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Posted by on Feb 22, 2013 in Blog, Change, Teach Abroad, Travel, Volunteer Abroad |

Give Heart, Give Hope

Give Heart, Give Hope

Stories change us. It is why we tell them to children to teach them about how to live life. It is why we share them with our friends. It is why we blog. This week, I was touched by the stories told by Ellen Hartman and her friends. Ellen volunteered in Moshi, Tanzania through Cross-Cultural Solutions and formed powerful bonds with the women and children of the Jipo Moyo center and the Hard Life artists. She has kept in touch with her friends which grew into a partnership called Give Heart, Give Hope. Even though I see Ellen on a regular basis, I had no idea how much her time in Tanzania impacted her life. This is a curious thing about travel. It is difficult to convey how the experience inspired permanent change in us. We simply live the changes and tell our stories. I was also touched by the photos, videos, and blogs written about people who come from very different worlds but still found ways to communicate,...

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2012 in Blog, Road Trip USA, Travel |

Whistleblowers for Peace: Falling Whistles

Whistleblowers for Peace: Falling Whistles

It has been three years since I stepped foot into the Falling Whistles headquarters in Los Angeles. Natural light illuminates the exposed brick, installations, and five staff members clicking away silently at their computers. Gone are the days (and nights) of intern-filled garage spaces in Venice Beach. In its place is a more focused and experienced organization working to bring peace in Congo. The approach is an interesting one — selling whistles and using the proceeds to support work in Congo, delivering educational media content, and mobilizing their base to push for policy changes. To date, the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed over 6 million lives– as many people who died in the Holocaust. This fact feels very far away to me until I remember that my cell phone and computer have minerals such as coltan from Congo that were likely extracted by slave labor and that the money from the illegal sale of such minerals fund the war. Organizations like Falling Whistles are working...

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