It’s my birthday!! So i’m giving the gift of education

In a few weeks it will be my 28th birthday (eek) and as has become my tradition, I do not ask for personal gifts but instead reach out to my loved ones for their generosity.

As many of you know, I’m a passionate supporter of the work of World Vision Australia and have enjoyed my recent work with them, but also my ongoing role as a Blog Ambassador. A group of us ambassadors have come together with the goal of each raising $2015 in 2015 to support vulnerable street kids in Tanzania with education, care and protection.

Meeting my sponsor child and his family in Tanzania in 2008

Meeting my sponsor child and his family in Tanzania in 2008

Tanzania is close to my heart and I truly believe that education is a gift that keeps on giving. I’m asking for just $20.15 (yes, do you see what I’ve done there wink emoticon ) In order to reach my goal of $2015. So if 100 people give $20.15, I’ll be there in no time. That’s 5% of my Facebook friends (yes, a lot, i know!)

So please help me in celebrating my upcoming birthday by donating to the children of Tanzania and giving them the gift of education.

THANKS and yay birthdays!!

You can donate here: https://2015in2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-lovell 

Helping children like Lazaro to get an education in Tanzania is so close to my heart

Helping children like Lazaro to get an education in Tanzania is so close to my heart

More about the campaign here:

Join World Vision Blog Ambassadors’ $2015 in 2015 Challenge and support Tanzanian street kids with education, care and protection.

Financial hardship, family disintegration and abuse are driving more and more children to live alone on the streets in Morogoro, Tanzania. However life on the streets is dangerous and children have limited access to education, healthcare or income.

The Hope Street Children Project supports street kids in Morogoro with shelter, food, healthcare, education, counselling, and where possible reunites them with their families. Read more about the project on the World Vision Australia Blog.

Helping these gorgeous faces with the gift of education!!

Helping these gorgeous faces with the gift of education!!

My friend Alana Kaye visits her sponsor child in Honduras with World Vision

In 2013, my friend Alana Kaye travelled to Honduras to visit her beautiful sponsor child Velinda. I shared her story and here are a few excerpts:

My beautiful friend Emma from Lovelly Communications! She had visited her sponsor child in Tanzania and this was the first time that I had heard that you could visit your sponsor child. After asking Emma some specifics, I decided to go ahead and request with World VIsion to visit my sponsor child, Velinda, in Honduras. WIthin 3 months, I was on my way for the trip.

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World Vision had organised a translator for my day with Velinda. His english was perfect and he was quick with his translations too, which was amazing … (Even if Velinda whispered something in my ear, he would kneel down and listen too and then straight away translate). It was things like “Will you visit me again? I like your hair” All those little details that I would have missed, the translator made possible for me.

For more of this story, visit: http://lovellycommunications.com/2015/02/18/amazing-woman-alana-kaye-visits-her-world-vision-sponsor-child-in-honduras/

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

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Project visits after meeting Kamala, my World Vision Sponsor Child

After the emotion of meeting my darling Kamala , a little girl in Nepal I have sponsored with my mother for 5.5 years, I was treated to a tour of the local area with the World Vision staff. It’s important with World Vision to not only learn about and meet the child you sponsor but the greater community which is also supported by our generous donations.

Meeting Kamlaa

Meeting Kamlaa

The visit was of course the highlight and I have shared my experience and story here.

In the morning, my first stop was to the ADP office to meet with staff of World Vision. I was met at my hotel by child sponsorship manager, Kiran. He is a kind and sweet man who clearly has a passion for seeing children live a better life. Soon after I met the lovely Absara, a young intern at World Vision. I was the first child sponsor she had met and she was very excited to see my experience. We sat with the manager of the ADP, Mr Rajan and then met with the entire team. I always like this process with world vision. We are all introduced and each person tells their role. I also introduced myself and shared my many experiences with World Vision and my role now as a #WVAblogger for World Vision Australia. Most importantly, I thanked them for their efforts and tireless work. As a sponsor the best part is seeing the lives of our children in foreign countries and how our support helps.

