The Unsung Hero program recognizes ZIN™ Members around the world for their outstanding contributions to their communities, and for their ability to inspire others. This month, we celebrate ZIN™ Member, Viktoria Perschler, in Liberia, West Africa.
In 2015, Viktoria, a champion for human rights and child protection, moved to Liberia, when the country was facing the devastating Ebola crisis. Viktoria began providing Zumba® classes for UN Peace Keepers, US Embassy staff members and in a local gym and art center. But she didn’t stop there.
In Liberia, an organization is conducting the Liberian Adolescent Empowerment Program, which was initiated by an international child rights organization for adolescent girls at risk. Some of these risks include child labor and sexual violence in addition to the Ebola epidemic. Viktoria began providing Zumba classes in one of the poorest parts of the city. She is now currently teaching teenage girls, and shares that, “A year onwards, these girls are the most enthusiastic Zumba dancers you can imagine! It is just amazing what joy and energy they have, and how much they enjoy the dance, and how proud they are to be ‘Zumba dancers’. In the midst of the poverty stricken area, with Ebola still not totally wiped out, we do our Zumba in a dark, hot room, the girls without shoes and in jeans, having a blast.”
Just imagine how many future Zumba instructors and community leaders are dancing with Viktoria in this village each week! Viktoria, your leadership with these precious young women is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your passion with the communities of Liberia and with the world.