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Blogging From Remote Villages

Kelly Ranck ’10, Africa Communication Liaison, World Concern

Kelly RanckKelly Ranck: Communication major, Global and Urban Ministry minor

To meet the people whose stories she would share with supporters of Seattle-based nonprofit World Concern, Kelly Ranck flew from her home in Nairobi, Kenya, to N’Djamena, Chad. Then she took two U.N. flights in “crazy small airplanes” and landed in a field near Goz Beïda — a base for development organizations working in a nearby refugee camp. From there, she traveled in a Land Rover for two more hours through rivers and bushes, along dry river beds in lieu of roads, until she got to a village.

Over three-and-a-half weeks in that Chadian village, she interviewed residents, took 4,000 photographs and hours of video, and heard countless stories. Many of the people she met are returning to what remains of their villages years after their homes were destroyed by the Janjaweed militia. Their stories and those of many other Africans are told on Ranck’s blog (

The needs for food, shelter, water, and health care are great. One mother Ranck met watched four of her children die of preventable diseases. Through World Concern’s “One Village Transformed” program, U.S. supporters can give communities a chance to rebuild. “It’s a holistic approach,” Ranck says.

In her job, she uses communication skills developed at SPU — even public speaking — and the cross-cultural perspective she gained from her global and urban ministry minor.

“The learning curve is massive,” says Ranck, who has nearly completed the first year of a two-year contract, “but I feel really confident that this is where I’m supposed to be.”

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