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JOURNEYdeep

We're blogging LIVE from Ethiopia!

Deciding to go to Africa is a big decision. Finding time to take off work, someone to keep your kids on a schedule, take care of your pets, fill in on your carpool day.  But as the saying goes, the risk is worth the reward, and trusting that a plan will work out for all those little details so your trip to Africa can become a reality is no different. Not ready to commit just yet? We get that, too. That’s why we’re live-blogging an Ethiopia trip happening RIGHT NOW – to give you a look into what this adventure is like. #blogABLE, a joint trip between African Leadership subsidiaries Mocha Club and fashionABLE, is a team of 12 individuals currently on the ground in Addis Ababa, spending time visiting African Leadership project, Women at Risk. As the team members are highly involved in the online world, they will all be blogging their daily experiences – a great opportunity for you to get a peek into what African Leadership is about, the work we are involved in, and what a future site visit could look like for you.

Ready to dive in? Learn a little bit about how the trip came together, the team members, their mission, and follow along with their daily adventures here.  We’re exited to get to share this experience with you!

See For Yourself

Upcoming trips are forming now, and we’d love to have you JOURNEYdeep with us. My first trip to Ethiopia turned me upside down. Every preconceived notion I had turned out inaccurate. I thought starvation would be awful to see, but it was worse than I imagined. I thought we would fly in on a dirt airstrip, but we flew into a beautiful international airport. I thought I would be doing great things for people in need, but instead I learned more from them than any help I could’ve offered.

That first trip still impacts me to this day. Having led multiple trips back to Africa since, I’ve had the privilege of seeing others have their first experience, and it never gets old. All African Leadership trips are led by someone like me who has visited before and knows all the ins and outs of international travel. Teams are given the opportunity to define parts of their activity itinerary during the day and enjoy dinner and discussions together in the evenings, creating a comfortable environment and building relationships that will last for years to come. You’ll come home from your first trip ready for the next, much like I did.

After one of my trips, I wrote a journal entry to sum up my time on the ground. Here is an excerpt from it that still resonates deeply with me:

“I'm not saying that Africa does not need our efforts. It absolutely does need our partnership. But for me, I've come to understand that I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME. Why? Because it is Africa that has taught me that possessions in my hands will never be as valuable as peace in my heart. I've learned that I don't need what I have and that I have what I need. These are just a few of this continent's many lessons. I came here to serve and yet I've found that I have so much to learn, and Africa, with all its need, has much to teach me.”

Barrett Ward Chief Experience Officer | African Leadership

Using what you have, where you are

So much of the work we do at African Leadership relies on the generosity of volunteers. Maintaining an effective engagement with those who give their time is critical to the success of any organization, and we are no different.

Just as Ellie’s Run hinges on the commitment of volunteers to plan the event and run the race, African Leadership and Mocha Club depend on volunteers nationwide to advocate for the cause to their friends and family. One such volunteer, Emily Hickey, came to Mocha Club as an intern in 2008, equipped with a passion for international development and an interest in Africa. Experiencing firsthand the work African Leadership does on the ground led Emily to continue devoting her time to Mocha Club after the internship ended, and she has since been hired full-time to the Mocha Club staff. Much like Ellie, Emily was looking to find an outlet to serve in, stepped forward when the opportunity presented itself, and dug in. Such stories of volunteerism are at the core of what African Leadership is about – investing in relationships intentionally and for the long haul.

Some are called to give their time. Some are called to give their money. And some are called to give their voice. All are equally imperative to African Leadership’s ability to spread the Gospel across an entire continent. Where do you fit in? Get in touch with us to learn more about how you can put your resources to use and make a difference.