So after around 32 hours of travel door to door from Australia to Africa, and with my calves and ankles now merged into their usual long puffy sausages, we finally arrived at our hotel in Malawi and over the next few hours, all the lovely women I’ll be spending the next 10 to 14 days with, arrived to take part in their coming immersion into the work of The Hunger Project (THP.)
As always, that first shower was spectacularly satisfying… and the massage to follow was pretty great too. A couple of drinks, introductions, a dinner and an early night were next on the cards. (I can’t help but think back to my visit to Uganda last year when it was all still so unknown, and also as another group are touring from there simultaneously with our Malawi trip.)
It’s now 4.30 am and with the body clock still out of whack, we’ll soon start our first day of the Business Chicks Leadership and Immersion Program.
It’s so fabulous to meet a bunch of ladies who you know for the past few months have gone above and beyond to be here; going so far out of their way to each raise $10,000 for this great cause and hear of their trials and tribulations on the way.
Yet, the stories carry the same interesting themes. Surprise at those who were so supportive of their efforts… and also at those close to them who weren’t. And gratitude for the lessons along the way. The incredible personal achievement of having ‘made it’ and to finally arrive in Blantyre after the culmination of months of plotting and planning. Most have never done anything like this before, but are approaching their coming adventure with open minds, and just a little trepidation.
Over the next nine days we’ll be visiting various Epicentres and learning lessons in leadership from those who’ve stood up and made a difference in their own lives, in those of their extended families and their communities, and who also happen to be amongst the poorest people on earth.
If you’d like to follow our journey over the coming days, I’ll be sharing more about the work of The Hunger Project, their efforts in Malawi and thoughts on what we’ve seen and experienced on our visit.
For those who are unfamiliar with the work of THP, they start with Three Pillars:
- Start with Women – studies show when women are supported and empowered, all society benefits. This is why THP focus on building the capacity of women;
- Mobilise Everyone – building knowledge, skills and leadership so the locals can take action to improve their own communities;
- Engage Government – empowering people to communicate their needs to local government ensures they too are effective and accountable
You can read more about their work at THP Australia or follow along and enjoy my adventures! I look forward to sharing more with you.
Now it’s time for that early cup of tea…