Registration has formally commence for the 6th International Conference on Youth and Interfaith Dialogue. The Conference is organized and hosted annually by New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation, a Jos, Nigeria-based registered national nonprofit, of dedicated men and women and community leaders, intentionally teaming spiritual innovators and other exemplary adults with needful youth to equip them to pass forward all they have learned as valuable, contributing agents of change in their communities.
3RD WOMEN ADVANCEMENT FORUM – 2014 & AWARDS l 25-29 MAY, 2014 l SHERATON HOTEL, BANJUL GAMBIA
It is our pleasure to invite you and your nominations to the 3rd Women Advancement Forum taking place in Banjul, Gambia, West Africa: May 25-29, 2014 at Sheraton Hotel Banjul, Gambia.
Women Advancement Forum (WAF) – is the most attended gender conference. WAF is a platform which recognizes the obvious fact that women advancement and empowerment is amongst the most outstanding agent to the actualization of millennium development goals (MDGS) and even beyond. Building on the success of the first and second conferences which took place in Berlin, Germany and Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010 and 2013 respectively has the simple goal to create an advanced platform for the formulation of strategic and realistic approach to women socio-economic and political advancement and emancipation. The participants will be drawn from business women and me, entrepreneurs, women in politics, wife of public and political office holders, women advocacy groups, professional/career women, African women in Diaspora amongst others.
EXHIBITION FEE: (on request).
The WAF-mdg Awards program recognizes, celebrates, and honors achievements in socio-economic and political empowerment, advancement of women, as well as inspiring and motivating young women/girl-child. This award has a unique value; therefore offers the opportunity to honor distinguished women from Africa and around the world.
Consider recognizing or nominating a woman today for the 2nd WAF-mdg Award – 2014.
Subsequently, effective 2014 WAF presents new features:
a. African Women in Diaspora moment, a special meeting session for business women, politician, and gender advocates of African origin with their counterparts living in Africa. The essence which is to facilitate joint business relationships and partnerships will be a boost towards the sustainability of the gain from WAF/MDGs beyond 2015, and foster the MDG on sustainable global networking and economic partnerships.
b. Establishing a market place during the forum through Exhibition opportunity for business women and entrepreneurs is another great gain at the conference. Women economic empowerment without exposure of their business to potentials customers/partners will make no much gain. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities to establish your gains beyond 2015.
c. Road-show against Violence Against Women is an important aspect of the conference you cannot afford to miss. It has become a reoccurring decimal in Africa and around the globe that women are treated with disdain by some male counterparts in different forms and for different unsubstantiated reasons. It has to stop, and the campaign must be carried on even on the streets especially during a conference of this nature that brings together over 250 women from different countries. The maiden match will be in Banjul, Gambia.
Women Advancement Forum (WAF) is unique and will remain a unique platform for deliberations and formulation of actions plans on MDGs. It will be moments of inspiration, motivation, empowerment, advancement, emancipation and fun.
Once again we welcome you to our “Think Gender” forum; expect great things in the city of Banjul at WAF 2014!
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & LIKE US ON FB PAGE (click/copy the links):
You Tube: http://youtu.be/zYUkaL5QCPs
We look forward to welcoming you in Banjul, Gambia
We live in an era where geographical distance is no longer an issue when we want to study at Yale, Princeton or Johns Hopkins Universities.
There is a very new initiative - Coursera - to make available for free and for all what is called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The initiators have established quality alliances with 107 partners (Universities and other institutes) because they "believe in connecting people to a great education so that anyone around the world can learn without limits". They have put in place a nice platform for interactions with the teacher and other remote classmates. And they offer (for now) 557 courses in all the domains you could have thought of and not only in English (11 other languages are also represented)!. Currently there are 5.799.618 'Courserians' (a.k.a registered users on the website) and the figure is growing as you look at it (during the time I wrote this message, 26 more people just joined. Simply amazing!)
