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Editor's Note: ONE Girls and Women and Heifer International took a group of likeminded writers to Malawi for a week to witness firsthand how strong African leadership and smart donor investments in girls and women can help fight poverty and preventable disease. The following post originally appeared on the ONE blog.

Photo by Karen Walrond

Our trip started on Mother’s Day; fitting since we were a group of mothers and daughters from the US visiting mothers and daughters in Malawi. The trip was full of love and joy, learning and friendship, and a profound sense of connection. Connection every where we went.

My traveling companions have written beautifully and prolifically about the trip (links to which are below), but I wanted to feature some curated highlights exploring this theme of connection. Here below, each of our writers has chosen their favorite photo, the one they most connected with, and explained the reason the image represents the quintessence of the trip.

Photo by Meredith Walker

“This is one of my favorite photos from the trip because I witnessed Cindy (the woman in pink) connect with the people she and Heifer work for every day. Watching her in this moment was the link between putting a check into an envelope and seeing how every donation matters. And I love that the ONE bag is in the photo!” ~Meredith Walker

red bricks stacked under a blue sky
Photo by Rachel Faucett

“The brilliant sky and handmade bricks in this photo sum up so much of what we experienced. We met farmers, women, parents, children and babies who were strong and beautiful. They were all building their communities on a foundation that Heifer helped establish and it was incredible to witness.”   ~ Rachel Faucett

Photo by Ana Flores

“There’s so much I love about this photo and the moment it was taken in Thoylo, a rural village in Malawi. When I asked her if I could take her picture this mother quickly grabbed her child (the one crying) and flashed me her biggest smile. What I was able to capture was a moment of joy and the real warmth for which Malawians are well-known.”~ Ana Flores 

To see more favorite photos, check out the orginal post on the ONE blog.