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Kiran showed me around and also showed me the folder of Kamala’s entire sponsorship history. It was magnificent to see her development over the time and the correspondence we had had over the years. I also got to see the computer system where they keep all the updates on the children. It’s meticulously detailed and I was so impressed and pleased to see that World Vision are so invested in the children’s lives.

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After my visit to kamala’s school we went to another local office. This office was manned by two staff members and they explained their role in more of the nutrition and health side of the projects. They ran Early Childhood Development centres, mothers groups, Outreach Centres for immunizations and childs health and general nutition and health information for the wider community. They have a group called the Unity Society and again this main focus is health. Great to hear of so many programs being run and I would get the chance to see some today.

Staff building the Community Outreach Centre

Staff building the Community Outreach Centre

We went then on some very treacherous and bumpy roads and even had to stop short and walk due to mud and huge divots in the road. We were met by community volunteer, beautiful Padma and walked to amothers group. At the site, they were also building an Early Childhood Development Centre. This is where mothers could take small children and start their education and basic life skills.

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Mothers and babies met under a tarp and sat on a mat to greet me. I don’t like to be so formal and separated so I asked to sit amongst them and chat. We talked about their monthly meetings and what they learnt. Some were also members of savings groups, one of my favourite programs run by world vision. Through being a member they can save their own funds into a large pool with other women and take out small loans from the group to fund business growth or help in times of need with chidlrens health and education. It provides financial empowerment and business skills to women in these communities.

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The leader of the group was a Governemnt health worker and she was actually the mother of Padma. It was so lovely to see that the World Vision passion and support continues through the generations and really becomes a sustainable part of the community. I asked her questions about her role and what the group is able to achieve. She helps the mothers with health advice and they talk to them about nutrition and caring for their child. They meet once a month to share their stories and learn together. It was sucha pleasure to share time with them.

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We next went to visit a school. I love schools!!! This school had 1100 children…. Ummmmm!! They swarmed towards me as we approached and I remembered it was the festival Holi. There was colour flying everywhere and cheeky boys were chasing girls to smudge bright colours to their cheeks. I saw one looking at me slyly so I patted my cheeks and he gladly walked over and smeared pink all over my face. I was inducted to holi and the children roared with laughter.

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As I walked into the group and through the grounds, I was surrounded 360 degrees by fascinated children of all ages wanting to catch a glimpse. Another young man approached me, this time with handfuls of red dust. I welcomed him and he really got stuck into putting the colour all over me. Wow! If you’re going to do it, do it well. A few other boys came up and I now had a completely covered face and they found it very amusing. I smudged some colour off my face and patted it on the cheeks of the smaller children around me. I could have played all day. Except, when they started sparing water, we were outta there. My hosts led me upstairs to the teacher’s office to meet with staff.

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We sat in a room with six teachers and were joined by another young volunteer for World Vision. We again did the introductions of ourselves and what our roles were. They told me about working with the children and that there were 1100 kids in the school. I was pleased to hear 600 are girls and 500 are boys. So many girls in school is so great. There are approximately 100 registered sponsor children through World Vision at the school. World Vision run teacher training programs as well as the “One Goal” program here. That’s a program for children to play soccer and then take part in other activities such as hygiene, sanitation, child protection and awareness and other such important life skills. It was so nice to see the teachers engaged in the program and working with World Vision to help the children.

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Our final visit for the day was to the Outreach Centre, ORC. This is being built at the time and the community project manager was so proud to meet me and show me their work. I was one week too early as they plan on being finished and in business for the community next week. Governemnt health workers will come here and help with immunizations, weighing of children, health checks and running nuritiuon and basic care clinics for mothers nad children. Helath workers and volunteers will go around to the 300 households in the community and tell them about when they can go to the outreach centre. These are extremely important programs for World Vision as it gives people who would otherwise not have it, access to basic health and to education for a healthy child and family.

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We returned to the office. A long drive along bumpy roads and then down a busy highway. I stared out the window and let my mind wander. The thing about these project visit days is that it puts you on a whole new plane of awareness. The world is so much bigger than all of us. There are people and places we will never see, there are issues we will never know about and our role in context is so small. But great things start from small beginnings. Through sponsoring one child in a village, you can be a part of a community of supporters that help them to grow and develop for a more quality life.

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“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.

Do anything. Do SOMETHING!”