I am not part of the organization but I am making advocacy for it because I consider it is a high-quality resource. I have enrolled in 3 courses and based on my experience, this can bring a lot of added value through education. They also provide you with certificates provided that you respect some criteria/conditions.
I encourage you to have a look.
Regarded as one of Africa's foremost leadership authorities, Dr. Patson Dzamara is a native of Zimbabwe. He is a vibrant voice in the corridors of leadership, emancipation, human development and empowerment.
By the grace of God, he is a philosopher, leader, motivational speaker, life coach, educator, author, management and leadership consultant, career coach, team builder, counselor and a philanthropist.
Have you started thinking about your fundraising strategy for 2014?
What about incorporating online fundraising into your plan?
GlobalGiving is an innovative online fundraising platform. Since 2002, more than 9100 projects have raised over $99 million through GlobalGiving.org. Some of the benefits of joining GlobalGiving include access to tools, trainings, and funds from corporate partnerships.
How do you support ICT development in Africa?
Tell us your exciting story when you submit your proposal and get the opportunity to share your views next year in Kampala with 1,500 education practitioners.
Know more about the eLearning Africa 2014 themes and the Call for Proposals at http://elearning-africa.com/programme_themes.php
AGFUND announces the winners of its International Prize, 2013in the field of (Fighting the Phenomenon of Street Children)
(Marketing of Homemade Products) subject for AGFUND Prize 2014
The Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) announced the winners of its International Prize for Pioneering Human Development Projects for the year 2013 in the field of (Fighting the Phenomenon of Street Children). These projects were approved by the Prize Committee in its Fifteenth Meeting, which was held in in Montevideo – Uruguay on Tuesday 26 November 2013, under the chairmanship of Mrs. Mercedes Menafra de Batlle, Member of AGFUND Prize Committee, on behalf of HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, President of AGFUND.
The Committee also approved (Marketing of Homemade Products) as the subject for AGFUND International Prize 2014.
The Committee approved three winners from among 105 projects submitted for the Prize from 61 countries in four continents.
The winner of the First Category Prize (US$ 200,000), which is allocated for projects implemented by UN, international or regional organizations is the ChildSafe Networkimplemented in Cambodia by Friends-International Organization.
The Second Category (US $ 150,000) allocated for projects implemented by NGOs was approved for Kidshaven (Child and Youth Care Centre)implemented by Kidshaven in South Africa.
The Fourth Category Prize) US$ 50,000) specified for projects Implemented by Individuals was approved for the Recnowa Initiativeimplemented in Ghana upon the initiative and effort of Mr. Kwaku Kyei.
Meanwhile, the third category Prize (US$ 100,000), which is allocated for projects done by governmental bodies and public institutions, was withheld due to the fact that the submissions for this category prize did not meet the Prize conditions and criteria.
It is worth mentioning that the qualified nominations are evaluated by evaluators, who are well experts in the development fields. The evaluation process is undertaken based on the criteria specified in the Prize statute.
The Prize Committee membership comprises a number of renowned international figures representing the world regions, namely: Mrs. Mercedes Menafra de Batlle, Former First Lady of Uruguay, and President of Honor of the All for Uruguay NGO, Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank, Chairman of Yunus Social Business and Noble Peace Prize Winner 2006 and Dr. Y. S. Abdulai, former Director General of the OPEC Fund for International Development.
It is hard to believe that we have been here almost 6 months now…my, my how the time does fly by when you are busy. We had a chance earlier last month to visit with the two boys from Pitiku who we sponsor at the School For the Blind. I must admit it was a bitter/sweet visit. The school was preparing for an open house event and the students there were busy. Some were painting the risers on the stairs…remember, this is the school for the blind…some were policing the grounds locating and picking up trash. And some were playing ball…the ball had a bell inside of it so it could be located.
There were young people walking together…literally the blind leading the blind. Those with more confidence were helping the new students to adjust to their surroundings. Our taxi parked in a place where there isn't normally a car and he got in a little trouble when some students walked into it…"what's a car doing here", they asked? They knew they were not lost therefore they knew that whoever parked the car there was not a regular visitor to their school and was not informed about where cars are parked.
Our two young wards 5 & 6 years old live in separate dorms so we first picked up Nana
Kwame. We then went to find his younger brother Xorseko. When they heard each other's voice they hugged and laughed. They seemed to be well adjusted and remembered us, which made us feel good. Ewe is their first language but at the school Twi and English are mostly spoken and to our surprise and delight they were both learning the other languages…kids are like sponges, they absorb everything you put in front of them. Again we felt so proud of our boys.
We met the head mistress of the school and she was concerned about the number of students there, about 350. She told us that many were just dropped off and are virtual orphans, abandoned at the school. She wondered how they would be able to keep up with the demands on their tight budget. I'm sure that this was a plea to YEKO ANIM for funding but we just can't take on any more projects. Our funding too is limited with the work we are doing here in Kwahu Tafo.
Our Tertiary Scholarship funds are tapped out…we now sponsor over 35 young people attending university and that's about all we can do until someone matriculates or drops out. This being the case, I was asked to help the high school students research how to use the internet to find scholarship opportunities. Yep, you heard that right ME asked to sort of teach IT. I panicked but friends Stefi and Basti, two young volunteers from Germany stepped in and are giving me a hand.
We now give a lesson every Tuesday 4:00 - 6:00pm for 10 students at a time. We are working on a print out so the initial learning will be easier. Thank God for the young people…hip, hip, hurray. Now I am working on a short presentation that I will present to the whole of the senior body of the Kwahu Tafo Senior High School. If it is successful I will go to neighboring towns and do the same presentation.
BL has been busy with the Adult Literacy Program, which I will leave to her to explain. But I must say my part by thanking Engage Now Africa, www.engagenowafrica.org for coming to our small town and giving of their time and expertise in introducing this wonderful program to our community.
ADULT LITERACY PROJECT UPDATE
As Dutch just mentioned we had a wonderful and fruitful visit last month with both the Literacy Director, Cecilia Amankwah and Education Director, Francis Ansah from Engage Now Africa. Engage Now Africa is an American NGO who work in many African countries doing projects ranging from adult literacy and educational assistance programs to building projects including drilling new bore holes and major clean well-water projects. Their most recent capital achievement is construction of a university specifically for the training of public health workers.
Engage Now Africa are strong believers in teaching self- reliance, helping people build stronger families, businesses and communities. We are so thankful that they were willing to take us under their wing by teaching us how to get an adult literacy program underway. It is an enormous task when you think that close to 50% of the people in Kwahu Tafo cannot read, write or do simple numeracy. What we are learning from Engage Now Africa is to first help people understand what they do know. They know how to grow food and do it well! They know how to keep themselves clean even when it is a long walk for a bucket of water. They know where to find goods for their small trading endeavors. But what they don't know how to do is create a written record of what they have done. Simply said, to express themselves.
Cecilia stayed with us for three days. She presented workshops to nearly 50 people. Some came to see if they might become a facilitator. Others came because they know that by learning to read and write a little English, which is the official language of Ghana and by being able to keep a simple record of their trading, they can get ahead. They have the desire.
We stand now a crossroads. It will take money for us to fund this project and right now YEKO ANIM does not have enough to start this project.We estimate a running cost of about $7,000. a year. If any of you have a circle of close friends, work associates or perhaps even a book group, who would be willing to come together and help us launch this project, it will it become the foundation of sustainable development.
AND NOW TO CHRISTMAS
The Christmas season is upon us. If we were in America we would hear all the advertisement of so many more shopping days till Christmas, not so much here. When we do our bimonthly shopping in Nkawkaw we wouldn't even know Christmas was approaching until we go to Melcom's to buy our household cleaning supplies. There they've attempted a moderate westernized version of Christmas. A couple of 2' fake Christmas trees with minimum decorations…it is just not celebrated here in the same commercial way. Christmas is a Christian high day to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I don't miss the hoopla of shopping and decorating but I do miss the setting of our dining room table with Christmas plates and a beautiful centerpiece. I miss the dinner parties and camaraderie of having all our friends drop in for Christmas cheer…of having family around to catch up on yearly news. I would say I miss the snow but I'd be lying.
