Goodmorning my loves!! I can’t believe we’re already 2 weeks into the new year! I’m still at the stage where I hesitate when writing “2019”! These past few weeks have been so busy and somewhat hectic… recovering from my emergency surgery (appendectomy), and celebrating the holidays and New Year all at the same time with my family from Hawaii. Now it’s back to work mode! Feeling especially motivated this year but before we leave 2018 behind, I wanted to share our final trip of the year with all of you, South Africa with Johnson & Johnson that brought so much perspective and awareness. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have travelled to such a dream destination with the most amazing group of people. Johnson and Johnson brought the group of us to South Africa to be part of the Global Citizen Festival which raised a commitment of over $7billion that will be used to help end extreme poverty in the world, as well as HIV, Neglected Tropical Diseases that can be debilitating and in some cases fatal, and more. Johnson & Johnson also made a major announcement about the incredible research they are doing and how close they are to creating a vaccine for HIV which would help to eradicate the virus within our lifetimes!
We were also privileged enough to be introduced to an incredible organization called mothers2mothers, which provides education and health resources to mothers who have contracted HIV so they know how to best take care of themselves and prevent spreading the virus to their own children. They also employ and train over 1000 women living with HIV and help them carry financial security for their families. During our trip, World Aids Day marked its 30th anniversary and we had the privilege of visiting the Dark City community to go into the homes and speak with some of the families that have been affected by HIV. I was so inspired to see these women who have not only taken control of the virus and learned how to live healthy lives with it, but also become mentors through mothers2mothers, and are now determined to be someone else’s hero.
Thandeka is a mother who has two children and is pregnant with her third and through mothers2mothers has been able to receive the education and health resources and support to keep from transmitting the virus to them. Eunice was another mother we met with, a registered nurse who also contracted the virus but was able to keep her children HIV negative much in part due to the support of @mothers2mothers. Both of these incredible mamas serve as Mentor Mothers with the organization, using their personal success stories to support new families affected by the virus and educating them and their surrounding communities to help break some of the stigma around it. Africa has a shortage of 4.2 million healthcare workers and this number is rapidly increasing. Mentor Mothers work at the understaffed health facilities in their local communities making sure that women and families get the support and medication they need. Real life heroes ❤️
We also did some sightseeing while in Johannesburg and couldn’t wait to get in some Safari time! I always had a small obsession with The Lion King growing up so this was a dream come true to see these beauties so up close and personal! It was surreal seeing elephants, monkeys, giraffes, and cheetahs walk right past our vehicle. I’ll never forget what it was like being so close to these beautiful creatures, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
I met some of the most warm, strong, and kindhearted people, alongside the most stunning natural beauty and diversity in cultures. I’m so grateful to have ended the year with the trip of a lifetime and something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life! I fell in love with this place and can’t wait to plan another trip back in the future. A HUGE thank you to Johnson & Johnson for this amazing experience, all that they are doing to help improve quality of life in these communities and ours, and for an adventure of a lifetime!
Roses for Fridays | by mia
Ohhh I hope you are feeling and doing much better by the day. Thank God it is over now looking on the bright side. Have yourself a fabulous week Mademoiselle Jessi!
🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog
Yes, I am doing way better <3 Thank you love :)
This is so inspiring <3 Thank you so much for sharing and hope you are feeling better Jessi! Take care of yourself :)
It was so inspiring to be there with all the wonder women that live out there. Thank you for stopping by love <3 xx
This looks like an amazing trip Jessi! I love the why behind this trip. I’m sure all these women are so thankful for the help from mothers2mothers and people like you :)
It was such an amazing trip. Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to do this and meet so many inspiring people <3
I recently came across this organization on instagram and was so inspired. I love anything that empowers women :) Also, I love these photos, they are so good!
Thank you love! The women that I met were so inspiring and so beautiful <3 Thank you for stopping by! xx
Such a heartwarming story! Good on you to participate and support and went on a safari as well, that must be so fun.
Yes, this trip was so amazing. So thankful for this experience 💕 xx
Such a wonderful trip! Enjoy to the fullest!
Thank you, love! Xx 💋
A Trendy Life
I visited Africa last year and it was a wonderful experience. I like your photos very much.
Aww really? Isn’t it? :)
It really is eye opening and in some ways life changing!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!! XX
Such a beautiful post! x
Thank you, love! Im glad you enjoyed it!!! 💕 Xo
What an amazing charity. I’m so happy for those women and all the others who benefit/ become mother mentors but it is also so sad how much Africa is lacking in medical workers. I had no idea it would be such a high number >< At least you're spreading awareness and hopefully it'll get better soon, especially with the big breakthrough with HIV vaccinations. All my prayers are sent to these women!! Looks like you had a really amazing time and, on a lighter note, I love all your outfits!!
Jenny | localleo.co.uk
It was so rewarding to go and experience this. It truly is an experience like no other. Something that can’t be explained. Thank you for being so passionate about this topic! & thank you for stopping by love :) xo
Girl this is amazing! You are such an angel!
x Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Aw thank you love! Hope you’ve had an amazing week thus far :) XX
Monique | Little Miss Mon Bon
What a gorgeous, smiling family you had the privilege of meeting <3 and you were there for such a good cause too! I love how glam you manage to look even on safari – I don't think you could look sloppy-casual if you tried!
Little Miss Mon Bon
Yes! They were incredible people! :)
Aw you are way too sweet! Thank you love ❤️ xx
Wow – your trip looked absolutely fab! ….and so do you!
I keep struggling to remember to write out 2019 instead of 2018 too lol!
Right? Haha time flies by way to fast! We are almost a month into 2019. So crazy!
Thank you for stopping by love 💕
Love this travel post Jessi. I’m still dreaming of visiting a safari :)
Beautiful outfit looks!
Thank you love 💕 you definitely should! It’s such an amazing experience!!!
Susanne - Bag at you
Wow your experiences sound and look absolutely amazing! Thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us! Btw, really loving that colourful dress on you, so chic! Big Xx Susanne – http://bagatyou.com
Thank you hun! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! It is so special ❤️
This is beautiful dear. So many beautiful faces out there. Incredible photos as always!
Jessica | notjessfashion.com
Aw yes! So many incredible people and stories! Thank you for stopping by love! :)
What a way to end the year! And I had no idea that Johnson&Johnson did anything like this. It’s a surprise to me, but a good one. We are set to visit South Africa in June and I am really excited too.
xx Jenelle | http://www.inspiringwit.com
Yes, babe! It is such a great an amazing cause to follow and be part of. Have a fabulous time out there, enjoy it as much as you can!!! :) xx
Such a great post!
Thank you love! I’m glad you enjoyed it! <3
This is so beautiful! I absolutely love the photos, super aesthetic and inspiring.
xGabi | http://gabiwahl.com
It was such an amazing time. I was so inspired by all the people! Thank you for stopping by <3 xx