I am inspired by Kaltuma’s blog, an Atlas Corps fellow from South Sudan, “If you want to eradicate poverty teach how to fish and don’t fish for them” which discusses poverty reduction in Africa. Here are my words to you “Africa needs a reform Kaltuma”. I am kind of wonder what the African Union is doing? Of course, they lead initiatives to dispute conflicts among African countries as well as empowering diplomatic relationships. That is very much appreciated as the AU contributing to conflict prevention and peace building in the continent. But, yes, when it comes to development, and not just development but sustainable ones, personal interest among decision makers emerged. I honestly speaking, I never heard that the AU presented a strategic plan to build Africa!
The last week of September was a promising time for the humanity at the New York when volunteers, activist, professionals and leaders of the states from around the globe gathered to commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a Post 2015 Agenda. The Social Good Summit – 92 Y was one such event that Atlas Corpse gave us; the fellows to be at and listen & learn from the experiences of global ambassadors like Charlize Theron and Helen Clark (technology and innovation in Development) and Kajal (hand washing & hygiene). Their commitment, experiences and vision to meeting the challenge of 2030 NOW as the slogan for SDG’s was worth taking and pursuing for a better world.
“The history and values of United States are very different. Americans are adaptable to diverse cultures and they are very advanced, most people are qualified and there are so many new things to learn that it is hard to absorb everything in two weeks.”
These were the general remarks of 15 young Afghan diplomats who visited Washington DC and New York last month to participate in a two-week training program focusing on diplomatic craft and management skills. The Afghan Diplomats Training Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, later this month, the group looks forward to a continuation of their program in China.
Cross Posted from DC VOTE
It has been only a week since I flew from Pakistan and landed at Dulles International Airport ready to begin my year-long Atlas Corps fellowship at Creative Science Labs in Washington, DC. It was my first time travelling outside of Pakistan and I can still remember how excited I was as I packed the last of my cheddars — traditional shawls — into my suitcase.
Africa holds the youngest and largest population according to the current African Economic Outlook Report, therefore; Africa is definitely the next largest and fastest growing digital consumer market.
At the recently concluded UN General Assembly in New York City, 193 world leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which strive to reduce poverty, fight injustice and even end climate change by 2030, #2030NOW. I have hopes that SDGs will be achievable by 2030 even with challenges that we still face today. Africa’s long-term prosperity, productivity and stability are in the right path. We have to foster growth and create jobs through partnerships in-order-to achieve these goals.
”Nothing changes people’s minds more than knowing someone who is gay”
I was looking for emblematic videos to reflect about and I found Ellen Page’s coming out video, who back in Valentine’s Day 2014 decided to go public and viral about her sexuality and coming out as a gay woman (a.k.a Lesbian). Page after a long but beautiful speech, addressed a variety of topics regarding LGBT rights, after a while, hesitant (I would say) Page comes out as a gay woman and calls the act of leaving the closet a personal obligation and a social responsibility to make others’ lives better.
Such is life.
It is only when you are an Alchemist, that you can tell what wave will crash where. Some people plan ahead, some do not. No matter how well and how much we plan our lives, I believe our ultimate goals are already planned for us. Each small goal that you set for yourself, will eventually lead to the bigger goal that is pre-destined for you. There is no escaping that.
The end of my fellowship journey is very near. I can feel it in my skin every time a song transports me back to a moment of the last 18 months. It is not a rare occurrence for me anymore, to travel back in time, that is. When it is about to happen, my forearms feel it first. A shiver runs up and down my body before my mind brings me there, once again.
A few weeks after my arrival in Washington, DC, some myths and prejudices that I had about USA begin to fall. Being a Brazilian born in the 80’s and raised in the 90’s, the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the word “Washington” was the economic consensus reached in 1989, which was often referred by Latin American politicians as one of the biggest causes for the economic failures in the continent during the 90’s.