Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't allow Africa to become the forgotten continent!

In the past, Africa has been to referred as the “forgotten continent” and sadly with so much going on in the world this may well again be true.

However, my experience with people in countries like Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana has been one of joy, perseverance, and resilience. Not the poverty pornography that has been displayed across our TV screens. Working in partnership with people in need can be such an illuminating, loving, and rewarding experience.
I just got back from spending time with communities in Kenya and Uganda and my passion has been refuelled. I was touched once again by the power of personal connection and I urge everyone to please consider a volunteer placement today. Whether or not you can give two weeks or ten weeks of your time, you can make a difference and change the lives of those in need.

Please review our program options and help put Africa back in focus:

With gratitude,

Colin Salisbury
GVN Founder and President

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Haiti - Art for Change

The devastation that occurred in Haiti touched every one of us and I think we have all dealt with the pain and sadness in our own way. From volunteering to fundraising to prayers, each of us are giving what we can. Today I would like to introduce you to Kelsey Montague, a remarkable young woman who is helping in the best way she knows how - through her art. Kelsey has created a series of Haiti pen and ink drawings exclusively for GVN Foundation. Her unique work incorporates 'drawings within drawings', giving each print multiple meanings, emotions and perspectives. The drawings were inspired by both the plight of the Haitian people and by their indomitable spirit.

"After the news broke about the earthquake, and the immense loss and suffering of the Haitian people, I felt a terrible sense of helplessness. I wanted to contribute in any way that I could, and the most natural way for me was through art," says Kelsey.

"I was incredibly fortunate to travel to Haiti and to see the fortitude of a people who have lost so much but have such a will to recover and try to re-build their lives. I was most struck by the beauty and kindness of the Haitian people. On our last day in Port-au-Prince, after a gruelling 10-hour day, we were meeting with a group of GVN volunteers when the camp leader leaned over to tell me that some of the Haitian women who were cooks in the compound had rushed to prepare a meal for us. Even though we had only been there an hour, they had managed to put together a feast. These women had endured so much loss, and yet they wanted to share with us. I was both humbled and inspired by their generosity.

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the situation in Haiti because the needs are so great, but this is exactly why we must get involved. When a nation of people has lost everything, even the smallest gesture is a great gift. Every effort, no matter how large or small, will have an impact, whether through donations, volunteering or spreading the word and encouraging friends and family to get involved," says Kelsey.
The common theme running throughout Kelsey's drawings is the message of hope for a people who have endured so much, yet have such strength, passion and faith in the future. Please show your support by sharing her artwork with your friends and family or by purchasing one of the drawings which will give the gift of hope to so many. 50% of the sale price of each print will go directly to the Haiti Relief Fund.


With gratitude,

Colin Salisbury
Founder and President