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Jessica Buchanan      

Humanitarian Aid Workers; New York Times Best-Selling Co-Authors, "Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue By SEAL Team Six"

Jessica Buchanan: teacher, author, humanitarian, speaker, mother, daughter, survivor.

In the summer of 2006,, Jessica Buchanan followed her dream and left for Africa. She traveled through areas of South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, volunteering in different capacities, and then was fortunate enough to secure a student teaching position at an international school based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Rosslyn Academy, and was eventually offered a full-time teaching position. By 2009, she had met and married a native Swede, Erik Landemalm, who worked with strengthening judiciary and legislative institutions in East Africa. After a beautiful celebration, Jessica left her teaching position and relocated to Hargeisa, Somaliland join her husband and begin a new life. Jessica eventually took on the role as the Regional Education Adviser for the Danish Demining Group, a mine action unit of the Danish Refugee Council working on issues related to Armed Violence Reduction, covering areas in Somaliland, Somalia, Uganda, and South Sudan.

On October 25, 2011, while on a routine field mission in Somalia, Jessica, along with a colleague, were abducted at gunpoint and held for ransom by a group of Somali land pirates for 93 days. Jessica was held outdoors in deplorable conditions, starved, and terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters. As her health steadily deteriorated and ransom negotiations dragged on, her captors grew increasingly impatient. Her liberation came on January 25, 2012, when the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six heroically parachuted into the desert and successfully rescued her, along with her colleague.

The ordeal is detailed through the perspective of Jessica, and her husband, Erik in their New York Times bestselling book, "Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six."

Jessica and her husband have since relocated to the United States and now reside in the Washington DC area where they continue working in the international development sector, as well as speaking about their experiences for a wide range of audiences. Jessica also serves as a dedicated Ambassador for the Navy SEAL Foundation, which works to support families of fallen SEALs.

Videos


Speech Topics


Impossible Odds: A Story of Strength and Survival

Jessica Buchanan shares her story of the impossible odds facing her during her 93 days of captivity by Somali land pirates and her determination and efforts to survive the harrowing and most painful experience of her life. In sharing her story with audiences she provides to use in everyday life to help find strength in any situation or challenge. They will be surprised to find that you can scrape out just enough to get through that day. It may not be more than enough—but just enough has got to be ok, and as Buchanan experienced day after day after day—just enough will do just fine.

Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm’s Triumph Over Impossible Odds

In this joint presentation, Jessica Buchanan and her husband, Erik Landemalm, share their mutual journey during the torturous three months of her captivity at the hands of Somali land pirates. Together they relate the events prior to the kidnapping, the drama of Jessica’s fight to stay alive, and Erik’s efforts to bolster and support the hunt for her while he acted as liaison between their two families, the FBI, professional hostage negotiators and the U.S. government. Audiences will be inspired by their courage and resolve in facing a life-or-death struggle and their deeply personal story about digging deep into the human spirit and learning you can triumph over impossible odds.

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