As most of you know, I am planning my volunteer trip through Me to We. Although Me to We has been a huge part of my life for the last decade, I realize many people may still be unaware of who they are as an organization! They have a great website, full of ways that you can contribute to the world around us! Joining the Me to We movement is one of the best choices I have ever made and I hope that through my journey I will be able to spread their message of working together and empowering each other to make a change!

Me to We is a social enterprise that aims to inspire youth around the world to work together and make a difference. Along with organizing volunteer trips to villages in Africa, India and South America, they also are home to many school groups for elementary and high school students. When I was a part of my high school’s Me to We club, we often held bake sales, can drives, coin drives, and the annual H2O Talent Show to raise money for a water well in Kenya. Through their charity partners, Me to We focuses on what they call “pillars” (or causes) that are addressed in all of their villages. These include providing clean water, accessible health care, sustainable farming, access to education and overall access to opportunity for youth in oppressed or impoverished communities. Through my volunteer work at home and at school, helping my own communities has become one of my favourite hobbies. Seeing people come together, help one another is what truly inspires me to make a change. Me to We’s focus in their We Villages is to create community connections and provide holistic aid to what ever that communities needs are! Amazing!

Me to We focuses on sustainability and creating a more equitable social world that will allow youth from every corner of the world to achieve their full potential and overcome adversity and oppression. It was started by children, and continues to be a source of inspiration for youth across Canada, emphasizing that the power of WE is greater than that of ME!

On my trip, I will be focusing on the issues of Women’s Empowerment, Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, Alternative income, and Food security. I know thats a ton of issues to address on a short 20 day trip, but I hope to be able to cover all of them! My trip is specifically a Women’s Empowerment trip which I am super excited about because women’s issues are currently my favourite topic and there is nothing I like more than lifting up my fellow sisters! To be able to see the community’s mothers daily routines will no doubt give me a different perspective on life and hopefully allow me to think of a way to help women in my own communities. As I am also super curious and interested in the Indian culture and way of life, I can not think of a more perfect way to learn about the real life issues that we only hear about through the media.

As Malala Yousafzai said, “we cannot all succeed if half of us are held back” and that is why these trips and women’s empowerment are soooo important. Not only for the immediate advantages it has in their daily lives, but because the future is female and we will not be able to progress as a race, or as humanity, if women are held back! Empowerment is so important and so easy! Hopefully we can all find a way to empower the women in our lives and in our community this summer that we can sustain throughout the year!

Cheers,

-Shan

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