Last week, when I mentioned that I was in the weeds, I said that I have an epic international trip on the horizon -- a trip that warranted its own post. This is that post.
In about a month, I'm headed back to Africa: this time, to the country of Malawi.
I'll be returning again with the amazing ONE Campaign, an organization I've been passionate about for several years now. I first traveled with ONE to Kenya back in 2011, as one of a team of bloggers, to learn and tell about the good work being done by the Kenyan government with the assistance of foreign aid: specifically in fighting poverty, and preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It was an eye-opening, joy-filled trip, full of experiences I'll never forget.
The following year, ONE invited me to join them on another similar trip to Ethiopia. I was so excited to travel with them again, accompanying a new group of bloggers, in a support role as their photographer. Ethiopia was a totally different experience -- quite distinctive from its Kenyan neighbour -- but our time there was no less exhilarating. I was beyond grateful to have been invited to travel to Africa again.
So needless to say, I'm so honoured to have been invited by the ONE Campaign yet again -- but this time, ONE is doing this trip in partnership with the amazing Heifer International. Next month, ONE and Heifer will be traveling to Malawi with a delegation of writers and social media influencers who will use their voices to share more stories of success and hope with their communities. The hope is that through their visits and storytelling, they'll engage women, moms and families around the world on issues that are important to all of us. The team will travel from Lilongwe, Malawi's capital city, to Blantyre, Malawi's centre of finance and commerce, and along the way they'll meet with women, farmers and school kids, and visit health clinics, agriculture programs and organizations and projects that have done amazing work with the benefit of foreign assistance.
And again, I'll be the team's photographer.
As if that's not exciting enough, the team that ONE and Heifer have pulled together is an amazing one, comprising the following rock stars:
- Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect
- Ellen McGirt
- Heather Barmore of No Pasa Nada
- Jane Maynard of This Week for Dinner
- Meredith Walker of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
- Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte
- Wendi Aarons
Be sure to check them all out -- they're really pretty incredible people, and I can't wait to travel with them.
As I mentioned, the team leaves in May, so I still have a month to prepare (beginning with getting a few shots at the travel clinic yesterday ... oww). And of course, I have close friends who are visiting this weekend, not to mention a talk to give at the always-wonderful Mom 2.0 Summit in a couple of weeks. But I wanted to share this exciting news with you -- and naturally, I can't wait to share images and stories from the trip.
Stay tuned, my friends.
About ONE: ONE is an international, nonpartisan campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Cofounded by Bono, ONE raises public awareness and work with political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency so governments are accountable to their citizens. ONE does not raise money itself to build schools, hospitals and the like, but does its work by advocacy and campaigning so that government funds continue to flow to programs that make a difference in people’s lives. Click here to become a member of ONE, knowing that ONE never asks for your money, only your voice. And be sure to follow ONE on Facebook or on Twitter @ONECampaign.
About Heifer: Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For information, visit Heifer.org, read their blog, and follow them on Facebook or on Twitter @Heifer.