About one of the best years of my life

It has been an incredible year. For me, the most remarkable and significant event in 2014 was my participation in the Atlas Corps Fellowship. Till very last moment, when I was on my way to the Boryspol airport to fly to the US, I couldn’t comprehend the fact that I was chosen for this amazing and prestigious Atlas Corps Fellowship to serve at NCSEJ in Washington DC. And it has almost been a year since that day! I remember clearly the day when I arrived in the Dulles Airport. My Atlas Corps journey began when I was met by a cheerful and polite Atlas Corps Fellow who agreed to meet me at the airport. At that moment, I started to feel special Atlas Corps approach and the sense of our incredible Atlas Corps community. After that, I quickly ran to the hostel to drop my bags so that I could go and not miss the Atlas Corps presentation meeting in the city which turned out to be very interesting. Prior to my arrival, I haven’t slept for a day, was super tired but I made it there and met my fellow fellows from my class and their host organizations supervisors. It all went well and I also was happy to talk in person to such amazing Atlas Corps team members as Meredith, Scott, Nicole, Abby, Kelly and others. I really started to feel like home in DC after that presentation and felt that a lot of awesome things were waiting for me in 2014.

Bye 2014, Hello 2015

Hulu2015

Time flies fast when you look back, while I found it flows much slower in the US than in China.

Why? Because more things could be done in the same amount of time- 24 hours per day, or because to be with yourself would make the time run slower. Since late August, I’ve only been in Atlas Corps Fellowship for four months and the experiences would be more than half a year if I have had in China- made more than 50 friends and amazing fellow fellows from around the world is a cool thing, always eating and dancing together and learn from each other no matter it is Monday night or holidays; went to great events and festivals in DC made after-work time and weekends more fun. Work-life balance is easy.

A year of service: Lessons on the professionalization of volunteerism and the Atlas Corps model

There is a difference between the service provided by an Atlas Corps Fellow at a Host Organization and the volunteer work done by other individuals outside of the Atlas Corps model. In first instance (readers should know) most volunteers fill positions or carry out tasks that no one else will do (or that the organization can’t afford to pay); Atlas Corps Fellows on the other hand, are hand picked by the Host to undertake key projects in the organization that no one else can carry out and receive a (modest) monthly stipend in return.

Quick note from 10-day trip to Peru (2)

One of reasons for people who would like to travel in Peru or have traveled, would be Inca culture and the Machu Picchu. I was the one of them. Therefore, I allocated half of whole trip itinerary in Cusco area and the Machu Picchu. I wanted to experience Inca culture. I might have had a kind of fantasy on the ancient culture.

Inequality and the provision of services by charities

On December 9th, 2014, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its report on inequality and Growth called “Does Income Inequality Hurt Economic Growth?” The conclusions are not very encouraging. The gap between the richest and the poorest is at its highest level in 30 years.

In other terms, “the richest 10% of the population in the OECD area earn 9.5 times more than the poorest 10%. By contrast, in the 1980s the ratio stood at 7:1”. But this conclusion is not something new.

What to become!!!

image(1)

When you attend community meetings, marriage ceremonies, funerals, child naming ceremonies, you name it, in South Sudan, the conversation often centers around what your children have become. You will hear phrases like, “Oh, my daughter, the doctor, says this,” or “My son, the lawyer, says…” Rarely do you hear parents talk about their son, the businessman, or their daughter, the hotel housekeeper or cook. That, to me, shows how much parents in South Sudan have preferences as to what their children should become.

SITUATIONS OF JOURNALISTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

When the industrial revolutions began in Europe in the 19th century, many countries used the media to trumpet the government’s role in development.
In the beginning, media outlets – radio, TV and print media – were owned by governments (and in some instances still are). In many counties today, the media is considered as the 4th pillar of government beside the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
In many developing countries, journalists work under difficult circumstances. Many of them are threatened by security agents, who take their orders from government officials. Journalists who take a stance that is critical of the government are sometimes called spies. In some African countries, where there is conflict, many journalists have been reportedly harassed, detained, and some are even killed in the line of duty.

Self Branding

I am not only one who is fascinated by the twinkle twinkle little stars of Christmas and magnificence of joyful holiday but almost all of the fellows are enthralled by this splendor. As we are turning our calendars to welcome new year with renewed promises, I and many of my fellows seems fascinated or may be overwhelmed by cliché like; three tips for effectiveness, four facts of future goals, seven skills for success coupled with mind boggling resolution as so on.

Sharing volunteerism…

There are number of things which make the US so different from the rest of the world, and for me personally one of these things is the idea, understanding and actually volunteering.

Never before in any other country I have travelled and stayed I have seen people additing in their to-do list volunteering for this or that organization. People are so ready, eager and willing to contribute to the others’ work in any way they can! Most importantly, there shouldn’t be any emergency situation or extreme need…no, regular days, holidays, as a part of life!

Is leadership one of your 2015 goals? Here’s some food for thought

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear lead, or leader, or leadership? Almost every time I hear these terms, words like control, rule, supremacy, title, command, power, come to mind. Surely when you look up the definition of leadership, these words will come up. However, having led and been led many times in all sorts of manners,  these words (especially seeing them in action), have not made me feel any better, nor have they made me feel good about myself or feel successful. Reflecting on the many leadership encounters I’ve had, there are a number of things I’ve come to learn and appreciate as true leadership. Surprisingly, have nothing to do with me feeling like I have to control others, or change others, or have power over others, etc, instead, they have got a lot more to do with me as an individual first, and then others second. And as I think about 2015, I want to share with you 5 of the things I’ve learnt and hope to nurture in my leadership journey.