I believe that each time you visit a new place, you leave as a different version of yourself because that place and its people stay with you forever. I’m even more convinced of this truth given my recent trip to Zambia, where I had the privilege of meeting incredible beneficiaries, young and old, and seeing the work of Rise Against Hunger in action. Their stories, smiles and voices have taken a place in my heart and I am now, more than ever, convinced of the importance of staying the course as we work toward creating a world where hunger does not exist.
During my trip, I visited half a dozen schools in Zambia and met students, staff and teachers from varying communities and economic states. Whether coming from crowded city boroughs filled with cinder block homes or close-knit rural communities where mealtime is had under thatched roofs, there was a common thread in every interaction. Regardless of their circumstances, the common ground was every student’s need for consistent nutrient-rich food, their desire for a bright future and a childish playfulness that is innate in every kid. I was thankful to see that our teams and meals addressed each of those things. In the schools we visited, children were eager to line up for lunch every day, were focused and learning in their classrooms after receiving food and the sound of laughter and playtime filled the community, showing signs of happy childhoods.
As encouraging as it was to see this impact being made, I know there are countless people in these communities who are in need of aid and sustainable change. As October begins, I’ve watched schedules start to fill up with end of year plans and holiday traditions, but the reality of the needs of those I met in Zambia remain. In the busyness of the season, I encourage you to keep others top of mind and to not allow full calendars to distract from the importance of providing aid to people who need it most around the world. For information on how you can get involved in this important work, visit our Get Involved page or make a donation today.