This spring, I’m going on a little adventure. I hope you’ll come along? Where I’m going may seem foreign and unknown, but it’s also magical. It’s a place where the children sing a bit louder, jump a little higher, and are quick to take your hand. They brighten the entire day with the quick flash of a smile. They are vibrant and full of hope. They live in Africa.

I’m going to Zimbabwe where I will spend a week at a Village of Hope, a small community that takes in abused, orphaned, abandoned & poverty-stricken children, in a positive, caring atmosphere. I’ll be put to work building a home that will shelter 9 orphans and a house mom. They will have access to school, a medical clinic, and most of all, security and love.

Afterwards, I’ll be traveling to a remote area of western Zimbabwe where I will visit a village supported by World Vision. I’m keen to see first hand the work that aims to support and protect children, while enabling a community to become sustainable, providing education, health services and agriculture. In 2012, Canadians sponsored more than half a million children around the world.

My next stop on this trek will be Ethiopia, a country rich in cultural heritage. UNICEF has long been active in Ethiopia, striving to educate children while keeping them safe and healthy. I’ll be visiting an area in northern Ethiopia that is unfortunately plagued by poverty, landmines and drought. These things often overshadow what’s at the core of what UNICEF aims to do – invest in the future of children, giving them the tools they need to overcome adversity.

On this adventure, I will simply be a messenger. I want to be able share this message of hope, dispel the image of devastation and despair, and celebrate those bright smiles and eager minds. I want to let them know we care.

This is far bigger than me and my stories and photos. It’s all about connecting communities. We’ll learn about them, but let’s show them who we are too – that we are kind, caring and generous. That we’re willing to slice off a bit of our good fortune and share it with others, even if they’re half a world away. Let’s show them our hearts.

Here’s my request – a trade. I’ll pack a little bit of your kindness to bring along on my trip. I’ll swap it there for stories of how your generosity made a difference, made a child smile. And we can all make the world a bit brighter.

Ethiopian Airlines has been a generous sponsor, so all funds raised will be directed towards these three projects.

You can learn more on this website.

Here’s a super easy way to contribute.