Inspiring lasting change, Amber Cayley
July 13, 2021
Between Two Worlds by Emma Outteridge is an autobiography about selfless compassion and learning and tells the story of a bond between two completely different worlds.
Emma Outteridge was born into the America’s Cup world of fame and fortune and grew up on boats sailing around the world. She ran Louis Vuitton’s international sailing hospitality programme in her twenties and worked on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains serving the rich and famous.
Surprisingly it was here that Outteridge got her first taste of Africa. She was watching a movie about the Rwandan genocide, and her shock at what had been happening while she was busy watching sailors race boats and the ghastly way people were treated, spurred her to action and was the first stepping stone on her road to helping in Africa.
She was determined to make a difference but not a difference that would last five minutes: she wanted to have an everlasting positive impact. Then she stumbled onto Kids Worldwide and put her name down to volunteer at St. Paul KAASO, a school in Uganda that provides education and mentorship to orphans and disadvantaged children in one of the areas hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Outteridge spent six months helping the children and staff of KAASO. She sang with the kids, helped teach them English, helped fund a sick bay for the school and she even devised a play for them to perform.
But that wasn’t enough – she wanted to do more. By the time she had to leave, Outteridge had raised funds for and built a new dormitory and agreed to sponsor Henry – a boy she had grown close to throughout her visit – at high school and made a deep connection with everyone at KAASO and in the community.
Outteridge arrived back home feeling lost: she didn’t know how to live in both of her worlds. But the more she talked to her friends and family, the more she realised that everyone wanted to hear her stories of Uganda and KAASO. By sharing Henry’s sponsorship story, she inspired others to sponsor children too. She had found a way to link her two worlds, in a way that benefitted both: “I had become a bridge between these two worlds – my community at KAASO and my sailing community around the world.”
Outteridge continues to visit and help KAASO and inspire others to do the same.
This is an inspiring and moving read, packed with emotion, insight, and even a little humour. Outteridge was moved to take action and she did. Many lives have benefited, including hers.
I think this book holds a lot of true and meaningful messages and is a great example of how we can all make a difference in some way. Something repeated throughout the book which Rose (one of the founders of KAASO) constantly tells Emma is: “you can’t do everything, but you can do something.”
This is so true: it is only by doing small things that we can make a big difference. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age, and I can assure you that it will make you want to cry, laugh and scream in outrage. It has been written really well and by the end, you almost feel as if you know the people involved.
Between Two Worlds is an unforgettable read that you won’t be able to put down.
- Amber Cayley is in year 9 at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth.