To donate directly to my Archibald Project Media mission fund, please click below.
I've started this post in my head countless times, drafted it on my computer about 50 times, and still don't think I have quite come up with the right words to express my excitement and gratitude for the amazing opportunity I have been given.
What you may know is that photography has been a huge part of my life for the last 5+ years. What you also may know is that I am happiest when I am able to use my art to give back to the causes and communities that I truly believe in. What you may not know is that orphan care and international adoption hold an extremely special place in my heart. It's something I have been pretty quiet about over the last couple of years. As a single 22 year old, it may feel a little silly to say that adoption will be part of growing my family in the future. But it is.
If you didn't know, there are an estimated 147 million (147 MILLION), orphans in our world today. 147 million children without a set of loving arms to call their forever home. It's something that I can't even begin to wrap my mind around, and my heart breaks for each and every one of these children. However, I am so humbled to say that I have an opportunity to do something about it. I have been given the opportunity to use my love of photography to tell the stories of the Selamta Family Project through a media mission with the Archibald Project. I am so excited to use my storytelling to give back to a community that I care so deeply about. At the end of February, I, along with a team of a few other amazing storytellers, will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the Archibald Project to tell the inspiring stories of alternative orphan care.
I found The Archibald Project a few years ago and have been hoping for an opportunity to serve this organization and the communities that they advocate for. What they are doing is absolutely amazing. A group that strives to capture inspiring stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to serve orphans, they go beyond that and work to educate communities about ethical orphan and vulnerable child care practices. I could go on and on about their mission, but I think this video does a pretty fantastic job at summing up all of the amazing things that they stand for:
What exactly is a media mission?
I will be doing a few blog posts in the near future, answering some deeper questions you may have about who we will be working with and what we will be doing. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do my best to answer these for you! But for now, a brief overview:
The goal of our Media Mission will be to help educate the world and our individual communities on ethical orphan and vulnerable children care practices. The amazing thing about the Selamta Project is that this organization introduces a standard of family style homes for children who cannot live with their biological family. They have such a beautiful model, and I can't wait to have an entire week to capture the heart and soul of this amazing organization. Not only will we be setting this organization up with materials needed for a successful fundraising future, we will be learning about an alternative and healthy model for home life of an orphaned child while bringing this knowledge back to our individual communities.
Its going to be tough...I know it is impossible to change the lives of these children in just one week. However, by using our art and talent, as storytellers, we have the amazing power to advocate for these kids and those that are in their lives each and every day! This awareness allows those amazing individuals to continue to do their work day in and day out while inspiring others to do the same in their own communities.
I strongly believe that storytelling has the power to change the world, and I am so incredibly humbled to have the opportunity to advocate for two amazing groups.
How can you help?
As you can imagine, I am so incredibly excited to embark on this journey, but I can't do it alone. I would love to ask you to partner with me and my team in our mission. First and foremost, please consider keeping our group in your thoughts and prayers over the next couple of months. Any blessings and positive vibes during the fundraising and preparation phase of our journey are appreciated more than you will ever know. I am so excited to spend some time loving on these incredible families and I want to make sure that I am fully prepared to serve them and their individual needs.
It takes the work of many people to make a change in the world, and it would mean so much to me if you took a second to spread the word about the mission we will be embarking on in just a few months. Share this blog post or consider taking a moment to explore The Archibald Project's blog and find your favorite story. Share it with someone. Whether it be your social media followers, your roommate, or a random person you meet on the street....remember: Storytelling truly has the power to change the way many think about the world. A simple share could go way further than you think. If you are interested in following along with our journey in live time, please like The Archibald Project's Facebook page and follow along on Instagram.
Lastly, I humbly ask you to partner with me financially. As you can imagine planning a trip to Ethiopia takes a bit of heavy lifting, and I can't even begin to tell you how much your financial gift would mean to me. I currently have a fundraising goal of $3200. While I have a few exciting fundraising opportunities in the works, you also have the opportunity to serve with me right from your desktop. Your tax-deductible gift can be made through my personal fundraising page: https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/TheArchibaldProject/CaityKramer.
Directly, your donation will get me to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with The Archibald Project. It will help cover my room and board, food, airfare, and development as a storyteller as I work to advocate for the families of the Selamta Family Project. Indirectly? Your donation has the power to change the world. It has the power to empower a community so much larger than yourself to take action. To make the world a better place for orphaned children and those that care for them. Your support means so much to me, the communities we are serving, and each of us embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.