grow up.




After speaking with Paula I felt I knew more about the African culture than I did before. I learned what kinds of things different tribes sell to make money for their kids to go to school. Some of these things are baskets, beaded items, painted pottery, and knitted items. I also learned the roles of women in a tribe. I learned that women wear a special garment when their son grows up and I got to see pictures of the ceremonial garments they wear.

I enjoyed getting to see pictures of the women in Africa and also getting to see the goods the women make. Paula taught me about the role of women in Africa and the African culture.



I think that Paola is a wonderful grandmother. She inspires and teaches us to appreciate our family, especially our grandparents.

Paola always has a smile on her face and she dances when she is unhappy. It looks like she knows everything about life. She has experienced so many different cultures, and understands the world.

Paola encourages women of all ages to do what they want to. She stands up for women and I think this is brave, amazing and beautiful.



Paola Gianturco: A Woman of True Wealth

When I read the interview that Lucia and Mrs. Gianturco so expertly conducted, I was stunned. I was stunned by how passionate Mrs. Gianturco could be about the simple power of Grandmothers. When she traveled to Africa, she saw the grandmothers working to get jobs done that they could not do themselves. This is so crucial to life in Africa because one grandmother may be raising many children. Mrs. Gianturco’s connections to other countries at a young age was crucial to her life’s success and actually having those connections as she grew up. Having read this interview, I can understand that true wealth does not come in the form of money. True wealth comes in the form of passion for yourself and passion for others around you.

Athena's Question


The interview we had with Paola Gianturco was very educational.

It was so interesting to see different things from Africa, such as beads, costumes, and baskets, I really enjoyed looking at the woven baskets. It was so cool to see the different designs and animals that had been displayed on the baskets. She also showed us many beads made in Africa. I learned that in the past, these beads were used in trading.

Paola Gianturco is such an amazing women, and I am glad I got to meet her in person.



The different bead and weaving artwork that Ms. Gianturco brought in was amazing! I was blown away at how intricate and vibrant each item was. Every piece had its own characteristic that made it interesting. I especially liked what the woman made with beads, like the costumes and jewelry, I also really liked the baskets with the animal figures woven on the sides. Both had vibrant colors and looked like they took a long time to make.

Seeing these masterpieces also made me think about African culture and how it is so different from ours.



Paola is a very sympathetic writer. Her works have inspired many woman around the world. It was amazing that her father had taught her to take pictures when she was very young (8 years old.) This impacted how she would live her life. I feel this is one of the greatest ways to live. She writes books, takes pictures, and then goes to third-world countries to help many of the people there.

Paola is a great role model for many young people out in the world. I think one day I might do something exactly like that. What she did with her life is very impressive and many other people could learn from her, her pictures, and her writings.


I feel that having Ms. Gianturco come and talk with us made me really think about what she was saying instead of simply reading it. Seeing her in person and visualizing the crafts from the different tribes in Africa, really made a difference for me. I feel that I have much more of an understanding of everything she told us. The women in those African countries are amazing. The way that they can make beads and baskets like that is so cool. I especially liked the beads that we got to look at because you could really see all of the work and time that got put into making them. They were so detailed and pretty. I am so glad that Ms. Gianturco got to come and tell us about her work with women in Africa and around the world.



Though I didn’t meet Paolo Gianturco in person I have heard about her from many people. Many people have told me they were inspired by what she said and now think about life in a different way.

Her interview has inspired me to be grateful for what I have and reflect on if I am doing enough to help others.

It was amazing to think that she was inspired to write by someone else’s diary, and later, in my opinion, wrote about great things that may change the way the world thinks. She also showed me that while some people in Africa may not have a lot of material things, the things they do have can be more cultural and more community centered than the things that we have.

The grandmothers she talked about show how as woman, they can deal with so much responsibility. They show kindness and compassion by showing how they can care for orphaned children. Though they do not have to do this, they decide to because it is the right thing to do.

For Ms. Gianturco to stand up for woman’s rights inspires me to show support for the things I believe in. If you believe in something and it is a just cause you should stand up and fight for it.

All people were created equal and we need to accept and fight for that. Paolo Gianturco inspires me.