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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Juniors Development Programme/SDGs Club @ Be Kind School - Ghana


I'm pleased to report that our first Cohort under our maiden Juniors Development Programme/SDGs Club will be receiving their certificates on Thursday, 19/12 /2019 at the Be Kind School, Ashaiman. GHANA.

It's been an amazing journey full of learnings as we engaged these young minds on the Sustainable  Development Goals (SDGs) and it's application to them.

It couldn't have been done without an amazing team of achievers (Tembu Kimbi aka Love Doctor, Hyacinthe Amankou, Sarah Twum, Jennifer Moffatt, Mabel Dove, Michael Sarfo, Evans Fianoo)... You guys are the best. I am eternally grateful to you for being a stronghold for me and these wonderful kids. God richly bless you paa!

Special Appreciations
1. Lady B Bless (Executive Director, TLBBHF)
2. Mama Love (Director, Be Kind School)
3. Apostle Dr. Enoch Amoatey (Administrator, Be Kind School
4. Collins Kafui Dey and Monsieur Guy Agani(our strategists)
5. Edward Kyei (You set all this in motion)
6. All friends who have supported in cash and kind and still do (you are our fuel)

We are preparing to have an amazing day on Thursday and you can support us in many ways. Kindly text me to know how (very importantšŸ˜) We promise to take plenty pictures and videos to share with you afterwards.

Thank you for your support.
The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation
Elizabeth Ofori (Zionita Rock)
General Manager


https://www.facebook.com/759822047475501/posts/1474463889344643/

Sunday, December 15, 2019

SDGs Ambassador, Diana Herawati teaching the SDGs in Indonesia.


It's always exciting and fulfilling to see how individuals who have gone through our #LearnTeachSDGs class online utilize the knowledge and support gained in useful actions to promote the Global Goals.


Meet The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation 's SDGs Ambassador, Diana Herawati. Diana is a secondary school teacher in Indonesia. She signed up for our #LearnTeachSDGs classes online and successfully received her certificate of completion along with good knowledge and understanding of the SDGs and how she can join the action towards achieving the Goals in her home country Indonesia.


After completing her class, she qualified to join our SDGs Ambassadors Program where she receives further training and support from The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation, to activate actions towards the Global Goals in her locality.


Her "Bringing Museums to Schools" project, an initiative she launched this week in her school in Indonesia with support from The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation. The project is an effort to provide inclusive and shared learning of history to her school when they couldn't afford to visit all the museums they needed to. Inspired by the Bangkok Bringing SDGs to Schools project, she has initiated a similar project and her students get to see images and information from different museums just as they would have if they had traveled to see them.

She's a testament to the efforts of The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation to advocate and teach the Goals to young people and professionals all over the world until no one is left behind.




Sharing my knowledge on The Sustainable Development Goals

Educators at all levels are key stakeholders of engagement especially if we're to leave no one behind in the action towards achieving a sustainable world.

Over the weekend, I got to speak to over 100 teachers and school heads in Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana about the Sustainable Development Goals and the key role they must play as educators to introduce the SDGs into their classrooms and foster action towards the Goals amongst their learners.

My sincere thanks goes to FAPIMPA Foundation (CSO)  for sharing their platform with me to speak on the SDGs. We need more of this kind of partnerships particularly at the community and grassroots (i.e implementation) level if all the talks at the high level will culminate in results.

I am available to facilitate sessions and workshops on the SDGs across Ghana and the West African Sub Region throughout the coming year. So link up and let's do this. #sdgs #ghana #globalgoals

Elizabeth Ofori
General Manager
eofori@tlbbhoundation.org
The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation


 

 

 


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Why the education of a girl child is important?


Image may contain: 3 people, including Nana Ama Fatima Acheampongmaa I, people smiling, text

The fact that women might have the chance of a healthier and happier life should be reason enough for promoting girls' education. However, there are also important benefits to society as a whole. An educated woman has the skills, information, and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker, and citizen.


Poverty Inc

The film is an inquiry into the poverty-industrial-complex - the multi-billion dollar market of NGOs, multilateral agencies, and for-profit aid contractors who propagate a system in which the poor stay poor while the rich get richer. The film challenges current perceptions of global charity and promotes entrepreneurship as an effective alternative to alleviating world poverty.




