Walk the road less travelled in Africa


val a road less travelled http://aroadlesstravelled.net/

Australian nurse and midwife, Val Browning, has always lived a life less ordinary.
After moving to Northern Ethiopia three decades ago, Val married into a nomadic pastoralist community in the remote region of the Afar Desert, and has since spent her lifetime dedicated to improving the health and literacy of the Afar people, in conditions most of us would consider unliveable.

On 50 degree days in the blistering heat, Val walks across the desert to deliver mobile health clinics, vaccination programs and child and maternal health services, as part of her work with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association (APDA).

Despite battling with the pressures of extreme isolation, poverty, famine and misunderstood traditional cultural practices, Val has made significant improvements to literacy levels and improved service provision to the estimated one in ten women who die every year in the Afar region as a result of pregnancy or birth related complications.

Val will be visiting Australia from the 16 April 2012 as part of Anglicord’s The Road Less Travelled project, which is supported by the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) – an AusAID initiative. The project is aimed at supporting marginalised communities in Africa, to improve child and maternal health, food security, and water and sanitation levels.

Val will be joined by Florence Nderitu, a Kenyan nurse and midwife, and manager of the Mothers’ Union which provides safer birthing practices and improved child and maternal health outcomes in the Maasai communities of Naibor and Samburu. Florence has also spent many years providing support to individuals and communities afflicted by HIV/AIDS, and is Project Coordinator for the Kenyan arm of The Road Less Travelled project.

You will have the opportunity to hear their stories as they appear at a number of speaking engagements and media interviews during their stay in Australia.

Conversations with the Archbishop – ‘Is overseas aid worth it?’ Val Browning joins Dr Jonathan Crawford from Manna Gum in conversation with the Anglican Archbishop Phillip Freier. BMW Edge, Federation Square, Wed 18th April 2012, 7.30am -9.30am(free entry)

Make Poverty History: The road to 2015 – Photo exhibition launch and panel discussion
St.John’s Toorak, 80-86 Clendon Road, Toorak, Mon 23 April 2012, 5.30 pm -7.30pm
(RSVP on AVI website)

Life Matters ABC Radio National – Interview with Florence Nderitu, Thu 19 April 2012, 9.00am

3ZZZ Radio Women’s Hour – Interview with Florence Nderitu, Thu 26 April 2012, 10.00am

Florence and Val will also be taking part in speaking engagements at the Monash Medical Centre and Australian Volunteers International (AVI).

For further information on the road less travelled project in the Afar Desert region and the Maasai and Samburu communities in Kenya West, see our blog the ‘Road Less Travelled. www.aroadlesstravelled.net/blog

For more information on the Australian Volunteers International www.australianvolunteers.com

For all other information or interview requests please contact:
Fran Noonan, AVI Communications Coordinator
Phone: (03) 9279 1805
Mob: 0432 362 962
Email: fnoonan{at}australianvolunteers.com

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