Heading to Ethiopia for new adventures

Travelling is probably my most long-lasting passion. It is probably the reason behind most of my life choices. When I talk about travelling, though, I am not hinting at sitting on a beach sunbathing, or wandering around a city map-in-hand. That is also good, sometimes. But what I am talking about now is travelling as discovering.

Flavia writing. I have been collaborating with Embrace for almost six months now, and thanks to that my life is about to change, again. When I started my university path, almost ten years ago, I was not really sure how to answer the “what do you want to do in life” question. I knew that I loved languages, so I started to study Chinese, hoping that it will develop in something. It did. China is home to the first unknown culture, people and language that I discovered, a discovery that started the current Myself.

Another piece of my soul, however, is Nature. Working as a journalist for several years has been another life-changing experience for me, as doing that I discovered how much I did not like the world as it is now, how much I cared about protecting the environment, how much I wanted to make my bit in fighting inequality and trying to improve the world, even just a tiny piece of it.

Coming to London, I learned more about sustainable development, about the conditions in several developing countries and how to make an impact on the local circumstances. I therefore decided that my future would have been in international development.

That’s why last February I started volunteering for Embrace. The team welcomed me amazingly, and most of all they offered me the possibility to pursue my dream. It has not been easy. You need to work hard, you need to put all yourself in following what you want to do, creating your future possibilities. As an International Environmental Projects Assistant, I started to follow every phase of the projects abroad, from planning to delivering. Working hard and applying myself, thanks to the support of Embrace’s team I am finally about to start a brand new exciting adventure.

Next month I will be in Ethiopia, first time in Africa for me. A new partnership between Embrace and Partners for Health, a local NGO, is about to build Urban Green Spaces in Addis Ababa. Housing estates in the capital of Ethiopia are well equipped with services but lacking vegetation. At the same time, part of the population is suffering from HIV, discrimination, lack of opportunities, while children often grow without a safe place to play and develop. The purpose of our project there is giving people Green Spaces To Be, involving the population in improving their own lives. During my several-weeks visit there I will be following the planning as a whole, from authorisations to preparation, trainings, events and so on.

What Embrace is giving me is, simply, the opportunity to fulfil my dream. The opportunity to change my life again. But this is not just for me. Everybody can have the same possibility, if and only if you are prepared to put efforts, to sacrifice yourselves and to have the courage to do so. What my little experience can teach is just the importance of changing, being willing to try, following your aspirations, whatever they are.

Larry Bird once said "I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end”. I believe this is not just about basketball.

Flavia Cruciani