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USA Wrestling for Peace Ambassadors visit Zambia and Uganda

By Austin and Julie Landes, Ambassadors for the USA Wrestling for Peace Program | Dec. 11, 2019, 2:41 p.m. (ET)

Let’s connect some dots. How does an entrepreneurial couple from New York who have never wrestled become ambassadors for wrestling? Simple answer: Relationship. Long story short, we’re Austin and Julie Landes, Ambassadors for the USA Wrestling for Peace Program. Awhile back, our good friend Dan Russell asked us to join his humanitarian efforts, and we quickly said yes. His passion to serve those in need was contagious and aligned with our passions as well.

Nonprofit work doesn’t work without a team of capable individuals committed to making a difference. We strongly believe in team-building, and our work in that area in the non-profit arena has resulted in Make It Rain, a US-based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to utilizing networking skills to simply help others help others. Since 2012, millions of lives have been impacted through our initiatives, as we work in coordination with government ministries and officials, established NGOs, and private partners.

These relationships have lead our team to work alongside those with limited to no health care provision or capabilities. We collaborate with governments and rural communities to provide basic medicines that are otherwise lacking. Each shipment impacts tens of thousands of lives. Recently we had the privilege of coordinating an airlift of medicine in partnership with The First Lady of Zambia, Her Excellency Esther Lungu, Her Foundation, the Zambian Ministry of Health and Explore Africa.

USA Wrestling for Peace Ambassador and Make It Rain President, Austin Landes, and the Chieftainess of Chiawa celebrate the successful delivery of pharmaceutical products to the Chiawa health outpost located in Zambia’s southern border.

In addition to medical shipments, Make It Rain utilizes a network of extensive construction experience and field experts to produce medical clinics combining cutting-edge technology with in-country materials. These clinics are strategically placed with established NGOs or governments for optimal sustainability. Our current group of partners have been working together to expand the impact of the medical clinic program now that the construction of our first clinic in Entebbe, Uganda is complete. The next medical clinic is tentatively set to be built in Zambia in 2020.

One of our key teammates is Nathan King, a brilliant individual who helped craft the medical clinic design to optimize technology, efficiency, and local building materials. Currently working for AutoDesk, Virginia Tech, and Harvard, Nathan formerly wrestled at Christiansburg High School under coach Kevin Dresser.

First medical clinic built in Entebbe, Uganda.

Recently, our team has been focused on tackling a need that isn’t talked about nearly as much as it should be. Our Hope for Her program empowers women through job creation and the manufacturing and distribution of reusable sanitary pads, and is dedicated to helping end period poverty by keeping girls in school and supporting women in rural communities and prisons. Each month, thousands of pads are distributed free of charge to girls and women in need. Women are also learning to sew these pads and are selling them to support their family.

It’s no secret that wrestling builds toughness. Some of the toughest people we’ve met live in remote areas of the world, battling harsh climates, debilitating disease, intense conditions, limited job opportunities and desperately lacking resources. Our hope is that through these initiatives and those of the USA Wrestling for Peace Program, we can increase the amount of lives impacted. Wrestlers are made for overcoming obstacles and life’s toughest challenges and we’re looking forward to our continued efforts together.


Members of Make It Rain and The Esther Lungu Foundation Trust, celebrate a donation of  1,000 reusable sanitary pads.

For more information about Make It Rain, Inc. visit our website: