Some of the best things either of us have done started with a simple question: “what if we…?”
Late last year we found an organisation that is doing amazing work in women’s health in the south of Bangladesh and planned to spend a few weeks volunteering there this year.
As we looked deeper into what Hope for Bangladesh was doing we were really inspired by them and promptly asked the question, “what if we tried to do this for longer? Much longer.”
The idea of working together on the same project excited us. We’ve been supporting each other in our work but the most fun we’ve had is establishing Epic Table and adventuring around the world together. These are things we’ve done together and we want to do much more of that in the future.
Individually we’ve both been drawn to underserved people our whole lives. We’ve both volunteered in orphanages in different countries. Whitney’s favourite births as a midwife have always been with refugee moms and families with unusual cultures. I’ve worked in rural areas of Africa setting up more culturally fitting technologies and volunteered with AIDS orphans.
So when given the opportunity to make a move into the humanitarian world we’ve decided to jump on it.
We’ve packed up all our things, popped them in storage, sold our cars and moved off to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh until next summer.
Whitney is doing deliveries in the Rohingya refugee camp as well as teaching at the brand new midwifery school there.
Ricky is applying what he has learned working with innovation practice and design thinking to bring human centered solutions to unique problems in the area.
This also dovetails perfectly with the Masters degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Community Based Global Health she is starting in fall since the new midwifery training she will be involved with is equipping the community to sustain its own women’s health solutions.
We plan to continue Epic Table, just moving it a bit east (13000km or 8200miles). If you are at all interested in hosting Epic table here in Kansas City please reach out.
We’re really excited to keep sharing this journey with you!
We are staying in Cox’s Bazar:
If you have any desire to travel somewhere unusual in the next year please consider visiting us.
This is a volunteer thing we’re doing so we’re funding ourselves. If you feel like contributing please donate at our GoFundMe or with no fees on with square cash ($RickyCatto). We will use the donations for flights, vaccinations, accommodation, insurance and to continue Epic Table. Also, if you know of reliable ways to make money online please let us know.
The Rohingya refugee crisis is worth reading about. BBC describes them as the most “the worlds most unwanted people” and the UN says that the genocide they have faced is “textbook ethnic cleansing”. The camp we will be volunteering in is the biggest refugee camp in the world by 3 times and has the highest population density of any area on earth. 1.3 million people living in tarp tents with no place to call home while dealing with brutal trauma.