– Colleen Patrick – Goudeau

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Thank you again World Vision Australia and World Vision Nepal for giving me this opportunity to meet my sponsor and child and see into her world.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

 world vision

What’s the other reason I’m in Nepal?

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia: https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

Meeting my sponsor child Kamala in Nepal with World Vision Australia

Sitting in the car as we approached the school I felt a rush of emotion as the time was fast approaching. More than five years of sponsorship, close to a year of planning and hundreds of hours of travel and I’m only minutes from meeting my sponsor child Kamala.

Meeting Kamala

Meeting Kamala

I stayed in the car a minute longer as my hosts Kiran from the World Vision Nepal Dhanghadi Office and Intern Absara climbed out to wait for me. I took a short video of my nervous anticipation, braced myself for the hundreds of little faces that would greet me and prepared.

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As we strolled into the schoolyard we were surrounded by children, they are fascinated by this tall blonde visitor at their place of learning. They giggle as I glance in their direction. I’m sweeping their faces, searching for my Kamala, my sponsor child. I don’t know how the meeting will happen or when, or what’s the next steps. I have so many photos of her, but she has grown up over the years and a person can look so different in the flesh, I hope and pray that I recognize her.

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Standing and observing the playing children, a few come close to ogle me and I smile and make a face to them. Suddenly a girl strides toward me from my left and strikes out her hand “ Hello. Nice to meet you.” The girl is not wearing school clothes, and his followed by a woman in a sari and some others. Kiran approaches me from my right and I flick my head back and forth between them and ask quietly, still holding her hand “Is this her? Is this Kamala?” The mother takes my hand and shakes it and greets me in Namaste. I raise my hands to my face and take in a breath as I begin to shake and cry. I can’t help it. The emotion! I scoop up Kamala’s hand again and embrace her. I apologise for my crying and Kiran explains to her that I’m not sad, I’m happy.

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The family soon come to join and there is now a gathering of close relatives. I walk to Kamala’s mother who has also been crying while watching the greeting. We do the Namaste greeting and I bow my head to show respect. She holds my hands tight and shakes them. She introduces then her Ama, her mother. The grandmother of Kamala. I begin to cry again as I move to greet not one, but both of Kamala’s grandmothers. These respected elders also greet me with a Namaste. I’m then introduced to her father, elder brother, younger brother and younger sister. I’m rapidly losing count of family members and before I know it, we’re huddled together for a family photo. Four or five cameras point at us and shoot off photo after photo as we pull together. Wow! So much emotion in such a short time.

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Family portrait

I’m taken by the arm on my right by the mother of Kamala and on my left side gathered in by the two grandmothers. Kamala walks in front of me and I’m led to the meeting room where we can get to know each other and chat about their lives here. As we settle in, I ask a number of times “Tik sa?” “Are you ok?” to Kamala. This is overwhelming for me, but as a child of 12 with her entire school and family watching on, I can imagine this is extremely overwhelming. Kiran, our World Vision guide, also translates and asks her if she’s ok and assures her I’m a friend. She smiles faintly as her family begin the ritual of welcoming me and the other guests to the village.

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After having a traditional welcome, it’s time for me to get to know Kamala. She is a little shy but was so bold when she first greeted me. I wanted to make her feel at ease and decided gifts and fun things were a good start. As I sponsor Kamala jointly with my mother Sarah, I had been loaded up with some amazing Australian gifts for her. Mumma loves to shop and she’d done a great job of finding education and fun things for Kamala to share. We gave her a game, books to read, puzzles of Australia, pencils and Australian colouring books and stickers. We also looked at a giant map of Australia together and a card filled with Australian animals. It was nice to share with her these things from my home.

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I got to learn about the family and the siblings of Kamala. Her cheeky younger sister hovered between the two of us the whole time. I could feel her lounging on my arm and twirling my hair in her fingers. She was a funny little thing and seemed to adopt me right away. Kamala said thank you for the sponsorship and it meant a lot to her to receive the cards and letters. When I first got there, I had shown her the cards and drawings that we had received and that I had brought them with me. I also got to see our correspondence and the history of the sponsorship in her folder at the office, which was a beautiful walk down memory lane.

