First day of the Global Diamond Forum

May 26, 2009

The first day of the Global Diamond Forum, we saw the crowds trickling in. The Experience Amway was fully up and running, but most of our guests were just stopping by while they waited for their rooms to open up.

The One by One experience is bigger and better than any of us originally envisioned. We displayed some of our paintings from around the world, created by children who have benefited from the One by One programs. We also have artifacts on display, which we have collected from different countries over the years.

The most popular piece of our display is not the objects, but our resident celebrity. Michelle Andonian, our One by One photographer, was there to sign books that were made specially for the IBOs who are taking part in the Diamond Forum this week. Michelle is an award-winning, Pulitzer-nominated photographer who has been around the world photographing One by One programs and producing short videos about them.

Most of the distributors recognized the photos in the book that were from their country. Some had volunteered for the nonprofit partners and some were on hand when we were in their country.

We came across a woman from Romania who was at the hospital for abandoned babies that we visited a couple of years ago. Amway supports a program there where they work with the mothers to prevent child abandonment and give them the support they need to keep and raise their babies. I was not on that trip, but the video and images from it are very compelling.

I also met Rosemarie Steiner-Lang from Switzerland, who we traveled with to Kenya as part of a UNICEF program for immunizations and essential health services in Kenya and other parts of Africa, with funds raised by European distributors. We only spent a few days together, but they were some very moving times in the health clinics and remote villages. It feels like old friends coming together to share experiences again.

I also saw Holly Chen and Barry Chi from Taiwan roaming the halls (they hadn’t visited our exhibit yet). Holly is very involved in programs for children in Taiwan. She appears in one of our most recent videos about a scholarship program in Taitung.

That’s it for now. Below are some pictures. I’ll capture some of the other exhibits and post some tomorrow. We are expecting some big groups today, so time to get ready!

The One by One Team

The One by One Team: Jesse Hertstein, Debb Kalmbach and Jack Kuang

Children's Paintings

Paintings from children around the world who have been helped by One by One programs

One by One Artifacts

One by One artifacts gathered over the years

Distributor Fun

Distributors having fun

Michelle Andonian

Michelle Andonian signing the One by One photo book

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