"Women hold up half the sky."
Our name is inspired by this saying from China. Does "half sky" sound familiar? Good! Maybe you have explored Nicholas Kristof + Sheryl WuDunn's inspiring movement: Half The Sky. Although unaffiliated, Half Sky Journeys supports several non-profit organizations whose work has a positive impact for women, girls, and children worldwide. Visit our Blog for links to more resources, and please drop us a line if you have a favorite we should know about!
Why It Matters
Evidence shows* that empowering women and girls is our best investment across sectors. But only a fraction of funding prioritizes women, and global women’s organizations struggle for visibility. Women everywhere are still denied access to basic rights: education, health, freedom from violence.
We design cross-cultural journeys to support the work of unsung heroes whose organizations are dedicated to social justice. We inspire their potential supporters, by showing how they can personally transform lives. We engage them through a travel experience that links them to a project’s success. We are driven to help potential traveler/activists to seize their own dreams—to travel, create meaning in their lives, and take action!
Who We Are
Half Sky Journeys was founded in 2010 by Ila Asplund, whose passion for travel and women’s empowerment was ignited over a decade ago, while studying textiles in Indonesia. She witnessed women’s profound and often unrecognized contributions. She gathered women’s stories in essays, fiction, poetry, and textiles as she explored Uganda, Egypt, and India. Immersed in international social justice work, she helped assemble a 2009 women’s fundraising trip to Cambodia. She later led a group of American philanthropists on an inspiring journey to Kenya and Rwanda. With sights on 2014 adventures, Half Sky is now working to increase impact by cultivating a Portland-based professional team. (Connect with us on LinkedIn to learn more about our experience and to view job opportunities.)
From the Founder
...What if I could create a bridge for others to reach the insights that come to us through authentic, cross-cultural encounters? With my feet on the earth and my soul elevated, Half Sky Journeys was the clear choice to name this new endeavor.”