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Kamala started to smile a little and I could see her watching me. She would just look up at me, I would smile at her or make a cheeky face and she would smile modestly. I told her “sundari” – it means beautiful in Nepali. I asked them to translate a story for me too. My friend in Nepal is called Sundar, meaning the male version of beautiful, handsome. He calls me sundari but he failed to mention that it also means female monkey. The girls laughed at this story and told the World Vision staff that I was definitely not a monkey. I felt at this moment closer to Kamala and I held her hand and squeezed it. She held my hand back and seemed much more at ease.

Kamala's relatives and friends

Kamala’s relatives and friends

It was time for me to share some of my family. I took out the trusty iphone and showed pictures of my mother, father, brother and sister. In Nepal, family is very important. They want to know about your background, where you come from and what your family has been doing. Not so much about what happens next, it’s your history that’s important. They all agreed my family was beautiful and enjoyed comparing the pictures of them with me.

Showing my family to Kamala

Showing my family to Kamala

The parents and the World Vision staff engaged in conversation and I had some time to just sit with Kamala, her sister and another little friend. It was time for selfies!! I wanted to see the big beautiful smile of Kamala and so I showed her my big smile – she caught on and we both smiled together with the cheeky monkeys hanging behind us. It was so lovely to laugh and relax with these little sweeties.

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After all to short a time, it was time to leave. I wanted to make a reason to stay. I wanted something else to see here or do here. I knew it wasn’t possible and felt our time coming to a close but I just couldn’t bare it. All this time, for what seemed like just a few minutes. Kamala took me by the hand and her sister launched onto me and grabbed my other arm. The girls walked me out and seemed to be leading me a bit astray. Kamala’s father had to yell out to her and direct her back to the driveway where the car was, I think they were trying to unsubtly kidnap me and keep me there.

Grandmothers and friends

Grandmothers and friends

Kamala looked up at me and had asked me before we left the meeting if I could come to her house. Due to child protection policy of this World Vision ADP there are no home visits allowed. I completely understand this and am happy to comply, but how does one explain this to a 12 year old girl who wants to invite you into her home and share her world with you? I left that for the staff to do in Nepalese and with my eyes said sorry. As we stood near the fence and the other children came rushing out to farewell us, I could feel the sadness mounting. Kamala gazed up at me and we held hands. I embraced her for a hug and touched her face and said be good.

The World Vision Volunteers, Kamala and her mother

The World Vision Volunteers, Kamala and her mother

There were tears and hugs with mum and the grandmothers. They kept holding my hands and touching my face and pulled me in for long big hugs. I think it’s important for them to meet the person who is involved in their child’s life from a distance. It’s certainly important for me to know them and have a connection with them. I’m so glad I could be there. The goodbyes seemed to drag on and on, none of us wanting to say goodbye. With each round of handshakes and hugs, I again went back to Kamala and pulled her in for another hug. I wanted her to know how much I cared.

Kamala's mother

Kamala’s mother

My parting words to mum, dad and the World Vision staff were “School is so important. Her education is number one.” It was translated for them and I said it’s so so important that she remains in school and gets her education. It’s my wish for her and it’s something I believe so passionately. Every child should have access to quality education and the opportunity to learn. She’s a healthy girl and I hope for her a bright future.

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I climbed in the car and it looked as though the entire village had come out to see us off. Amongst the hundreds of little faces I could only see Kamala’s staring straight back at me. She had a gentle smile and she seemed so calm and content. I waved and waved as we pulled away.

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Usually I don’t like to turn back, I like to say goodbye and go. This time, I turned my head and I looked back to see her running after the car. She was running and running, powering her legs along. Her little brother joined her and they chased the car waving and smiling. It was breaking my heart but I couldn’t turn away. I was laughing and commentating their approach of the car and their running. They ran for as long as they could keep up and then stopped as they approached the turn off to their home. From there they stood and waved, the three little siblings waving until we were completely out of sight. What a moment, I’ll never forget seeing them run with such joy and warmth to bid us farewell.

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The afternoon was a full program of local office visits, program observations and site visits. It was wonderful to see what the area was up to but my mind was awash with the warm memories of my meeting with this little girl I’ve known from afar for so long. I look forward to sharing the stories and things I’ve learned from this project in many more blogs.

