Welcome to part two of our Ripple Effect interview with Amanda Brown, a photographer, writer, lauded volunteer and founder of the AWE International Good Works Foundation. Enjoy!
Welcome back to our new interview series, The Ripple Effect. The Ripple Effect explores the emotional impact of volunteer travel and its lasting effect on people’s lives. Today we’re speaking with Amanda Brown, a photographer, writer, lauded volunteer and founder of the AWE International Good Works Foundation. AWE, funded by the proceeds from Amanda’s children’s books, provides books, teaching supplies and volunteer teachers to under represented, marginalized communities around the world. Amanda’s mission: to touch lives with happiness; to push herself beyond her means; to explore, experience and share; and always to give back. This is part one of our interview with Amanda Brown, author, photographer, and volunteer extraordinaire! Check back in tomorrow for part two.
I lived in Kenya when I was a child so Africa has always held a special place in my heart. The sunsets were spectacular, like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else in the world. They’re orange and pink, expansive, like a painting on velvet. I was only seven when I lived there but I made three lifelong friends—each of them uniquely bright, energized, curious, and kind. I fed giraffes and walked with elephants. I tended a carnivorous pitcher plant in my own backyard. Africa is magical. It’s full of incredible creatures, each more fascinating than the last—the stark stripes of the zebra, the proboscis of the anteater, the mischievous cunning of the spider monkey. And it’s full of incredible people, many of whom face unimaginable challenges and hardships. Organizations that serve Africa help to protect this magical place while they help to improve the lives of her people. If you have never been to Africa, go! It will change your life forever.
Helping people can take many forms. When we think of volunteering, we often think of performing physical labor, educating children, or providing medical attention. Of course, these are all essential services, but there are many other creative avenues out there for bringing aid to the people who need it. For example, Allan Lissner helps people by telling their stories with photographs.