A thought on contradiction and the human condition

It made me wonder. “Slay Cancer with dragons”, were the words projected at Conference Hall 2 inside the UN Headquarters towards the end of Nexus 2014 Global Youth Summit. Jesse was coming off the stage after telling us the story behind his creation of the Tyler Robinson Foundation (http://tylerrobinsonfoundation.com). It was dedicated to his brother, Tyler, who passed away at a very young age from Cancer.

Using Mobile Phones to Combat Healthcare Inequality Worldwide

This blog was originally published by Women Deliver

By Rehema Namukose, Women Deliver

Supporting medicine and public health using mobile technology, also known as mHealth, is changing the landscape of healthcare service delivery in the world today. It is transforming lives of both health workers and communities by bringing technology to hard to reach areas.

Many health advocates, public health practitioners, social enterprises and civil society organisations have created mHealth solutions and implemented them in various parts of the world. Medic Mobile, a social entrerprise, is one such organization that is creating mobile tools and innovations to improve health and lives of people in rural areas worldwide since 2009.

“1 THING” I DID IN JULY TO IMPROVE LIVES

I spent the last two months in Nigeria preparing for a workshop GBCHealth Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa (CAMA) hosted on Wednesday, July 2nd in Abuja, in partnership with The Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health, National Malaria Elimination Program, Friends of the Global Fund Africa and Access Bank. The event was supported by Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Bayer, Wapic Insurance, Nigerian Breweries, Jhpiego, FHI 360, Syngenta, Wellbeing foundation, and CCPN.

What the 2014 FIFA World Cup reminds us about life and leadership

Robin Van Persie scores against Spain (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Robin Van Persie scores against Spain (Photo credit: Getty Images)

I love soccer a lot. It was the first sport I learnt to play as a boy. I remember playing soccer on the streets for hours and hours. We stopped when it got too dark to see the rugged ball, which was a little more than a crafty assembly of cloth, newspapers, plastic and strings. I love soccer because in my country it has united people from religious, political and racial divides. It is a sport which has seen a lot of talent, tactics and team work and it is a sport which also provides a lot of reminders about life and leadership.

Rethinking about “given” education

I am from one of those richest countries in the world. I grew up with the opportunity for many years of schooling which was taken for granted.

As a kid, I did not know or realized how hard it was to obtain a good 12- or 16-year of education in many situations in different parts of the world. I learnt in history text books, that girls got the right to go to schools; that a country decided 9 years of compulsory education for all kids. Those facts did not tell me much at the time.

Untying The Knot

Sometimes girls get married because they think they are getting a better life than what they are leaving behind.  Sadly, this is not always true. It is a sobering moment when you understand how a society treats its women. In a broader sense, what defines a society is how it treats its poorest, weakest and most vulnerable members—especially women and girls. After three months of being kidnapped and held captive by the Boko Haram militia, more than 60 out of the 200 Nigerian school girls escaped. These brave girls’ escape reminds me that millions of girls go missing every year—forced into or sold for marriage—and most of them would like to escape, too. This incident has also brought to light the similarities of young girls at risk. It is not just Nigerian girls who face the threat of early and forced marriage. My work with girls at risk in South Asia has made it clear to me just how vulnerable girls can feel  in other parts of the world as well as the high prevalence of early marriage in South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.GNB Image 2

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1820: Addressing sexual violence in conflicts (cont’d)

gender_based_violence

Source: WHO

What Does UNSCR 1820 Say?

Establishing a link between sexual violence during situations of armed conflicts and the maintenance of international peace and security, Resolution 1820, a document containing sixteen Operative Paragraphs (OP) aims at addressing issues of sexual violence against civilians especially women and girls in conflict and post conflict countries.

Nexus Global Youth Summit Review

The 4th annual summit on innovative philanthropy and social entrepreneurship, Nexus Global Youth Summit, was held from July 23 to 26 in New York. Nexus has been having these summits across the globe inviting more than 2000 young philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and influencers from over 70 countries working to address societal issues and to improve philanthropy and impact investing. The venue for two full days took place at the United Nations Plaza while the opening and closing events were held at the Times Center. As Atlas Corps has been partnering with Nexus to sponsor in-kind service in exchange for admission tickets that are $500, 15 Atlas Corps Fellows were dispatched as delegates to assist in the conventions for one full day and were allowed to attend all other events as needed basis.

LIVING LIFE WITH NICHIREN’S BUDDHISM

Last year, my sister, who is a practicing member of ‘Soka Gakkai International’ (SGI) since 2006, was finally able to sakabuku (recruit) me. I like to believe she was finally able to convince me to join this practice. For those of you, who do not know my sister, we are polar opposites of each other and have very different tastes and preferences. My parents say ‘ek purab to doosra paschim’ (One is north then the other is south).  I think we are different yet alike, and both of us being members of SGI proves my point on similarities

Ramadan Kareem-Eid Mubarak

3454425607-ae45b1abb4-b-jpgRamadan is the ninth month in the Islamic usual lunar calendar, and it is believed by the Muslims as the month in which the holy Quran was revealed to the Muslim’s Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) by angel Gabriel. The name Ramadan is imitative from the Arabic word ramida, designating concentrated blazing heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same word there is ramdaa, meaning ‘sunbaked sand’. The belief is that it is so called because Ramadan scorches out the sins with good deeds, as the sun burns the ground.
Being one of the five pillars of Islam, this period is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Likewise, the belief is that Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be opened throughout this month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed.
The first day of the next month, is always disbursed in festivity and is perceived as the “Commemoration of Breaking Fast” or Eid al-Fitr.
As a fan and follower of the above dogma, I have been performing and observing this throughout my life history. Although it is regarded principally as a method of spiritual self-purification by cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even though for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry, as well as growth in his or her spiritual life. Conversely, the fasting is beneficial to health too as it reduces ones bodily weight in most cases.
Now the end of fast is here and this is called the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. Eid meaning ‘happiness’ in Arabic and it explains that for the last month I have been fasting: each day I woken up early, before the sun rises, to eat something and drink some water or juice, and then i do not eat or drink again until it is dark. Imagine what it would be like. Looking hard to do but very easy and holy as it helps one to come closer to God (who we call Allah) and to think about people who do not have enough to eat and drink every day of their lives. The festival of Eid-al-Fitr shows that Ramadan has finished and as the old moon begins to disappear i know that the fast of Ramadan is coming to an end and that it will soon be Eid-al-Fitr.
During the month I have been always asking my family how they will celebrate this special event this time without me in the house. What do they say (eat special food, meet with friends and other Muslim families, go somewhere and take pictures, send card to me, and watch celebrations around the world on television)? The day is always full of all those stuffs.
Eid-al-Fitr is a great time of celebration and happiness and it’s also a time to be thoughtful. For Muslims it is a special time to be thankful to God for helping you through the fast of Ramadan and for helping you to lead good lives.
When I was at home I use to invite my children to sit quietly and maybe to close their eyes if it helps them to concentrate. Ask them to think about the good things in their own lives. Think about the things that they want to give thanks for. Think about the things that make them happy.
Asalam malekum!