Our story starts with a simple question.

The setting is Malawi, Africa – where 120 women from 11 African nations gather for a week of learning, community and encouragement. A few are finely dressed and highly educated; most are illiterate villagers wearing the only clothes they own. All of them are beautiful, warm, courageous and dignified women who raise the roof with their song, dance and laughter.

During a Q & A session, a Mozambican woman rises to her bare feet without hesitation. She stands proudly on those bruised feet that have carried her for many days on the road from Mozambique to Malawi – trudging under a scorching sun with her friends, carrying babies on their backs and balancing heavy bundles on their heads.

Now this woman stands face to face with the American visitors and voices the only question that really matters to any of them:

Does anyone in your country see us?

Does anyone see that our children are sick and we have no medicines?

Does anyone see that our children are hungry and dressed in rags?

Does anyone see our struggles, our fears, our hopes and dreams?

Of course, the real question is: Am I visible? Do I exist for you?

This penetrating question strikes its mark and sets the course for a small group of friends who put their heads and hearts together to form the arts and compassion non-profit organization that is now called Ancient Path.

Since that day in 1998, we’ve traveled to many places, made many friends, accomplished many things together and moved through a few transitions – but our mission remains the same:

Incite compassion. Ignite Hope. Inspire Action.

To learn more about the history of Ancient Path click on our Photo Timeline.