LONDON: Two decades ago, I got a tattoo of an Akua’ba statuette on my inner right ankle. A female fertility symbol in Ghana, the disc-headed figure comes from the Akan legend of Akua, a woman who went to a priest for advice because she was having trouble conceiving. He instructed her to have a small wooden statuette of a child carved and to care for that surrogate baby as though it were her own. She was soon pregnant. Years later, as I was struggling to conceive, the irony was not lost on me that not only did I carry my infertility permanently around on my ankle but that I too needed a surrogate, albeit of a different kind, to help me become a mother. Read more

LONDON—When Adelaide Tsogo Masenya was six, she switched primary schools. Her local school, Dr Knak Primary School, in the poor Johannesburg township of Alexandra, only taught in her native language of Sepedi. Her new school, Marlboro Gardens Secondary School, had an English-only curriculum. Years later when she asked her mother, a cashier who only had a primary school education, why they had moved her, her mother replied, “You actually asked me to take you to an English school.” Even at such a young age, Masenya, who is now 30, had enough agency to understand the importance of education for her future. Read more

SALZBURG, Austria — From central Salzburg, it is a short but scenic bike ride — with the Eastern Alps as a breathtaking backdrop — to the 18th-century rococo palace of Schloss Leopoldskron. While it may not look very notable from the road, from the lakeside it is a spectacular vision of manicured lawns, hedges and giant trees. Read more

NAIROBI, Kenya — Though Faith Syovata had almost lost her voice because of a cold, the students still hung on her every whispered word. With violins tucked under their chins, the 14-year-olds at Kawangware Primary School here had their bows at the ready as she pointed out notes for the song on the blackboard. Read more

MAASAI MARA, KENYA: Ever since Lucy Nabiki Takona was a young girl growing up in a village not far from the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya, she knew she wanted to have a career in education. Read more