ONE’s strategic relationships intern Catherine Ayres interviews the original ONE Moms on the two-year anniversary of their trip to Kenya.
Two years ago, we took a group of 10 influential mom bloggers on a life-changing trip to Kenya. We wanted these ONE Moms to witness the lives of other women in Africa and share their incredible stories of resilience with their devoted blog readers.
But the Kenya trip did more than that. It changed the ONE Moms’ lives forever.
“I have a larger lens from which I see the world now,” says Shayne Moore, a ONE Mom blogger. “Seeing first-hand what life is like for mothers and families struggling in oppressive poverty and disease is humbling and heart-breaking.
I recently checked in on the ONE Moms to find out what they’re doing now and what they think about the trip two years later.
Karen Walrond and Amy Graff visiting a home-based HIV testing program in Kisumu. Photographed by Morgana Wingard.
Rachel Fox: “This trip was a concrete way to demonstrate the possibilities to create change to not only my family, but my community as well.” Over the past two years, Rachel has spoken about advocacy and the issues of extreme poverty at a number of conferences. She also continued her work as a ONE Congressional district leader in North Carolina.
Jennifer James: “This trip solidified what I truly want to do with my life.” Since then, she has reported on global health and development in six countries on four continents, and started Mom Bloggers for Social Good, a global coalition of mothers who care about pressing international issues.
Emily McKhann and Cooper Munroe’s social media marketing company, The Motherhood, has grown leaps and bounds, with now more than 14,000 followers and many Fortune 500 companies as clients.
Shayne Moore published her book “Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power To Abolish Modern Day Slavery” and wrote, produced and recorded her first full-length album under the same title.
Elisa Morgan released several books, the “NIV Mom’s Devotional Bible” and “The Beauty of Broken” in September 2013. She is also the publisher of FullFill digizine, a leadership development resource for women.
Karen Walrond: “I hope to continue being a conduit and bringing these stories of Africa to those who can help.” True to her word, she has traveled around the country speaking and promoting her book, “The Beauty of Different,” including at a moving TED Talk in November. She went to Ethiopia with ONE in 2012.
Despite the many different directions the Kenya ONE Moms’ lives have taken, one thing is for sure: they all remain affected by what they experienced on that journey with ONE.
“It was just incredible to actually witness the strength and resilience of the people of Kenya first-hand, says Rachel. “Their ability to sing, dance, smile, laugh, and love in spite of the tremendous obstacles before them was an inspiration and something that I have carried within me since coming home.”