Osteopath Kathy O’Callaghan-Brown told us that she didn’t hesitate in joining the #leagueofladies in part to give her an opportunity to challenge herself but also to give her a chance to help the woman of Malawi change their lives for the better.
Canadian Kathy came to study in the UK some 25 years ago and had intended to stay for just four years but, having met her husband, a fellow osteopath, she’s still not yet managed to get back. There has been a lot going on in her personal life recently and in a moment of “stop the world, I want to get off”, this expedition seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate what she is doing and where she is going. With two grown sons almost off her hands – one is already at uni and the other will be going next year, the timing is perfect.
In common with a lot of women who reach a significant birth milestone and with children leaving the nest, it is often the trigger for many to take stock and Kathy is no different – except that not everyone decides to join an expedition to Malawi to climb a mountain and also try to improve the lives of the local women!
Kathy and her husband have their own osteopathy practice where she is confident and comfortable in her own ability as an osteopath. Unlike many of the #leagueofladies she is not totally daunted by what Mount Malunje holds in store; it is the thought of the business workshop sessions that hold the most fear for Kathy as this will take her very much more out of her comfort zone.
When asked what Kathy was hoping to take from the expedition, Kathy said she had already reflected on her life and that’s before she has even left the UK. “I’ve been very lucky in my life; I’ve not had too many hardships”. She is inspired by what some of the women in Malawi have had to deal with and, in common with people in Kenya that she has seen when visiting, it is their capacity to remain so happy when they have so little in their lives compared to those in the Western world that is so striking and intriguing for Kate.
It can be easy to let the plight of people slip from your consciousness. We are empathetic to those less fortunate than ourselves while on holiday to amazing countries – give them money/buy local goods for example – but then, when we return to our first world comforts, we forget about them all too quickly. For Kathy, she is hoping that it will act as a springboard for her to come back and get more involved in creating lasting change for the better for the women of Malawi.
We look forward to catching up with Kathy to find out how she coped with the workshops and what her favourite part of the expedition was.