Happy 54th Independence Nigeria: My Fatherland and Motherland

And yes we are called the Nigerians
Though differed in tribe and tongue, yet, in loving strengths and faith united
With war in the past and strife at present, we hold strongly our sovereign freedom
To uphold that honor and that glory of a people diverse but so industrious
Remembering the labor of our heroes past

Though today our strength is tested we assure tomorrow will be better
Though a few of us may act unfairly and tarnish the name of our dear country
The most of us are true good people, with honor and hard work so abounding
Revered by those who truly know us

How Cultural and social norms encourages violence in the world today.

Rules or expectations of Socio-Cultural norms within some communities encourage violence. Interventions that challenge cultural and social norms supportive of violence within these communities are considered foreign and against their traditions. This piece therefore is going to describe how cultural and social norms supports violence, giving examples of interventions that violence regularly occurs predominantly as a result of a clash of interests in the correlation between or amongst parties, groups or states, either because they are tracking or opposing contrary goals.
While the term confrontation is occasionally used as a substitute for conflict, it is more customary to confine the connotation of confrontation to intense conflict, linking equipped forces. But like confrontation, conflict is and has existed during record as a regular approach of piloting disagreements amid dogmatic sets inside social civilization. As David Weeks puts it, “conflict is an inevitable outcome of human diversity and a world without conflict is not desirable, because it would mean a world without diversity.” Africa is a diverse continent – diverse in ethnic, religious and socio-cultural terms.
Whereas most communities in the world had inter-state confrontations in the past centuries, the popular of its divergences were domestic and they are mainly engineered by differences in socio-cultural practices, and these domestic disagreements are still developing increasable especially in the third world countries that most of its communities are still following their harmful traditional beliefs. In most cases confrontations that involve armed forces leaves the civil population bear the effect of the fatalities .In any confrontation reported today in the world, the innocent civil population looses greatly. And always these confrontations leads to refugees’ related hitches that now tend to affect the entire world in terms of solving it either directly or indirectly.
Some of the examples of the harmful cultural practices includes but not limited to, violence and sexual abuse among teenagers and young adults, men control over women, resistances to other human rights practices like gays and many others of the like.
Therefore, because society is under conflict all the time due to misunderstanding between circularized and traditionalized social systems, the government machineries should totally be sensitive to detect in advance the people who suffer or feel oppressed.

The Contemporary Comparative Democracy in the World.  


Democracy has progressed irregularly around the globe. Recently, the Arab countries have had democracy related challenges with what become commonly known as the “Arab spring”. At present the world is expecting to witness a possible trend of democratization especially in the Middle East. While Africa and Asia are showing an expansive range of widespread partaking in governments in order to catch up with the general global view of democracy. There is the on going notion especially by the countries that are still a small democracy that for democracy to flourish in the world, it should be based on the cultures and traditional governance of the particular countries. Now the follow up question on this is that, can democracy work in different global contexts, using their own cultural traditional foundations of governance? This question animates a lot in todays context of democracy and the way it is perceived by many political actors.

Earphoneless luck

I have a story from walking earphone-less today. It became such a norm to my life to have earphones on probably since high school. When I came out of the office today, I found myself in a just-so-pleasant world. The air was cool and dry, with some gloomy looking sky with half opened to the sun in the west. Noticeably the days are shorter these days, so I was glad that I came out before it got dark. So instead of putting my earphone on and immerse myself in my music world, I just started walking toward the Capitol without really thinking about means to go home.

Being a fellow brings many rewards.

Foto blog Usually when you are thinking about being a fellow you usually think about your performance as a professional, increasing your professional experience and skills, and getting more challenges in your career. However, I want to share with you my experience as a fellow beyond service, which is another important face of the fellowship. You are lucky not just for all the professional gains, you are lucky also for all the multicultural experiences and knowledge that you get by sharing with people from many countries.

