A year ago I was blessed with an opportunity to check an item off my bucket list and visit Africa for the first time. Michelle Stumpe, founder of Children of Conservation, reached out and asked if I would be interested in going with them to document the opening of a new school in northern Zambia. Interested wasn't the word... thrilled is more accurate.
The challenge was being away from my three month old son for a couple weeks. After weighing my options I quickly accepted with no time to spare. I literally had 18 days to get all of the required vaccines and my yellow card added to my passport otherwise I would have been stopped at customs entering Zambia. Funny thing was that many of the vaccines were required to protect the animals, not myself. We would be interacting with orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya and rescued chimpanzees at Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage in Zambia.
Elephants and chimps were both dreams come true for me, but the highlight of the trip was getting to know the children and families of the small Twompane community where we were staying in Zambia.
A year before our trip, Children of Conservation began construction on a new school building which would offer education beyond the sixth grade level. To put that into perspective, until June of 2017 this small community's education stopped at the sixth grade. At that point children either found education opportunities outside of the village with very little transportation, or they began working in the farms or at Chimfunshi.
During this time I shot a couple thousand photos covering meetings with officials, safari expeditions, parties and celebrations honoring the work Children of Conservation is doing. I've pulled some selections featuring the Twompane community, some portraits and some landscapes, and published a book titled Faces of Zambia.