At the 57th Commission on the Status of Women. Photo: author

I’m Kasha and I’m 15 years old. I’ve been interested in social justice since I was 8. As I’ve grown up, I’ve been learning about serious issues facing our world in a variety of settings — classrooms, textbooks, public presentations, through media and online — but I’ve never had the opportunity learn about many of them in the most important way, which is first-hand.

Last year I got that chance with my very first trip abroad, to Cuba. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I arrived late at night and as I peered out the bus window, even with the little I was able to see, I got a sense that Cuba was very different than what I was used to. As much as I enjoyed my winter break off school and hanging out at the beach, I was more interested in exploring life outside of the resort in the surrounding cities as much as we could. There I got to see people in their natural environments and it was a culture shock for me to see the extremely different way of life compared to the one back home.

Shortly after I returned from Cuba I had the opportunity to go to the UN as a youth delegate at the 57th Commission on the Status of Women. I met many people who gathered at this conference from all over the world. This got me one step closer to knowing more about the world and the issues I cared about but I still hadn’t experienced their world first hand.

I returned from the UN and saw an online contest with GAdventures to pitch an idea that would change the world. I entered my idea Picture the Power of People with A Purpose; (This is where The Global Sunrise Project really got its beginning.) I didn’t make it as one of the finalists, but I came really close and my mom was open to exploring the idea of how I could turn this into a reality. That’s when this huge gathering of travel bloggers and writers (TBEX) rolled into town and my mom and I decided to see check it out. I was so happy because that’s where I met Lola Akinmade Akerstrom who would soon become my photography mentor on the project.

So, what is The Global Sunrise Project? It’s an exploration of what it means to be a global citizen. In March, 2014, I will be travelling with my mom. Our first stop will be the United Nations to attend the 58th Commission on the Status of Women and then hopefully we’ll be off to South America, Africa, and South East Asia where I will film inspirational stories of hope and resilience of people I meet along the way. I want to document the beauty of people and places and show why we need to care more, connect more. I find it important to travel now because the experience could really help shape my path beyond high school. I hope you’ll join me online for that journey.

To support this project, Please visit our website, make a donation if you feel inspired, and help by spreading the word.

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