Tuesday, November 12, 2019

UN WOMEN - From where I stand: “My dream is to own my own garage”

Christine Wambulwa, 40, is the only woman mechanic in Kakuma Town, Turkana County, Kenya. As the sole breadwinner of her family, she works to send her children to school, so they can have the education she couldn’t afford for herself.

Christine Wambulwa poses for a photo. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown   
Christine Wambulwa. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

In my family, I was the 14th child and the only girl. I grew up watching my brothers. When the boys were making toy cars, I was making toy cars, when they looked after cattle, I too looked after cattle.

I stopped my education at eighth grade because there was no money for more. But I was too young to marry. I couldn’t get office work because my education was very low. So I started doing this work, repairing vehicles. I didn’t see any other woman doing this work… but I heard of one other woman mechanic in Kenya, her name was Rose. But I only heard of her, I never saw her. I am the only woman mechanic in Kakuma.

I like this work so much. I work daily, I don’t have a weekend. Every day, by 7.30 a.m. I am at work and I work until 7.30 in the evening. But if someone has a vehicle break down in the middle of the road, or in the bush, at any time, I will go.

There are challenges in this job. First, I don’t have any space. I am working along the roadside. There’s also lack of capital, so I don’t have enough tools. Whatever little money I make, goes to the family, and for my children’s school fees.

The other challenge is ignorance. Men don’t believe that a woman can repair a vehicle. A man will think ten times before giving me a vehicle to repair.

My message to other women and girls: Do not fear. Work is work. I lost my husband, so I had to work to provide for my family... Nothing’s hard for a woman, it’s only in the mind.

My dream is to have my own garage and to train more girls and women in this trade I will be then known as the Kenyan woman mechanic who was able to have her own garage, train, and mentor girls.

I would love for my children to take up this job. But I don’t know what they will decide to be when they grow up. My first one says he wants to be a scientist.”

SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
Christine Wambulwa lives and works in Kakuma Town, in north-western Kenya, where the Kakuma Refugee Camp is located. The camp and a nearby settlement host more than 186,000 residents today, and the town offers much-needed services and commerce in the area. UN Women, with funding from the Government of Japan, recently concluded the first phase of the Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response project in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei settlement that equipped women with leadership and livelihood skills. Christine was one of the women featured in a documentary series produced by UN Women’s implementing partner, FilmAid.


SOURCE UN WOMEN

Friday, November 1, 2019

UN WOMEN - In Focus: Women, Peace and Security



Community Peacebuilding Discussions held on Madura island, East Java, Indonesia. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Community Peacebuilding Discussions held on Madura island, East Java, Indonesia. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown


To create lasting peace, we need women’s voices and leadership.

When diverse women participate in peace negotiations, the quality and durability of peace agreements increases, and when women are signatories of peace agreements, they are more likely to be implemented.

Women are often the first to notice the rising tensions that can escalate to violence. They are also the first responders in the aftermath of conflict, taking on the lion’s share of care work for families and stepping in to repair shattered economies.

Yet, women around the world continue to be excluded from peace and political processes because of discriminatory laws, social stereotypes and institutional obstacles. Even when they are instrumental in brokering and sustaining peace, their contribution is rarely visible.

This year's UN Security Council Open Debate on 29 October and a host of high-level events held on its margins will take stock of the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. The theme for this year’s debate is, “Towards the successful implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Moving from the commitments to accomplishments in preparation for the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325”.

The United Nations has identified six priority action areas to accelerate progress in the lead up to October 2020:
  • make leadership accountable for the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, through improved data and gender analysis;
  • ensure women’s meaningful participation in peace processes, the implementation of peace agreements and related decision-making;
  • protect women’s human rights defenders and women’s organizations;
  • ensure women’s participation in economic decision-making in post-conflict situations;
  • Increase the number of women in uniformed services in peacekeeping missions and national security services;
  • finance the women, peace and security agenda and invest in women peacebuilders.

As world leaders and women peacebuilders gather at the UN Security Council this week, read and share stories from women who are working hard every day to forge and keep the peace.

UN Women has just released a dashboard on women, peace and security as part of the Women Count data hub. The dashboard enables visualizations of data on the UN system’s and Member States’ commitment to women, peace, and security.