Mothers group in the same area. Also an Early Childhood Development centre.

Mothers group in the same area. Also an Early Childhood Development centre.

It was an honour to have the opportunity to meet Kamala and now I can’t wait to share many stories of my visit with my friends and family back home. Especially my mum Sarah who I share the sponsorship of Kamala with. I wish more than anything she could have been there to experience the meeting. It’s proven to me once again how important child sponsorship is and how we really can make a difference to the lives of so many.

Sharing with Kamala the gifts from my mother

Sharing with Kamala the gifts from my mother

Thank you Kamala. Thank you for the joy you’ve brought me and for your beautiful smile.

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You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

Seeing the work of World Vision and their incredible people in Nepal

Today I went to visit my fourth World Vision Country Office around the world. I was in Kathmandu, Nepal, at the head office and was met by the kind Anu. It never ceases to amaze me the kindness, dedication and passion of staff in this organisation, all around the World.

Anu from World Vision Nepal office

Anu from World Vision Nepal office

Anu has been emailing me, along with the lovely staff from the Australian office (shout out to gorgeous Clare) to help me arrange my sponsor child visit in Kailali District. I’ve been sponsoring little Kamala for more than 5 years now with my mother Sarah. I love Nepal and have visited twice in the past, I knew it was the place I wanted to have a sponsor child. I’ve now been sponsoring Kamala for 5 years and just can’t wait to meet her.

Kamala

Speaking to Anu and learning about her work here with World Vision was so inspiring. She clearly has a passion for her job and has been working with World Vision for 10 years. She told me her favourite thing was hearing the stories of Australians and Canadians who come to visit their sponsor children here in Nepal. She didn’t realise that we were so connected, excited ad dedicated to our sponsor children. She was shocked to see so much emotion from the people and how much they cared about these children over the other side of the world. I smiled as I knew exactly what she was talking about. I shared with her my story about why I sponsor children and why I love what World Vision do and am now a #WVAblogger blog ambassador. Anu only cements my belief and trust in this organisation and the work they do around the world.

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I’ve found a blog today that was written for World Vision Australia about saying farewell to my sponsor child in Tanzania in 2009. I had been sponsoring him for 5 years and at that time and in December 2008 I travelled to Arusha, Tanzania and met him. I can say without hesitation that it was the best day of my life. So naturally, saying goodbye to him in 2009 when the work in his village had finished, was not at all easy. These were my thoughts on the process:

“I still get teary thinking of him. I sent my final farewell card and cried with every word. Goodbye is always the hardest word to say. Lazaro, you are in my thoughts always, as you have been for so many of the past years. I teasure the gift you gave me when I came to visit you and it will continue to have pride of place in my room and my heart. You were an inspiration to me and you put my world in perspective. This world is so much bigger than we can ever imagine, it is so much greater than all of us and you are helping me to understand this.”

meeting Lazaro

I’m so excited to again be able to have this experience of meeting a sponsor child, and here I am. In Kathmandu, days from meeting her. I even wrote about her in that blog at the time:

“I started sponsoring a Nepalese girl one year ago as I also have a close affinity to this country. I look forward to developing a relationship with her and her community and someday soon visiting her in Nepal.”

Kamala more recently!

Kamala more recently!

It’s taken another 5 years, but here I am! Ready to meet this gorgeous little lady. I love receiving her updates in the post and it’s a bond my mother and I can share. Knowing we are changing the life of a little girl, her family and her community. The process has been somewhat held up as my flight has today been cancelled due to bad weather. This is why I allowed one week before my #everestbasecamptrek2015 to come and meet her and get to see her village. We’ve re-scheduled for tomorrow and pushed the flight back another day. It may be busy due to two days of bad weather and cancellations, but we will get there! Worst comes to worst, I’ll drive over night by jeep. I have to get there!

IMG_1327IMG_1330IMG_1326 Some of the wonderful things I receive from World Vision updating me about Kamala and her activities.

Thank you World Vision Australia and World Vision Nepal for making this possible.

I’m climbing to Mt Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia.https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

 Thank you for your support!!

