Claudia’s Going to Uganda

It was in 2005 that I made a trip for 3-4 weeks to a tiny little country called Malawi in Africa.  When returning back to Canada, I knew I’d be making my way back there, someday.  Although there have been several opportunities that have come up since then (through Gift of Hope and World Vision, etc.), things just never panned out mainly due to scheduling.  Though disappointed each time, I held on to my belief that “what must be shall be” (good ol’ Shakespeare) or as good ol’ scripture says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”  I knew that when the time was right for me to go, a way would be made and finally 6 years since my feet landed on that continent, I am heading back.  What’s amazing is that Wilson is coming along too! :) I don’t have to ditch him to go pursue my dream hehe (I should state that my dream is to travel and use my photographic skills for social awareness.  Apologies if you thought photographing high-end snazzy weddings was my dream!! :))

Raising the Village is a non-profit organization focused on alleviating poverty through sustainable education solutions in rural and hard-to-reach places in Africa.  RTV was founded by a friend of mine from my old church in Mississauga so it’s a treat to be working alongside several people I know from a while back.  Not only does RTV have a wonderful vision and mission, but I love the fact that 100% of public donations to RTV go straight to the field (i.e. operational/admin costs are fundraised separately) so you know that every dollar you donate gets put to work.  The creative director for RTV is a close friend of mine whom I’ve been working on various projects with for the last what seems like 5+ years.  I love Jen’s vision, perfectionist ways and the whole collaborative vibe we have when working together.  One of the main reasons I agreed to shoot for RTV is the fact that I can work closely with Jen in shaping the imagery we bring back which will be used for marketing and branding.  I know that we will be coming back to Canada with some powerful images.  I’m so very excited :)

You may or may not know that through my own business initiatives, along with many people who read my ramblings on here, or keep up with my on Facebook or Twitter, we have raised US$5000 for charity: water in which 100% of that money goes to funding a water well for an entire community in Central African Republic — something that is still mind boggling to me and will get its own post once I have some more stats and visuals.  I’m so thankful to have people surrounding me who are thinking globally, and are being called into action through the recognition that we here in North America have SO very much.
Because our trip to Uganda in March is 100% voluntarily self-financed, we decided there was nothing to lose by trying to fundraise the amount of $8000 (between four of us going) for the heck of it and graciously accept any amount that was donated so that we could alleviate some of that personal debt.  Once again, it’s extremely humbling and mind boggling to see people give with such generosity and as of today, we are more than 50% in reaching our fundraising goal (there were a couple of cash donations).
Here’s a little silly intro video we put together so you can see who we are and what we’re doing there:

For even more information, you can check out our little donation site here if you want to learn more or if you feel like donating to our trip!  What’s cool is the site allows you to cash in on some really unique “Perks” which were generously donated by many local businesses and artists.  Due to the nature of some of the Perks, some of them may be very limited in numbers so be sure to pick the one you want quick!

I hope you guys are as excited about the trip as all four of us are! I invite you to join in the story as I post more and more Uganda-related stuff as preparations are kicking into high gear (we’re leaving on March 12th) from getting vaccines, the proper gear for the conditions in Uganda, fitness preparation, camera/technical gear, and hopefully a blog post here and there from the field … o_O highly infrequent I imagine, to my summary of the trip and of course, the fruits of our labour– the photographs.

Rock on :)

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February 9, 2011 - 8:26 am ceci - :D

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