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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Passport Stamps and the Stories They Tell

National Geographic Traveler recently shared a photo essay through their Intelligent Travel blog, depicting various passport stamps from some of their contributors and the stories behind them. This got me thinking about my own passport and how much I treasure the stamps inside. The US State Department must realize that travelers tend to get sentimental [...]

I just did a write up about Hidden Baby on the VICDA website and wanted to share it with all of my readers. This is an admirable project to support a truly remarkable program. I’ve had the honor of visiting Happy Life several times and am so impressed with the work that is done there!


Butterfly BagThe mission of Hidden Baby is simple. They believe that “fashion should be about creating beauty and social change. Every Hidden Baby product has a baby hidden within the design to represent babies hidden from society’s sight.” A portion of the profits from all Hidden Baby sales is, then, donated to an organization that helps abandoned and forgotten children around the world. The Hidden Baby story is one of sisters coming together and merging their talents to create a fashion line that isn’t only unique and beautiful, but also sheds light on real life Hidden Babies. Founders Kelsey the artist and Courtney the activist, the sisters behind the line, were first inspired after visiting Happy Life Orphanage, in Kenya.


Happy Life Milk

Happy Life Children’s Home is an orphanage located on the outskirts of Nairobi. VICDA has been supporting this incredible project for several years by placing GVN Volunteers at the project…

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