Crucible Moments: Get Inspired by Trina’s Story

Growing up in a small village in Eastern Uganda gave me firsthand experience living in a community with class divides of the “haves” and the “have-nots”. We might have not had much but my parents believed in investing in their children’s education and this gave me an opportunity to attend some of the best schools in the country. Because many of my age mates couldn’t have what I had at the time, it challenged my thinking at a very tender age. I constantly found myself wondering why some young girls in my neighborhood including my childhood best friend “decided” to drop out of school while others got married.

The untold story during my Fellowship


I am Atlas Corps youth fellow from South Sudan, class fifteen placed at the National Endowment for Democracy. I was born in the countryside to illiterate parents who did not keep any document of my birthday. That explains one reason I don’t organize a birthday party for myself ever. But which date of birth is in my passport? Good question! The first day my parents took me to school, it was probably one of the days in their lives that they regretted being ignorant so greatly. The Head teacher was curious to know my date of birth as they presented me to be enrolled but they could not guess any. What happened then? A friend of mind whom I still refer to as my “twin-brother” was asked of his date of birth and inevitably got copied and pasted to me as we look age mates and I was very confortable with it that time. At one time, my dad (R.I.P) joined military service for the liberation struggle of my country. Five years later when he came back home to lead his former civilian life style, he was already exposed to the world.

H is for Hogao and Heritage

Each year, many Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) by celebrating the contributions of citizens and ancestors who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Many other Americans however, are unaware of this particular celebration of history and culture. Perhaps the Hispanic migration and diaspora is too new, too close in time and space (no one remembers that it was two Spaniards next to George Washington in his inaugural parade, Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez and Don Diego de Gardoqui )… but I digress.

New Home

Wonder Bread Factory

Finally, my host organization YFU (Youth For Understanding) moved from the forest Bethesda to the historic Wonder Bread Factory in DC. I like the new space not only because I can sleep at least one more hour every day, but also it is a very cool space transformed from an old bread factory whilst kept the factory taste.

YFU rented two floors of the Factory- one for offices, the other basement for education trainer. The offices on the 2nd floor were subleased to several organizations such as Gay Men’s Chorus, Global Kids, American Board, etc. And most importantly, Atlas Corps!

Homelessness, Art & the power of Change

What a great surprise is to wake up in a Sunday morning, open your laptop and find in your work e-mail a wonderful post from The Washington Post about your host organization.

Miriam´s Kitchen runs an Art Therapy program twice a day, lead by Senior Art Therapist Lindsey Vance, where our guests can create and express themselves without prejudice. Homelessness needs to see with mental health, trauma and substance abuse most of the times. And why art is involved with all of that? Because it brings health in all possible ways you can imagine!

9th Annual Nonprofit Management Institute

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (“AFP”) and Stanford Social Innovation Review (“SSIR”) have been holding the Nonprofit Management Institute for the last nine years. This year’s theme was on how to scale social impact. The conference hosted numerous speakers with high credentials from September 9th to 10th at Stanford University Alumni Center in Palo Alto.

Early Childhood Development (Education) for a New Era

ECD is defined as “developing concepts” into the child’s mind; children will receive 6 ECD domains that encompass social, emotional, self-help and adaptive behavior including;
a. Gross Motor activities: teach the child to use all muscles in the body (e.g. crawling, walking, running, skipping, jumping and climbing)
b. Fine Motor activities: teach hand-eye coordination to control the muscles in the hands (coloring, writing, cutting scissors or tearing papers).
c. Language activities: teaches the child on alphabetic, phonemics awareness, oral and written language hence talking about things throughout the day.
d. Cognitive activities: includes cause and effect, reasoning as well as early-math skills (e.g. counting and patterning).
e. Social/Emotional: This includes learning to play as a skill. Teaching a child to feels safe and nurtured.
f. Self-Help/Adaptive activities: teaches the child on how to dress one self, feed one-self, using the toilet, brushing teeth, bathing, tying shoes to drive the child to self-independent.
g. Moral activities: teaches a child to recognize between right and wrong
Early Childhood Development centers will be linked to nutrition OTP sites (Out-Patient Therapeutic Centers). Lessons will be held next to the OTP sites as the children are waiting to be measured and weighed, to provide instructive activity while they wait and show the mothers the types of activities that can be repeated at home to reinforce child development.

Networking or Favoritism: Why it does not matter!

“In interviews with hundreds of people on this topic, I found that all but a handful used the help of family and friends to find 70 percent of the jobs they held over their lifetimes; they all used personal networks and insider information if it was available to them” NANCY DITOMASO MAY 5, 2013 9:12 PM, New York Times.

Networking Buzz Words

Networking Buzz Words

Have you ever gone to a meeting or an event and did not carry your business cards? Have you ever set goals as to how many people to interact with in an event? How many happy hours have you been to in six months? Do you ever follow up with your contacts after exchanging business cards? Your answer to this will determine how awesome or terrible you are as a net-worker and might also determine how (un)successful you will be in the US. It is notable that the job market is entering a new era where employers are comfortable with hiring those theyknow or at least one whom their friends know.

Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child. This day aims to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year’s theme was centered on Empowering Adolescent Girls to end the cycle of violence. As an avid human rights activist and a champion of all things girl empowerment, this day holds special significance and sentimental value to me especially when I think of the 250 Million adolescent girls who live in poverty globally! Being a girl in several contexts of our world comes with its own numerous challenges and it is very unfortunate that the mainstream media does not articulate their plight and also because of the unspoken social contract that exists between classes which results in some of us turning a blind eye to such obvious atrocities.