Serving the Invisible Valleys

On 7th December 1982, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Shoaib Sultan Khan, initiated the Agha Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) in northern Pakistan as a project of the Agha Khan Foundation (AKF). Since then, the Rural Support Program (RSP) movement has grown across Pakistan, touching the lives of 32 million people. In 1990 there were only three RSPs working in about ten districts, whereas today there are ten RSPs working in more than 110 of the 131 districts in the country. The RSPs adhere to a specific participatory development model, adopting ‘social mobilization’ to organize the poor into self-governed institutions. It is through these Community Organizations (COs) and their federations that the RSPs and other stakeholders work with the poor. This model has been replicated in development programs of India, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

No more the NEOs

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Little more than 3 months ago I was packing my bags to arrive at Washington DC and begin a life changing journey as an Atlas Corps Fellow. It just seems like yesterday, that I along with my 21 fellow fellows entered the room as the NEOs. I still remember the applause, excitement on everyone‘s face to see the new class, the new leaders from various countries. It still feels it all happened a while ago.

Equality vs. Empowerment

The word equality seems not to give much support to women, around the world. There is automatically a sort of inequality resulting from gender differentiation. There are female footballers, who cannot play in a men’s team, identically women wrestlers will never wrestle with men wrestlers and the same is true for all kinds of sports that we witness in the Olympics. That amount of segregation is providential. Reproductive discriminations are warranted in the very nature of human beings. This brings me to another concept of equality bordering on equity.

Differences in Dreams and Wishes

When it comes to dreams and wishes, it is always about everyone. Everyone have them. The fact that everybody’s dreams and wishes are different, makes it interesting.

How strange it is- there are people who wish things we have never thought about. There are those who wish they had things we have, and then we wish we had things others have.

Yes, it is life, if it was the same to everyone, it wouldn’t have been this beautiful. I am not talking about comparing your life to another, I am solely talking about dreams and wishes’ differences.

The criminalization of migration: A path to a new Holocaust?

*This is a short reflection of three challenging scenarios for migration in the Americas and an invitation to a deeper reflection and advocacy for measures to prevent further tragedies.

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The exodus of Colombians in Venezuela. Source: AFP – El Espectador

I know, use the word Holocaust sounds a little bit extreme but just think about the meaning of the term. For the Nazis, the technical expression was “Endlösungt” and was used to refer to the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, which ended with the genocide that killed approximate six million of Jewish during the II World War. In Hebrew, the Holocaust was known as “Shoah” which is translated as “The Catastrophe”, and indeed it was since it exterminated two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe.

NOW OR LATER?

NOW 

“Congratulations!  You have passed your Road Test”

These are the words any one applying for a driving license wants to hear. I did an invisible summersault and with a cheeky smile (not unlike Rafael Nadal’s in his recent Tommy Hilfiger ad) collected my temporary permit and sauntered out of Texas DPS. My sleepless nights of poring over the 83 pages of the Texas Driver Handbook and practicing the art of parallel parking had finally paid off. I heaved a sigh of relief; I had gotten it out of my to-do list after weeks of procrastination.

#peacehackdc – a love story of peace and technology in DC

peacehackdc-inviteEight months has gone so fast. I can vividly record when I arrived at Creative Associates International on January 26, 2015 as an Atlas Corps Technology for Development Fellow. The people, the workspace and state of art tech equipment looked so different from what I was used to in Liberia. Now! I have adapted to the people, the environment and most importantly I have done some really interesting projects with very technologies that looked so different to me eight months ago. I can confirm that I have learn a lot personally and professionally, shared my experiences with colleagues, at conferences and events and importantly built some great relationships that will last a life time.

What you seek is seeking you !!

Great Persian Poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi once said what you seek is seeking you !! This quote kept on rattling my mind during a ceremony attended by the world’s most exciting change makers that included philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and impact investors who all have gathered on the platform of Nexus Global Youth Summit in New York City.

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality – the priority for contributing to Economic Development and Empowerment in Rural South Sudan”

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Gender Equality

The prospects for lasting change lie in the hands of millions of women who form the backbone of society, but are currently living in poverty. Being a woman from South Sudan, I understand what marginalized women go through in their daily lives. The majority of people living in poverty in Africa, particularly in South Sudan, are women.

Anticipate Your Role, End Extreme Poverty in South Sudan Now.

It’s time for rolling back poverty and freeing our mothers from the yoke of lack of water, our youth from joblessness and our children from disease. With God’s help, we have the capacity and ability to transform South Sudan to be a developed nation.

We must ask ourselves, what is our desire to be a nation? Is it because of power, killing, hatred, tribalism and what so ever offenses? I say no. All we seek is goodness and development for our people. There is no romance in poverty which is dwelling among us now. The reality is, it’s possible to change ourselves from this extreme poverty to success. We must be convenience that, if we pulled together from this draw back, we can transform South Sudan to be among the first African Countries and the world at large. Yes, others did it and so we can!