Besides travel blogging, a big part of my writing focuses on social good and how we can use our voice to advocate causes and help change the world. Two years ago, I joined up as a writer for Mom Bloggers for Social Good/Global Team of 200, and had the pleasure of going on my first field trip to visit our NGO (non-governmental organizations) partners in India last May.
Since my trip, two other fellow bloggers and friends of mine have gone on social good blogging trips, Elizabeth Ataley of Documama who recently went to South Africa and Stacey Hoffer Weckstein of EvolvingStacey who visited Indonesia with Save the Children. This week, another fellow social good blogger and friend of mine, Jennifer Barbour of AnotherJennifer will be traveling to Nicaragua with our partner WaterAid to learn about their work on the ground. I asked Jennifer if I could share her recent post about her upcoming trip. I look forward to following Jennifer’s journey!
Guest post written by Jennifer Barbour of AnotherJennifer.com
When I started this blog and created a category for Philanthropy, I had no idea where it would take me. I knew I wanted to explore the topic of giving back and what it means. I’ve since created my Philanthropy Friday series and Giving Pledge. I also became a member of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of Mom Bloggers for Social Good members who focus on maternal health, children, hunger, and women and girls.
I am elated and honored to announce that I will be traveling to Nicaragua on an insight trip with WaterAid America from March 16 – 23. I will be proudly representing Mom Bloggers for Social Good.
Along with a representative from WaterAid America, I will be traveling with a journalist from New York and a photographer from Mexico. I will be the first blogger to accompany WaterAid America on an insight trip. We will be concentrating on telling the stories of WaterAid’s work in Nicaragua, as it is not a program that has been highlight much in the past.
I’ve written posts about the need for clean water and sanitation on the blog before. I’ve specifically talked about WaterAid’s programs as well, as a donor and an advocate.
WaterAid established its program in Nicaragua, its first in Central America, in 2011. They work in one of the poorest areas of the country, the North Atlantic Mosquito coast. Just 20% of the people in this area have access to safe water and sanitation.
Our home base will be in Bilwi (otherwise known as Puerto Cabezas), but we will travel about two hours each day on some of the worst roads in the world to visit with the indigenous communities in which WaterAid works. I think what I am most excited about is the opportunity to get to know some of the people in these communities.
Our basic plan is to take the time to talk with people and see what kind of effect WaterAid’s work has had in their lives. Rather than move from village to village, we want to spend some time in the areas we visit so we can capture the full story. We will hone in on community empowerment (especially women), job skills training for at risk youth, and some of the realities of living in this area of Nicaragua.
We will also be in Nicaragua for World Water Day (March 22) and will have some fun activities planned to celebrate.
I am extremely excited for this trip and hope to incorporate video and photography, along with my writing, while I am there. Because we will be in such a remote area, I will not have internet access throughout the day. Admittedly, this makes me a bit nervous, since I will not be readily available in case my kids need me for any reason. (We’re always moms first, right?) I’m also hoping I don’t get car sick. The description of the roads on which we will be traveling is interesting, to say the least!
I will do my best to post in the evenings. One of my thoughts is to record a video diary at the end of each day and post it to my YouTube channel and the blog. I will be sure to share photos and updates on all my social media channels (you can find links in the header at the top of the page) whenever I can. You can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #WaterAidNica.
I’ll write a bit more about Nicaragua and WaterAid prior to the trip. Feel free to ask questions about the trip or the program in the comments, if you have any.
In the meantime, watch this video to find out more about WaterAid’s work in Nicaragua.
Jennifer Barbour is a copywriter, blogger, author and new media consultant. She aims to inspire, to entertain and to make you think. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome family and bacon, though not necessarily in that order. You can find out more at anotherjennifer.com.