Barbara Grantham – Travel Diary, Part 1

From left to right: Michelle Nuun (CEO for CARE USA), Dennis (lead staff for Live Well), Loveness (community health entrepreneur), and Barbara Grantham (President and CEO for CARE Canada). Gift/CARE Zambia. Gift/CARE Zambia.


By Barbara Grantham, President and CEO, CARE Canada

Recently I returned from my first trip to visit CARE projects in Africa since I became President and CEO of CARE Canada in April 2020. It was a wonderful and inspiring visit to Zambia and Morocco, meeting incredible people and learning how CARE and our partners are supporting women’s leadership. Here is an excerpt from the diary I kept throughout my travels:

Gift/CARE Zambia

Day 1

Today I had the privilege to meet with some of the leadership team of CARE’s SHE SOARS project, which is delivering inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people in Zambia, as well as Kenya and Uganda. It was a terrific visit with Chikwe Mbweede, the Country Director of CARE Zambia, along with SHE SOARS senior team members Marjorie, Lason and Chiloto, and Jenny Hill, a senior Canadian diplomatic representative in Zambia.

Outside the CARE office in Zambia. Outside the CARE office in Zambia. Barbara Grantham/CARE Canada.

Day 2

I arrived in Chipata, in the Eastern Province of Zambia, and had the privilege of meeting the amazing CARE Zambia team who are doing remarkable work. There I teamed up with Michelle Nunn, the CEO of CARE USA, as she finished a four-country trip in East Africa. 

Once the CARE USA delegation arrived, we all headed off to meet with various members of the United Nations teams in Zambia. From there, we headed to the CARE Zambia head office in Lusaka to meet the rest of the team. CARE Zambia hosted a special evening to celebrate the 30th anniversary of CARE in Zambia, where government officials, CARE staff, partners and peers, private sector supporters, donors, and other ‘fans’ of CARE joined us. 

CARE Canada President and CEO Barbara Grantham stands with CARE USA CEO Michelle Nunn in Zambia. Myself (left) and Michelle Nunn, CEO of CARE USA. Barbara Grantham (center), Jerimiah (left) and Faith (right). Photo with Jerimiah (left) and Faith (right), co-chairs of the SHE SOARS Youth Youth Advisory Board.


Today, we headed out early, and flew to Zambia’s Eastern Province, and into Mfuwe-the closest airport to the towns where CARE teams are located. From there we headed for Chipata, a city further east, close to the Malawi border, and spent the afternoon visiting the District Health Commissioner. He is a key government partner for CARE in this country.

We then had the opportunity to see the Live Well social enterprise founded by CARE about 12 years ago. The project tells a remarkable story of providing women with experiences and expertise in community health, entrepreneurial skills, and how to run their own businesses. 

During my visit I had the opportunity to speak to Loveness, one of Live Well’s community health entrepreneurs. She told me that Live Well and CARE have supported her in securing education for her children, independence for herself, and opportunities for her family.

As she and I walked from her house back to the CARE bus, Loveness quietly said to me: “My friends say I am a superwoman.” I could not agree more.

That evening, Michelle, her team, and I were delighted to join about 40 CARE staff in the Eastern province for dinner, to thank them for all they do, and to make sure they feel part of our international family. The maple syrup candies from Canada were a great addition to dessert!

Barbara, Loveness, and Chikwe standing together and chatting. Barbara, Loveness, and Chikwe , Country Director for CARE Zambia. Gift/CARE Zambia.

Read the full diary

Part One Part Two Part Three


A woman with a wrench? ‘Why not?’ asks Jordan’s Ra’edah Abu Al...

Read More

Quiz: How much do you know about women’s rights around the world...

Read More

SHE SOARS podcast: Youth-led activism on Sexual and Reproductive Healt...

Read More