Be The Change - Rachel K Varanelli

→ Be the change you want to see in the world ←

In 2013, I headed to Zimbabwe with a great friend of mine who  started a non-profit organization called 2 Seconds or Less. '"2SOL" is dedicated to ending childhood malnutrition by providing sustainable solutions to hunger. Through planting nutrition gardens at government schools, 2SOL creates empowerment and leadership opportunities for students to learn that they can overcome the cycle of poverty and change their worlds.' Now,the 'gardening' that we did there is nowhere near the definition we have here in the States. We started by using humble African hoes to cultivate the desert ground. Once we finally got past the deep surface of dry dirt  and rid of all the brush, weeds, and overgrown bushes, it was time to protect the garden from  any type of stray cattle or wild animals by building a fence. We drenched the large, wooden posts with an environment friendly, anti-

termite magical potion, dug holes several feet deep, and hammered them into the ground. We made a perimeter around the garden with the posts as well as nailed the chicken wire to the posts to protect the plants. The days were long, yet rewarding. The eternal difference that was being made far exceeded the temporary hand blisters and pulled muscles we all acquired. While were there, we not only helped to create numerous gardens, but we also cultivated relationships with the people in several villages of Zimbabwe. Relationships of mutual respect. Relationships of trust. Relationships that would go beyond a single visit. Relationships with the kids. Oh man, the kids! We LOVED spending time with the kids. They were full of such joy, despite their homes and lives  that were drenched in poverty.  Their laughs and excitement when we would step foot onto the school grounds still echoes in my ears. They would follow us wherever we went. When they got out of school for the day, they would line the perimeter of the fence and watch as we dug, planted, and watered the plants. One day, we arrived at the worksite and they had filled up their empty bottles from home with water so that we wouldn't have to walk the distance to the water hole to gather it ourselves! They wanted to serve us because they saw that we had comet to serve them. They called us "the white people who came to save their lives." Man. If that's all that I accomplished in my life, I'd be okay with it. Their grateful hearts filled ours and created an awareness of God's presence there. I could sit here and tell you so many stories of incredible encounters with people, God's provision, and even some of the difficulties that grew our strength, but I'll have to save those for a coffee shop date with you.

 Although I returned home, a piece of my heart will always be in Zimbabwe with 2SOL. They have created a full-time ministry in Zimbabwe and are constantly sending more interns each year to help change the status of malnutrition and to make an eternal, thriving difference in the people. However, being a 'newer' non-profit organization, the number of supporters is not where I believe it should be, because this is an incredible organization. That is why Rachel Kimberly Photography has partnered up with 2 Seconds or Less to help support the fight against malnutrition in Zimbabwe. For each wedding that is booked with us, we will donate a portion of your package to help support 2SOL. Towards the end of my time with the people in Zimbabwe, our team learned a phrase in their native language of Shona: "Tese Takunda." It means 'together, we will overcome.'  (You may or may not see that tattooed on my forearm) I truly believe that you and your loved one can be a part of that. Because when you book with us, not only will you be investing in a wedding photographer to capture your magical day, but you will be investing in the lives of children and families in Zimbabwe.  

                                                                                                  Together, we will be the change in the world.

                

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