$2015 in 2015 for World Vision Australia

World Vision Australia is a charity I passionately support and am proud to be a blog ambassador for. In 2015, I vow to raise $2015 for this incredible organisation. Funds raised will go towards the Hope Street Children Project to support vulnerable street kids in Tanzania with education, care and protection.

You can sponsor me here: https://2015in2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-lovell

I’ve visited my sponsor child in Tanzania and seen the amazing work of World Vision in Uganda recently on a blog ambassador trip. The work they do is valid, valuable and essential! Every little bit we can do from here can do great things over there!

Meeting Lazaro in Tanzania in 2008

Meeting Lazaro in Tanzania in 2008

You can read more about the amazing work already delivered by the project and Ikrison’s passion for education here: http://www.worldvision.com.au/Issues/Transforming_Lives___Child_Sponsorship/ikrisons-passion-for-education.aspx

 

For fun, I’m suggesting donations of $20.15. If I get 100 donations of this exact amount, I’ll reach my target in no time! If you want to give more, or you can only afford less, that is also great. Every $$ counts!

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Photo taken on 2014 #WVAbloggers tour to Uganda with World Vision Australia. 

 

Why was I invited to visit Uganda as a #WVAbloggers Ambassador with World Vision?

I loved this article written by World Vision staff member, Lou Acheson, which sums up the important reason for Blog Ambassador trips far better than I ever can:

 http://blog.worldvision.com.au/blog-ambassador-trips/

As a long-term supporter of world Vision and a child sponsor of more than 10 years, it was an incredible honour to be given the opportunity to come and see the projects first hand. I have been lucky to visit Tanzania and meet my sponsor child in 2008. I’ve also attended a project in Battambang, Cambodia with the World Vision Cambodia Cycle team as a Tour Leader for Inspired Adventures earlier in 2014. My passion and enthusiasm for World Vision continues to grow as time and time again I see the valuable impact of their work

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I’m a social media professional and I follow closely World Vision’s activities on social media. I was searching through Twitter one day and saw a post about the World Vision Bloggers attending a conference all together. I didn’t even know this existed. It would be a dream come true to be a World Vision blogger and I hit reply instantly, “How do I get to do that!” The ever-responsive Tim J from the social media team sent me a reply that filled me with joy, “Email us!”

With fellow blogger @edenland Eden Riley - World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

With fellow blogger @edenland Eden Riley – World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

With a lengthy description of my World Vision support, my passion for their work and my blogging credentials, I was soon accepted as a blogger. WOW! What a dream. To be amongst an amazing team of bloggers and to be supported by World Vision Australia to write about a charity I’m passionate about was perfect.

Next thing I know, there was an opportunity to head to Uganda on a blogging trip. This is something I’d hoped to do since I began my travel blog in 2009. To travel, write and talk about important things in the world. I entered my application with little hope of getting in as I was new to the group. I knew I had the goods to take on the task but I also know how amazing some of the other members of the group are. Before I knew it, I was making plans to attend the blogging trip as a #WVAbloggers ambassador to Uganda. First hand, experiencing the incredible work of World Vision and sharing that to my audience.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I’m glad to be here on an educational trip and to see a side of the country that most tourists would ever get to see. Of course there are various tour companies and programs which are offered to showcase a countries various communities but there can be varying degrees of the approach to this tourism. Sometimes called “voluntourism” where people go to travel and volunteer as they go has been getting a bad wrap. This was happening immediately before I left to come to Africa, and Africa of course is the poster child for “poverty porn”.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I didn’t want my World Vision Ambassador tour to be seen in this way, because it is not. We are #WVAbloggers. We are blog ambassadors, we are taking part in an educational tour to learn about the programs run here and share that with out networks in Australia to gain further support.

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

I’ve only been on this tour for a few days but already what I have seen and experienced is so powerful. It makes me think more about the world around me and outside of the immediate things I encounter on the day to day. How can we share our skills, resources and knowledge to improve communities who need it? We can understand! That’s the first step and we can then educate and make an impact from the grassroots to truly bring about change. These things take time but the most important thing I have learned, there is hope!

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

World Vision Blog Ambassador Uganda Trip 2014 #WVAbloggers

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as these by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Uganda on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications