On the mark of International Women Day, my purpose is not to increase awareness among my favorite readers. I believe that doing so is virtually equal to writing: “Smoking is injurious to health and causes cancer” on the packet of cigarettes. It is time that we have the conversations and that we feel comfortable discussing the topic of women’s empowerment, as well as, violence against women.
It has been three days since I began to serve at Global Good Fund(GGF) as a fellowship program manager. GGF has been running such a prestigious fellowship program to accelerate the development of high potential young leaders to achieve out-sized social impact since 2012. Actually the organization is quite small. There are only 4 full-time staff members including myself but they are doing a great job. Especially it was so impressive to see their enthusiasm toward young leaders on the globe. In terms of sustainability, they have their own commercial products to create profits, which is very differentiated from other non-profit organizati ons. Therefore, I was very thrilled to join here and already learned a lot from my team members. Also, I found some rooms to apply my work experience and knowledge to enhance their performance quality and brand awareness.
An ode to fallen friends
“Yo miraba la luna de Rasquí, tumbado en la arena blanca. Y la luna me hablaba sólo a mí.” Jorge Drexler, La luna de Rasquí
Every night that I slept in the District of Columbia I listened to this gift from a dear friend. She is a woman like no other on this green Earth. I deeply admire her. I have learned as much from her in the moments we have coincided in time and space, but I have learned as much from her when this has not been the case.
The 4th annual Nexus Global Youth Summit took place at the most convenient time of service and volunteerism: during the holy month of Ramadhan! According to Islamic teachings, volunteering is a beneficial and productive form of sadaqa, or helping those in need. Not only does one benefit others, they are blessed and rewarded highly by Allah (SAW) and – a fact that is often overlooked – one learns how to become more productive in their everyday life.
I was sitting on a plane. That part is for sure. I am trying hard to remember the exact words that I was reading during the flight from Sydney to Singapore exactly two years ago. They elude me and I predict they will continue to do so for the rest of the night, so I will cease to attempt to remember that preface to a chapter in my Spanish copy of the “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi, which is comfortably sitting inside a cardboard box in a basement in Monterrey, Mexico. But the reason I was painstakingly trying (and failing) to remember the exact phrasing is that it somehow comes back to me when thinking about what I experienced two weeks ago. I do not think these two events have a logical connection, but I can tell that in a deep level of my subconsciousness these two events, set apart by two years time and half a world of distance, are intimately close.
I am privileged to be serving at Women Deliver, one of the leading international advocacy organizations for girls and women’s reproductive health rights. The organization participates in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) as key civil society players.CSW annually brings representatives from UN Member States, civil society, and other UN agencies together in New York to review the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. This is a platform for stakeholders in Member States to evaluate efforts geared at achieving gender equality and rights for girls and women, whilst garnering support from a bigger network of partners globally in achieving this objective.
She was the closest friend I ever had while growing up. With a fairer skin, almond eyes and a warm smile, Jane (not real name) was a beauty to behold. We did everything together. But all this came to an end when my parents sent me to boarding school. Jane wasn’t fortunate enough to go to the above-average schools I went to but she received a basic education.
On day, I came home to a shocking story that my best friend had conceived but didn’t go through with the pregnancy. She had carried out an unsafe abortion that almost cost her life. I remember feeling sorry about her experience but never disappointed in her.
THE ATLAS CORPS BRAND
A brand is more than a logo, slogan, or name. A brand is an overall identity of an organization, or in our case, a global community. The Atlas Corps brand represents our values, our successes, and our vision for the world. Our brand is linked with our mission—promoting global service leadership among professionals from around the world, advancing innovation, and strengthening organizations through long-term service from diverse professionals.
Our name, Atlas Corps, is inspired by Greek mythology and the United States service institutions. Our name represents our dedication to creating a global community of leaders committed to serving the entire world.
Exactly a year ago, while I was in the middle of my Management Trainee Program in HSBC Bank, I got the opportunity to meet Scott Beale, Founder of Atlas Corps, in my home city and country Panama.
Small world, his wife was assigned to the US Embassy in Monterrey and Carlos Villereal was part of their Youth Advisory Council and also a current student in Global Leadership Program in Panama I coordinated since 2010. Scott got to speak to the July 2012 GLP class and asked them for suggestions on Panamanian social entrepreneurs that could be interested in Atlas Corps, Carlos and others suggested me and Scott, who doesn’t miss a chance to connect, got in contact with me. At the time, my goal was to learn how the for-profit world worked and operated, so I ended up very interested in Atlas Corps but turned it down temporarily.