The answer is for work and because I’m a lucky SOB!
The purpose of this trip to film a service project which will be used in MTV’s Inauguration special on January 20 (live at 10pm on MTV). The basic premise of the show on Jan 20 is to highlight and encourage service. We saw record setting involvement of young peeps during the 2008 Presidential elections and in an effort to keep that momentum going, we want to highlight some cool ways young people are getting involved in hopes of inspiring people to stay active or take action for the first time. We will be filming live on inauguration night from Obama’s Presidential Inauguration Committees official “Youth Ball”. During this live event there will be performances by Kanye West, Rihanna, and Fall Out Boy, President Obama will come and share some assumingly inspirational remarks directed towards youth people, and we will highlight 3 service projects currently underway. One is taking place in DC to fix up a school in partnership with Service Nation, one in New Orleans with The Lower Ninth Ward Project to help rebuild a home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and lastly the project I am working on which is to build a computer lab at a school in Kenya in partnership with Millennium Promise.
Per Millennium Promise’s website, “Africa has the greatest proportion of people living in extreme poverty- more than 40 percent or roughly 300 million people living on less than $1 a day. With rural communities stuck in a poverty trap, they’re unable to make the investments in human capital and infrastructure required to achieve self-sustaining economic growth. The Millennium Villages project, organized by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, offers a bold, holistic model for helping rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty by focusing on agriculture, health, education and infrastructure.”
For our project, we will work with the Millennium Villages Project in Lihanda, Kenya – about 20km from the western village of Nyangoma-Kogelo where Obama’s father grew up and where his grandmother still lives (what a beautiful tie in for the inauguration night, right?). We will help create a computer lab at Omindo Primary School, which will give young Kenyans some of the tools they need to expand their education and get connected to the rest of the world. Once completed, the new lab will provide computers and Internet access to over 400 students that attend the school as well as the thousands of others living in the village.
Im traveling on the trip with Sean (producer), Steve and Jordan (cameras) and Tim (host).