We did get a little Christmas gift for ourselves, two small paintings by Ghanaian artist Christopher Charway. A very busy street scene of Accra that reminds me of the paintings one sees in Jamaica and a beach scene of fishermen hauling in a net. Our main room is very small and they livened it up somewhat.
As we approach the Christmas season I hope that you keep YEKO ANIM in mind when you think of holiday giving. The gift of love is the strongest gift one can give. I wish you all a wonderful, happy, blessed Christmas season and may all of you get the gift you wished for.
You can learn more about Yeko Anim and how to donate on their website at http://www.yekoanim.org
The #eNigeria2013 Conference is in full swing in Abuja, and I am contributing to the event from afar using Storify - see below for all the details or click here to view the eNigeria Conference story directly on Storify website. It's a distant second from being there in person as I was last year, but still I am happy to be a part of it in my small way.
Storify is a handy online tool that lets you create and develop narrative out of online content. It has powerful search tools to find content on twitter, google and other common sources and then include them using a drag and drop interface. I like it for making sense of the flood of information from a time-limited event that multiple people are posting updates about.
Thanks everyone who joined us for the Africa Roundtable! The discussion with Nathan was very interesting, and the recording is well worth listening to (about an hour) and can be downloaded from https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1436887230943837954
The Africa Roundtable is back on 15 January, 2014 with an invitation to join a discussion on an interesting and timely question facing African civil society today, proposed by Nathaniel Houghton of the Congo Leadership Initiative:
"The question development in Africa frequently becomes an argument about whether or how much aid should be given to developing communities and in what cases markets may be a useful development mechanism. This debate simplified is a question over whether the primary or first problem facing underdeveloped countries and communities is a lack of resources or a lack of capacity. Ultimately, both of these factors are necessary to promote sustainable change, but the correct "mix" is a serious topic for debate."
How to Join the Discussion
Click here to register and we will send you instructions and a link for joining the online event using your web browser. The event is free for all but we do request that you register in advance and consider making an optional $10 donation to Kabissa which helps to cover our costs.
The event is scheduled for 15 January, 2014 at 15:00 UTC (6pm Nairobi, 4pm Abuja, 4pm Berlin, 3pm London, 10am Washington DC, 7am Seattle)
Introducing Nathaniel Houghton
Nathaniel is the President and Founder of the Congo Leadership Initiative. From the CLI website stories page:
Nate used to think that he didn’t have a very good CLI story. That’s because he can’t point to one moment in Congo that changed his life, made him renounce every idea he had about the world, and led him to start a nonprofit in Africa. He’s not from Congo and the first time he visited Kinshasa, he was nineteen. But at this point, it’s safe to say that Congo’s history, people, and future are as big a part of his life as his own family and friends in the United States.
Nate believes that, “The best way to make the world a better place is to find something you love doing and figure out how to positively impact other people’s lives through your talents and interests. I think startups are cool, and that’s what CLI is. I believe in our product - leadership - and its power to change the world. I am inspired by the countless volunteers, in Congo and around the world, who make CLI possible.” Nate is thrilled with how much CLI has grown and even more excited for the future.
About the Congo Leadership Initiative
Congo Leadership Initiative empowers young people in Congo by preparing them to be leaders because the ultimate solutions to Congo's problems will come from the Congolese people.
About the Africa Roundtable
The Africa Roundtable is an initiative of Kabissa to organize events to bring together people with a mutual interest in Africa for networking and to learn from featured speakers. Roundtable events connect people via video conference, and are recorded and put online for later viewing.
If you are interested in being featured at a future event please contact [email protected] Details about upcoming events and an archive of past roundtable events are on our website at http://www.kabissa.org/africaroundtable.