A2S Vision Trip 2023 Recap
Our teams are back! We had an amazing summer with this year’s Vision Trips. Programs included an Entrepreneur Workshop, our annual Pitch Competition, a workshop for our university scholars, vacation bible school, and more! Our U.S. volunteers and Nigerian staff spent lots of quality time together sharing expertise and experiences. We are so grateful for the opportunity to join our two sides of the harvest field once again.
Here’s what Team 2 participant, Pamela, had to say:
What an awesome opportunity to continue to partner with A2S! I was able to Give, Go, Get and Grow. That sounds like a gimmick but it really encapsulates the experience. Give – comes when I support both Faith Fuel and the kitchen staff (meal prep for over 250 is no small task). Go – traveling to Nigeria was great to see things on the ground, as they unfold, in the midst of everyone doing life with struggles and smiles. Get – nothing but joy is the reward for being able to impart a change for the good (no matter how big or small) and lastly, Grow – I remember when… A2S has planted seed in fertile soil and the blessings that have grown from this will change a generation. The dream is big and witnessing the reality of this growth is inspiring.
Launching and Scaling a Small Business
Doug Eichhorn and Lauren Margrave led this year’s Entrepreneur Workshop during the vision trip. They spoke to the art of starting small in the entrepreneurial space and how to effectively market for a small business. To hear how it went, check out these interviews conducted by our A2S Media team at the event:
And now for a fan favorite- Vacation Bible School! As usual, our kids had a BLAST. Topics covered included learning how to be a faithful steward and developing respect for authorities. Each grade level had their own crafts to create organized by our amazing Creative Coordinator, Uncle Festus. Our Vision Trip team got in on the fun with some read-aloud time and helping out with the various activities led by our teaching volunteers. Then on the last day we distributed their backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year!
Time with Scholars
While in Nigeria, our first team spent time with our University scholars. They covered topics from what to look for in a workplace, how to make yourself marketable, and more.
Mentorship is the Key to Success
Both of our Vision Trip teams spent time mentoring at our Youth Center and in our newly opened Nelms Entrepreneur Hub to share their expertise. They worked with our staff on a variety of professional development topics and answered pressing questions in one on one sessions with our entrepreneurs.
Congratulations to our Pitch Competition Winners!
This year’s pitches were amazing! Out of a pool of 80 applicants, our Venture Evaluation Team (VET) narrowed the field to 6 business teams for the competition. Before the big day, each team gave their “pre pitch” to our judges panel to receive initial input on their presentations. After a week to incorporate feedback, each team put their best foot forward on the big stage in Pete Johnson Hall. Our team of Nigerian and U.S. judges put their knowledge of their businesses to the test with their questions. Three winners are now moving on to our business incubator where they will be paired with a U.S. and Nigerian mentor to develop their business plan before the opportunity to receive funding in the form of a zero-interest loan up to $6,000.
Visiting our Families
Our Vision Trip teams took some time while in Nigeria to visit the homes of our featured FaithFuel beneficiaries. This was an awesome opportunity to see what a day in the life of our children and volunteers looks like and to spend some time in prayer and community with them. Each family received a framed photo that was professionally taken for their feature story. Here is a video from Jennifer as she reflects on her time visiting with our families:
Each team visited the local Internally Displaced Persons camp during their time in Nigeria. Each month our team in Nigeria brings food and other supplies to the camp to help sustain them during this difficult season. The camp is home to approximately 3500 widows and orphans who have fled terrorism in the northern part of Nigeria. We are so grateful to our donors and in-kind partners who have stepped up to help us provide monthly food, and an annual supply of clothing items and school supplies each year.
A special thanks to Morningstar Storage, a new A2S partner in Cornelius, NC that sponsors the storage of our in-kind donations while we organize and pack them to be shipped to Nigeria.
Emily’s Summer Experience
“A2S is revolutionizing what it means to be a Christian Mission in the 21st century both ethically and culturally competent, and so much more. What this means in practice is that everything A2S does is driven from the people on the ground in Nigeria.”
In Emily’s touching blog, she emphasizes that A2S is “not your typical Christian Mission,” and points out what she calls our “ethical and culturally competent approach,” driven by the needs and experiences of the local community in Nigeria. She gives the example that instead of relying on foreign aid, A2S sources food locally for its outreach program, which benefits vulnerable individuals in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp while also supporting the local economy.
Soulful Supper Tickets On Sale Now!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7th at 6 p.m. to join us at Vail Commons and Davidson. We’ll have a silent auction, catered Nigerian meal, and a special presentation you won’t want to miss!
Thank you for helping us share smiles, inspire hope, and empower dreams!