In the last century, armed conflicts were limited mostly to rural settings caused by multiple reasons including ethnic, socio-cultural, religious and economic motives, but in recent years, an increase in urbanized armed conflicts have quantum-folded the impact of such disasters on the affected population. Of all such affectees, children and youth make the major proportion; mostly above 60% of the total affected population, which are more vulnerable and directly affected by the situation as compared to grown-ups and elderly people. In such cases, grave violations have been reportedly committed against these vulnerable groups (children and youth) in war-affected countries from Asia to the Middle East, to Africa and Latin America. Girls and boys are killed, maimed, orphaned, abducted, deprived of basic human needs and services (education, health care and WASH), sexually violated and left with deep emotional and physical trauma’s lasting often to the lengths of their lives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*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.
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.
“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.
Eight 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.
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.
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.