Britney Jackson, CGPR’s Assistant Account Executive, just arrived in Kenya to work with our client LifeStraw. They will be teaming up to install water filtration systems at local schools and communities that don’t have access to safe drinking water. With every LifeStraw product sold, a child in need receives safe water for an entire school year. Here is Britney’s reflection on stepping out of her comfort zone, preparing to travel to remote locations in Kenya.

As I sit at my terminal in Boston, watching the planes move about the tarmac, it still hasn’t fully sunk in that when I get to my destination (tomorrow), I will be in Africa. Traveling to Africa has always been a dream of mine, but I find myself sitting here about to embark on a journey that is beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought I would find myself traveling to Africa with my client, LifeStraw.

Plane in the Distance

When asked about my trip, most people seemed perplexed when I told them I wasn’t headed to South Africa for safari. When I explained that I would be traveling to some of the more remote areas where schools don’t have access to safe drinking water, most reactions were “that sounds dangerous” or “aren’t you afraid to travel right now?” Short answer: yes and no. Am I a fearful flyer that is pushing myself out of my comfort zone by taking the longest flight I’ve been on to date? Yes. Am I afraid to push myself out of my comfort zone to better the lives of people who are in a less fortunate situation than mine? Absolutely not.

Ever since I’ve had the privilege to start working with LifeStraw over a year ago, I’ve always been in awe of the work they do. It quickly made me realize that I want to do something much greater, I want to make a difference. Having created a retail program to fund their mission to help eradicate Guinea worm disease and provide the world with safe drinking water, for every product purchased, LifeStraw provides students in a developing country with access to safe drinking water for an entire school year. To date, LifeStraw has helped more than 3 million students gain access to safe drinking water, and it seems surreal to me that not only will I be meeting many of these children, we will be reaching approximately 100,000 more children during this trip.

Led by two of the most inspiring women I’ve had the pleasure to meet: Alison Hill, CEO and Tara Lundy, head of brand, LifeStraw not only is inspiring because of their social impact program, but they’re also helping pave the way for female leadership in an industry where women have been largely under-represented.To say this experience is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would be an understatement.

It’s hard to sit here while I write this journal entry and not reflect on my own life and anticipate the culture shock I’ll
experience once I see the differences between my daily life and that of those living in north western Kenya. I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I have this opportunity to travel to Kenya and make a difference in the lives of others.