Youth, Leadership, Youth Leaders….etc

It seems the world is all about leadership and how it is related to youth these days. Somehow this is the new thing in the international development space. It is somehow thought that engaging youth is the new way of strengthening civil society in developing countries. How real is it that these two terms can go together, Youth Leaders? Does it make sense? I was having this discussion over this project document where supposedly it was all about creating a coalition of youth leaders in the Horn of Africa. A friend mentioned one thing that I found very intriguing. He just said maybe they should first ask these young people to start writing and expressing themselves and or to do some research on issues relating or pertaining to their communities and see how they go about analyzing and presenting these as a first step.
The reason I found this statement very interesting is that it has been one of my constant observations since coming to the fellowship program and seeing firsthand how much weight is given to storytelling or reflecting what is going on in other parts of the world to other communities in both a strong and evidence/fact rich manner to gain support. I had realized that back home we rarely tell our story let alone tell it well i.e. using a comprehensive and inclusive fact based approach. So maybe indeed that is the first stepping stone we go towards. Build more on our communication tools and the way we express and represent others.
Maybe I also just want to say in a way that personally I find it alarming feeding the word Leaders too much into Youth in the context of the developing world we come from. I suppose I don’t entirely agree with the notion that you can create leaders but I absolutely agree with providing the tools, training, guidance and example from which Leaders can emerge or become recognized. Maybe in other words create the environment conducive to bring about leaders.

Social Good Master Class

Written by Lara Palmisano


23 September 2014, New York – On September 21-22 excellent Master Classes took place in New York City, in the frame of the 2014 Social Good Summit.

More than of 70 of the most prominent global bloggers and digitally connected were in attendance, along with 40 of the brightest minded climate experts, Social Good Summit Partners, world explorers and some of the most influential thought leaders today shared ideas related to global issues, social good, and the role that media and technology can play in creating a better world with a special focus on the post 2015.

Neurobiology of Toxic Stress

By now most of you may know, my deeply rooted passion for mental health and for enriching my knowledge in this area I go for monthly supplementary learning sessions on various aspects of mental health. This month was a session on Toxic Science of Neurobiology. A big jargon for me, I thought I knew nothing about this topic and hence I must attend it. Even though most of the session was on basics of Neurobiology, most of it went over head.  There was something’s fascinating of the biology of the brain and it’s working and encouraged me to continue my exploration on the same.

SGS[4] Beyond anger: How can we make this movement?

During the Social Good Summit, I have thought about social changes, movement and action. To move forward with changing the world, we need people’s support. We cannot make these changes by one person’s power or money. As one of people who are belonging to the social movement, this has been challenges for long time, since I started my career in the third sector. I believe, not only myself but also other social activists face similar challenges. On the first day of the Summit, one panelist, Ben Keesey, said that only 24% of people are feeling that they owe to social changes. In other words, everyone is not interested in public wellness or in social movement as much as we(or I) expect.
Although social activists have faced challenges in engaging people in order to make the world better, not all people neglected the change. At least, thousands of people got together for the Social Good Summit and more people participated in the similar events and summits during the UN General Assembly week. Since the Millennium Development Goal(MDG) was announced, we found that many criteria showed it has been improved over the eight goals for the past 14 years. I found that it was not impossible goals at all.
However, until the target timeline of the MDG, we have only one year left. And it’s the time to think about another 15 years and post-MDG. Considering this timeline, I thought the #2030NOW was a well-developed slogan. I think for the next 15 years, spreading word by engaging more people should be more important than we considered before. For the post-MDG, what can we do in order to involve more people with our movement?  Thankfully, we have social digital tools to make people be involved. In addition to that, many celebrities work on the movement.
For example, Alicia Keys was on the stage of the Social Good Summit, at the first day. She prepared her new song for the movement, “We are here”. She asked us “why we are here?”. She wanted to hear from us, “Yes, we are here to make the World better”. She even pledged 1 Million Dollars for her social movement “we are here”. http://weareheremovement.com. Alicia wanted to attract people’s attention by using her popularity. It cannot be stopped at this stage. WE, social activists and actors use this positive movement toward our movement. And we have to remember that people can get upset at unfairness, but not all people start to move to make the World better.


Country Culture: A Year off the Beaten Track


This is the beginning; a start to experiencing all things new, which is my immersion into country culture, one full year off the beaten track—the familiar. An opportunity to take in new sights and sounds, and maybe more…

I have my only begun to experience life as an Atlas Corps International Fellow, without the constant guide from HQ, and away in another city from most of my other fellows. I likened my journey from Nigeria to Paris to Washington to Charlotte to San Francisco to travelling two round trips to London. It is a huge country. The people are warm, throwing a small warm smile in my direction, a nod of acknowledgment and briskly walking away.