2018 in review – learning to see with new eyes
Since 2015 I have worked full-time as the Communications Manager for All We Can, an amazing charity doing transformative work around the world. This year I also began to coordinate our humanitarian aid work. All views in this blog are my own, but I am also going to share some imagery and experiences from my year with All We Can as I do not simply choose to work for the organisation – I love what we collectively do together. My photography is just part of my job – but still one of my favourite parts! What a privilege to get to listen to and share the stories I do. To find out more about All We Can and to support the wonderful work in some of the world’s poorest communities visit the website here.
Thank you India
My third visit to incredible India, my second to All We Can’s work in Jharkhand. The kinship found with our women globally is still something that drives me to be a part of the work I am part of. It is so fundamentally unfair that so many women are in a personal battle with poverty simply because they are women. It appals me that in 2018 we still live in a world where the gender you are determines so strongly the future you might have. So this visit to womens’ community projects where women lift each other out of their poverty through collective action was an inspiring way to start the year!
Images all taken for All We Can
The journey that changed me – the Rohingya people
Following my visit to India I travelled to Bangladesh and to Cox’s Bazar. In August 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled genocide in Myanmar and travelled to Bangladesh to seek sanctuary. In February 2018, I spent a few days in the squalid, crowded refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar listening to some of the saddest, most shocking stories of man’s inhumanity to man. These stories have stayed with me. The names and faces of the people I met have stayed with me. I hope to return to Cox’s Bazar in 2019. I hope that 2019 brings justice and peace for the Rohingya people of Myanmar.
Images all taken for All We Can
Personal travels – Italy, Sweden, New York and the UK
The opportunity to travel for pleasure is such a privilege, one I hope to never take for granted. In 2018, I was able to travel to Venice in Italy and to Stockholm in Sweden with my husband Steve, I went to New York to volunteer with The Global People’s Summit and with my family and with friends also saw some of our own beautiful Great Britain.
Jordan – The Syrian refugee crisis continues but hope also emerges
One of the most depressing situations in our world has to be that of Syria. The war continued this year, a country now barely recognisable because of sustained and bloody conflict. I returned to Jordan this year to meet with Syrian and Iraqi refugees, as well as their Jordanian host communities. While the fact so many millions remain displaced is incredibly disheartening I found hope in the way individual families have resiliently adapted to life in a new nation. It was also uplifting to meet Jordanian communities so committed to embracing ‘the stranger’ in their midst. Work permits, improved housing and better access to services means life has improved for many refugees in Jordan. With all of that said – the tragedy and the legacy of the Syrian war continues, camps like Za’atari persist, and the stories of the displaced and uprooted now carve out a new future for nations like Jordan and neighbouring Lebanon where a substantial proportion of the population are refugees.
Ethiopia – nowhere else like it
I always say it is difficult to compare Ethiopia to anywhere else on earth. It really isn’t like anywhere else. It was my fourth time visiting the Central Highlands and Lowlands of Ethiopia. The sweeping landscapes of the Amhara region are captivating, but it is the warmth of the welcome, the culture of hospitality and the gentle way of the people that sticks with me. I cannot share too much of my time in Ethiopia yet online, but in 2019 look forward to being able to share many stories of transformation and change through All We Can’s communications materials.
I would like to thank everyone who has followed my blog in 2018, I wish you love, light and happiness in 2019 – may your journey be one full of the extraordinary. Our world can be a sad and difficult place, but it is also full of such beauty and kindness. I still firmly believe in a world worth loving.
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