The Woman Behind “Caring for the Children of Africa”

Take a moment to read this piece I wrote for the VICDA website about my dear friend and inspiration, Annie Copley. I first met Annie in Nairobi in 2006 and had the pleasure of reconnecting with her back in Kenya in 2009. Since her first volunteer stint with VICDA Annie has raised over $100,000 to benefit specific projects. I’m trying to coordinate my next trip to Kenya so that I once again overlap with this remarkable woman!



Annie Copley of Adelaide, Australia first journeyed to Kenya as a GVN volunteer in 2006. Little did she know, the three months spent counseling HIV/AIDS patients in Nairobi’s slum areas would completely change the direction of her life. “This work has not only changed my life, it has become my life,” says Annie, ” I have a deep sense of gratitude today for the people of Kenya who, with their quiet strength and hope, teach me about real love, patience and tolerance.”


Not long after her return to Australia Annie and her dear friend, Lauro Martire, hosted their first fundraising dinner at Lauro’s restaurant, East Terrace Continental. Held in November of 2007, that first dinner raised $11,000 – funds that were sent to VICDA at a time of great need, following the election violence of December 2007. With the money raised by Annie and Lauro’s dinner, VICDA was able to…

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March 22nd is World Water Day!

Today is, once again, World Water Day!

Jenn Winter

Today, March 22nd, is World Water Day.  So, pause for a moment and raise a glass of nice, clean water and appreciate it.

It’s something I don’t think about that much while I’m home.  It’s just there.  In a pink Britta filter in my fridge, flowing freely from faucets in my kitchen and bathroom.  It flushes my toilet, rains down on me in the shower, cleans my dirty dishes and clothes, waters my plants and fills my dog’s water bowl.  On a chilly spring day like today, it falls from the sky, slowly turning the grass green and bringing the trees back to life after a long, cold winter.  In a few months, it will be a source of entertainment as we retreat to beautiful Lake Michigan for swimming, sailing, waterskiing… In short, Chicago is pretty blessed when it comes to this seemingly unlimited resource.

But, when I travel, water…

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Taking Better Travel Photos

I've admired Jim Richardson's images for many years and even had the opportunity to hear him speak a few years ago as part of the National Geographic Live series in Chicago.  Sometimes the difference between a good photo and an amazing photo is perspective.  Shooting only from eye level won't yield the same shot taken [...]