I just got back to the states from spending about 3 weeks in beautiful Rwanda.
I've been working with the organization called Africa New Life Ministries for almost 5 years now and I continue to visit them year after year. ANLM was started by Rwandans for Rwandans and now have over 6000 children sponsored to go to school ( I sponsor two of them) and I have built deep friendships with so many because of them.
This trip was extra special.... My friend Natalie led a group of my friends from IF: Gathering along with their daughters.
We went to see the Africa New Life food program and also speak at a women's conference called Scars to Stars where about 1000 women came trekking from villages and the city attend the gathering in Kigali, Rwanda - It was a beautiful night. All the ladies have all been keeping beautiful blogposts about the journey. I encourage you to click the above links and read stories from their perspectives.
My friend Natalie came to me in January and asked me to create a campaign about their Food Program. They wanted to continue feeding kids meals in school everyday but because of the cost of food in Rwanda has increased over the past years, they didn't have the budget to do so anymore. We set out to tell the story in March with my writer, Constance, and my videographer, Jordan Laessig. You wouldn't believe how many kids I sit with, listening to their stories and find out they eat maybe just one meal a day and that might just be some Rice. Even in a beautiful country like Rwanda, jobs are hard to find which makes food hard to buy. It's also very expensive since most of the food in Rwanda is exported. In 2001, Rice costs just $13 and it's now $25 a bag. It becomes more and more expensive each year, and Africa New Life will serve 1.2 Million meals this year! To ensure the best care possible for these kids and the families they serve, they need people like you to partner with the Food Is campaign. Just a few years ago I was working on a story about a woman and I asked to see how much food she had for the week. She filled hands with a handful of maize flour and told me that was all she had. She was so upset about it. My heart went out to them. This is why i'm so thankful for the programs that Africa New Life has created so that children like hers can be fed. EVERY DOLLAR GIVEN IS MATCHED UP TO $50,000! If you are still in doubt, check out the video and stories at:
Robert is one of my favorites. His story inspired me and it inspires many of the boys going to school now. They realize that they can achieve their dreams if they work hard. Robert was my driver to go see the Gorillas in North Rwanda just a few weeks ago. He has gone from herding his uncle's cows and having no hope to running a growing transportation company in Kigali.
Take a moment and read his story