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Jacqui McCarty is currently a resident of Lacombe, Alberta in Canada. She graduated from Burman University in 2016 with a B.A. in English and Art Minor. She started as an intern at A Better World Canada in 2013 and has worked as the Communications Specialist since graduation. In addition to her interest in humanitarian work, she loves to create—anything from poetry to painting to graphic design.
How did you first become involved with A Better World Canada?
I grew up around the same town where the organization was founded (Lacombe). My first trip with A Better World Canada (ABW) was in Grade 12. For our class trip, we decided that we wanted to become involved in an overseas mission, so we fundraised for this.
Eric, the co-founder and executive director of ABW, was the trip leader. The whole experience was very inspiring.
Travelling to a different country is something I would recommend for anyone as it helps provide a different perspective on what life is like outside of our own little bubbles. Being exposed to various lifestyles during my overseas travels has really inspired me to get more involved in community outreach and missions; anything that is not entirely about myself.
So you’ve travelled to Kenya on more than one occasion. Tell me how that opened up your eyes to the needs of the world.
I actually lived in Kenya for ten months as a student missionary during what would have been my second year of university (2012-13). This was probably the best year of my life. I went initially not knowing what position I would have but ended up being the registrar’s assistant and helping in the library running study hall. A month or so into the school year, I started teaching a grade nine math class.
Since then, I have been to Kenya five times, including when I was living there. The last time was just last February with ABW to conduct research into the organization’s impact and take photos and videos of our projects and initiatives.
Last year at one of Burman University’s Herr Lecture Series in Lacombe, I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Roméo Dallaire give a lecture. After he spoke, a young person around my age asked the question: “What can we do?” And he had quite a few call-to-actions for us to implement in order to take the steps needed to create positive change around the world.
One thing he recommended we do, is travel to a developing country so that we could know what it’s like being in another person’s shoes. Even though we can never fully understand what this is like, we can at least see what it’s like outside of our own comfort zones.
There are other people in the world that need help and don’t have the same privileges we do here. We are so blessed to be where we are. We can do a lot. Even if it’s just the smallest thing, by impacting or improving even one person’s life, we are one step closer to making the world a better place.
When would you say you first began to develop an interest in social issues?
As I’ve gotten older…