Meet our newest U.S. team member, Bryan Farrar. Bryan joined the CARE for AIDS team in June as our Donor Engagement Officer. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better…
Tell us about yourself- your family, where you grew up, etc.
I grew up in Conyers, Georgia, about 30 miles east of Atlanta, where I lived until I went to Berry College. After I graduated from Berry with a Public Relations degree, I worked for Youth With A Mission in Maui, Hawaii for about three years as their Director of Communication, and had the incredible opportunity to work in international projects with them throughout Southeast Asia. After moving back to Atlanta five years ago, I worked with several businesses, but I’m excited to get involved with non-profit ministry work again!
I just got married about 10 months ago to the great love of my life, Jennifer. We live just north of Atlanta with our golden retriever, Riley. We are love exploring the world around us, traveling internationally, learning about new cultures and being outdoors as much as possible. My parents still live in Conyers, and my sister, brother in law and two nephews live in Atlanta. I also have what seems like countless aunts uncles and cousins around Atlanta and the southeast, which makes for a lot of large, loud and extremely fun get togethers.
Tell us about how you got connected to CARE for AIDS.
I initially heard about CARE for AIDS back in 2012, when I met Justin at a friend’s house in Nairobi. I was visiting with another ministry, but was intrigued by CFA’s holistic approach to caring for individuals with HIV/AIDS, and the larger vision of orphan prevention. A year and a half later, I returned to Kenya with CARE for AIDS on an impact trip. After seeing the transformation in our client’s lives in action, I fell in love with how sustainable and empowering the program is.
Over the next year and a half, I began to get more involved with CARE for AIDS here in Atlanta, while at the same time looking at opportunities that would allow me to mix my love of the nonprofit world with the business skills I had. When the Donor Engagement Officer position was announced, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to connect people with a great cause that served a need in the world that I’m passionate about.
What are you most excited about as you start your work with CARE for AIDS?
I’m excited about two main things. First, I’m really looking forward to meeting with the amazing people that make CARE for AIDS a reality. The staff and donors that I’ve met in my first few days here have been gracious and encouraging, and I’m excited about hearing how any why each of our partners are involved with CARE for AIDS.
Second, I’m really eager to take some of our donors to Kenya. I absolutely love it there, and in my opinion, an Impact Trip is hands down the best way to get a sense of how much our program does to empower our clients to be great husbands, wives, parents and productive members of their communities.
You have gone on two Impact Trips with CARE for AIDS- what were your biggest takeaways from each trip?
My first Impact Trip was really eye opening to me. You hear so much about the AIDS epidemic in Africa, but it seems like such a complicated problem to address that for me it led to a sense of helplessness. I didn’t feel like I could do anything to bring a meaningful change to an issue so pervasive. Seeing the CARE for AIDS centers in action and talking with clients about their experiences convinced me that even a small investment in the right program makes a lifetime of difference.
My most recent Impact Trip, this time as a brand new staff member, was really fun. I had a great time reconnecting with some of my friends on our Kenyan staff and seeing the growth of our church partners, especially the church in Kayole, which Jenn and I have been a part of supporting for the last few years. Its huge compared to a few years ago! I got to ask a lot more questions about why our programs are set up the way they are, and talk more about what the future holds for opening new centers. It was really fun to see some of the team who were first time visitors to Kenya fall in love with our clients, staff and the CARE for AIDS model.
How can we be praying for you?
Pray for patience! I’m really excited to get started, but I also know that it’s important for me to learn as much as possible in the next few months about the ins and outs of CARE for AIDS. I want to be prepared and well informed as I meet with prospective donors so that I can give them a clear picture of what we do, how we do it and why it’s important.