#VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

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My name is Josh Moshenberg, and I'm a 17 year old photographer from Toronto. I have been in love with three things since I was very young: photography, travel, and helping the world. The journey to Kenya I just embarked on was an amazing mix of all three of those things. 

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

What motivated your decision to volunteer abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?
After discovering the organization WE.org at about age 12, I did a project on them for school. After learning more about them, I decided to raise money for them by raking lawns. I ended up making about $600 by the end of the summer. It felt like a million dollars to me, as a young kid. I just knew that as I grew up I wanted to continue to work with them and go to Kenya, and see the material I did a project on, first hand. I never got the chance, until a few months ago. My mom, Erica Ehm, and I were invited by WE.Org to go to Kenya, and experience it first hand. My only task was to photograph the trip, and some of their new products from their staples line! I couldn't have been more excited when I heard about it.

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

How did you find your job? What resources did you use?
After being a photographer for WE.org at their famous "WE day" concert, they knew about my services, who I was, and that I could get the job done for them. That's when I was offered the opportunity to take photos for them in Kenya.

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

What was your experience like? Can you share some favorite memories - and challenges?
When I first set out on the trip, I expected to enjoy it, but not come out a completely different human. I was wrong. When it was over and I had to leave, I was the most upset I'd ever been, and I was completely changed. I knew when I got home that I had to continue to make a change.

One of my favourite memories was meeting a student from Kisaruni girls school, and getting the chance to help her fulfill a dream she never got to pursue; playing the guitar. When I found out she wanted to play but couldn't because no one has a guitar at her school or village, I immediately ran and got mine. I taught her "three little birds" by Bob Marley in no time! Her smile will stick with me forever, and the feeling of giving her that will stick with me forever. 

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

I think one of the biggest challenges for me was actually wrapping my head around the fact that not all kids get to pursue their dreams, get an education, and essentially be who they want to be in life. It's just insane to me, and I knew I had to help change that.

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad?
I learned an endless amount of skills while in Kenya. To start, I learned the basics of building a school there, and I learned a little bit of Swahili! On the other hand, the Maasai warriors taught me so much about the different uses of the plants found around the Maasai Mara. Very useful knowledge. 

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

Has your experience helped you get to where you are today? 
Yes, in so many ways, it has. Today I know that I want to use my photography to help make the world a better place, and help fix the world, and embarking on this adventure helped to clear my vision, and show me what I really want to do in life: make a change. 

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

Any advice for students thinking about volunteering overseas? What are some highlights or things that you gained or changed your perspective?
My advice to students travelling overseas would be to always remember to keep an open mind. If you can't do that, you won't learn, and learning is the key to success. Knowledge is power. So, I'd say just always have an open mind in everything you do, no matter how different or scary it may be. Learn from it. 

What I discovered and what helped me a lot is to remember that when something looks hard, or you don't understand something, or it just seems impossible, look at it from a different perspective. Find a different perspective - one that will help you find a solution or understand better and help you deal with the situation.

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine
Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
The only other thing I'd like to share is that each and every person in this world has the power to make a change, or a difference in the world in their own way. Never be scared to try and make a change, it's the best thing you can do. The real heroes are the ones who are brave enough to show love! 

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

#VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

Learn more about Josh's Project Fingers to Fist
http://gunnther70.wixsite.com/joshmoshphotography/project-fingers-to-fist
http://canadianbloghouse.com/project-fingers-fist-josh-moshenberg/

Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

 

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Josh Moshenberg: #VolunteerAbroadBecause Changing Lives Changed Mine

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Josh Moshenberg

 

 

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