Condé Nast Traveler’s first ever Visionaries issue features celebrities and activists who are changing (and challenging) the world. Drew Barrymore graces the cover for the inspiring work she has done and continues to do in Kenya.
“I want to explore and become more socially aware,” says Barrymore. She traveled with writer Susan Hack to rural communities in Kenya where, she, through the World Food Programme, has given a brand new primary school, food for children, and wells that are “life-altering” for the villagers. “Fetching water was our burden as women, even when we were heavily pregnant,” Mungelina Lekakaile, a 54-year-old grandmother tells Barrymore. “I am so happy because now we don’t have to think about water. We and our children can focus on other things.” “Travelers should look at the harsh realities of a place but balance that with seeking its beauty. It’s important to acknowledge the reality of how the world functions but also to keep a sense of hope,” says Barrymore.
Drew Barrymore on feelings after reading an article about impoverished Kenyan children who walked miles to reach schools that represented their only route out of poverty (which then caused her to reach out to the UN and the World Food Programme):
“I was really moved. I never went to school myself. I was doing a job and didn’t have a kids life. I wanted to learn more about why these kids were so passionate, walking so far and overfilling their classrooms.”
...on feeling awkward about her initial meetings with communities she hoped to help:
“I didn’t want to be on a soapbox, this Westerner living in a bubble, so on the first trip I was a little nervous. I asked questions and listened a lot...”
...on visiting these kids in Kenya and learning about what they want to be when they grow up:
“It’s amazing to me that the kids mention professions which involve helping others, that they are naturally philanthropic. People can feel unconfident about sending money into the void of a charity. But when you find something like this that speaks to your heart, it gives you the courage to look beyond your own problems and take the first small steps to try as an individual to make an impact.”
See the full article HERE.
Photo credit: Brigitte Lacombe/Condé Nast Traveler