The actress explains why she now has a new perspective on her life.
Olivia Holt had a memorable 2017 for sure. Not only was it an incredible year for her new music and television projects, but she also got the amazing opportunity to partner up with WE Movement on a trip to Africa. In July, the star journeyed to Kenya, and now she explained in a new interview why she is forever changed by the people she met there.
“This year was a busy one for me. I’ve spent a lot of time promoting my music and working on all of my projects, so I decided early on in the year that I wanted to do something for somebody else. Whether it was helping out in my community in L.A. or taking a trip abroad,” Olivia shared. “Coincidentally, the same week that I was talking to one of my friends about what I wanted to do, the WE Movement team reached out to me and asked if I wanted to go to Africa with them.”
“I learned about the WE Movement two years ago when I participated in WE Day, one of the events that they do every year. Their mission is amazing because they work to make an impact both locally and globally in communities that need to have a voice,” she explained. “It was there that I found out about the trips that they go on every year to three different villages—one in Ecuador, one in India, and the one in Kenya that I visited called Maasai Mara.”
Olivia explained that she had a very hands-on experience working with a school in Kenya. She was greeted with open arms by the students there, and they made a major impact on her.
“Our group was small—just me, my friend, and a couple of faculty that work at WE—but we were able to accomplish so much on our trip. In one week, we helped build wells for clean, filtered water, as well as some buildings for a girl’s school called Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School,” she shared. “While we were there, we got a tour of the campus, which was one of my favorite parts. The girls showed us the cafeteria and the lab rooms and all of the things that they have been learning. It was incredible to see everything that they’ve soaked up by being at that school. Probably 99 percent of the girls said that they now dream of going to a university one day because of it.”
Olivia shared that she is forever changed because of her experiences, and thinks about her life back home very differently.
“I gained so much perspective from being around them. There are a lot of things I feel like we take for granted, and that could be something big, like our education, our health, the air that we breathe, the water we drink, or it could be something small, like the shoes that we wear or the clothes on our back,” she said. “It definitely made an impact on the way that I cope with things in my life now because I know that there’s so much more going on in the world than the challenges that I struggle with. It sounds cliché to say the trip was life-changing, but it’s true. I remember thinking, I’m going to help these people and I’m going to make a change for them, not realizing that they were going to help me and make such a change in my life.”
To see a beautiful gallery of photos from Olivia’s trip, check out her Instagram gallery below.
What an incredible experience!