If you dare to be inspired, visit Blood:Water’s partners in Africa. From Kenya to Zambia to Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda. They are resilient, creative, resourceful, and hospitable. And, that is what we had the gift of experiencing when we embarked June 29 on a Blood:Water Vision Trip to Ndola, Zambia, to visit our partners, Seeds of Hope International.
This trip was my second visit to Zambia. Our team was smaller than usual, so we became close quickly! It’s hard to travel the world as a group and NOT gain a sense of community that takes years to come by in the day to day of our lives. The seven of us were welcomed with dancing and smiles everywhere the Seeds of Hope team hosted us, all of which were local communities gaining access to clean water and WASH (water, hygiene and sanitation) efforts by the amazing SoHIP team. From visiting homes of Community Health Promoters in Kaloko, a community Blood:Water and SoHip are walking alongside for several years, to participating in a water walk in a rural community with families, to seeing a well actually being completed and utilized for the first time, we were moved in meaningful and heart-changing ways.
Though it is difficult to pinpoint the most poignant experience, we all agreed that one of the most memorable times was walking into a small church in Kaloko where over 50 community members were gathered to graduate from their WASH training, and be qualified as healthy homes and Community Health Promoters in their zone of the community. We were greeted with claps, dances, and singing – a celebration that lasted at least long enough that all of our smiles were exhausted from the energy, love, and empowerment we were experiencing with them. Then, we had the honor of seeing them gain their certificates and t-shirts from the Seeds of Hope team, and took a group picture. The joy was palpable.
For me, it’s those unexpected moments in time that bring timely perspective, and a new kind of grace and gratitude that I bring back with me. Our friends in Zambia are literally working together each and every day to usher in health and life for each other and their communities. And, at Blood:Water, we get to walk alongside them in the ups and downs of their own livelihood challenges. And, no matter the hardship, their joy and hospitality are beyond compare. I hope I carry a little more joy and hospitality in my heart from my time with friends in Africa.
If you’re interested in going on a Blood:Water Vision Trip, contact Jake Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.