Source: UN WOMEN

Sunday, October 20, 2019

WOMEN AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)




Gender equality is a right. Fulfilling this right is the best chance we have in meeting some of the most pressing challenges of our time—from an economic crisis and lack of health care, to climate change, violence against women and escalating conflicts.

Women are not only more affected by these problems, but also possess ideas and leadership to solve them. The gender discrimination still holding too many women back, holds our world back too.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015 embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind.

Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.

This editorial package showcases UN Women’s 2018 flagship report, “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda.” It features data, stories, videos, and publications that illustrate how and why gender equality matters across all the Sustainable Development Goals, and how the goals affect the real lives of women and girls everywhere.



Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda

UN Women’s flagship report demonstrates through evidence, new data, and analysis of how women and girls are faring across the world, and what it will take to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Download the report»

Video: The facts about gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals





More than two years into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, gender equality is fundamental to delivering on the promises of sustainability, peace and human progress. How far have we come in turning the 2030 Agenda into results for women and girls on the ground, and what is needed to bridge the remaining gaps between rhetoric and reality?

Join the conversation

How do the 17 Sustainable Development Goals impact women and girls worldwide?

Join the conversation to learn key facts, share unique stories, and see how we can reduce inequalities. Hashtags: #PromisesToAction #GlobalGoals

A social media package with sample messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.

Source: http://www.unwomen.org

Monday, September 30, 2019

The SDGS and the African Narrative

The SDGS and the African Narrative
by Elizabeth Ofori - GM of TLBBH Foundation Ghana


Over the past few months, I have been asked many questions about my work as a manager of a start-up nonprofit, a development and sustainability consultant and an SDGs advocate. But three of the most outstanding questions have been; “How do these SDGs relate to the story of Ghana and Africa”, “Aren’t the SDGs an attempt by the western world to once again control and manipulate the affairs of the black people” and “Can Africa attain these development goals at all, talk less of in the next ten years”?.Over the past few months, I have desisted from attempting to give an absolute answer to any of these questions because truth be told, there is no absolute answer to any of them. I am not even going to pretend as if these are not genuine questions to ask. Neither am I going to forge an answer or pretend to even have answers to any of these questions. I honestly don’t. But what I know I have and can confidently lay it bare before everyone, is my understanding, passion, vision and drive concerning these same issues and what I am willing to do to effect change in the ginormous capacity that God has so graciously lavished on me.

I am not by any means saying that I have it all figured out, or I can do it all by myself. Neither am I disproving the fact that the current state of affairs in Ghana and most part of Africa with regards to development and social change is at best, hugely disparate. But I need you to walk with me through my thoughts on these issues and see how best we can all work together, directly or indirectly, to build the kind of Africa, we want to have.


How does the SDGs relate to the story of Ghana and Africa?

The sustainable development goals are a set of 17 goals to help our planet (for a full lecture on the details of the SDGs, sign up for my SDGs classes). The goals are further broken down into 169 targets and 230 plus indicators to help specify actions suitable for different localities that feed into the achievement of the goals. One very unique thing about the goals is how they are all interconnected in such a way that actions adopted for the achievement of one goal will directly or indirectly feed into the achievement of another. 

All 17 goals are of utmost importance, however, different localities and countries may have a different set of goals that are of immediate importance to them based on the unique set of challenges that face them. Hence, my answer to this question is, the SDGs provide a good vehicle on which the development of Ghana and Africa can ride.

Aren’t the SDGs an attempt by the western world to once again control and manipulate the affairs of black people?

One of the understandings I live by is “no one can come into your space and control your affairs or manipulate you unless you allow that person to”. We are always quick to blame the western world for all the woes of the black people and I will be honest, we are very much justified to. The blatant truth is that the western world has no love for any other people but it's own (and there is no crime or foul play in that). The only problem is that black people have a love for all other people but it's own. And that is the actual, real issue we need to address and vehemently annihilate from our midst. 

We have allowed ourselves to be bamboozled into thinking that the black people are helpless and that the western world is an enemy, friend or frenemy (whichever category you have chosen to place them). The truth is, we are our own enemies and the day we accept that and begin to consciously rise from it will be the day that our true mental emancipation and development begins.

Is there a hidden agenda behind the SDGs? I don’t know. Is the SDGs a good development vehicle for all people irrespective of race, color, and nationality? Yes. Will I continue to advocate the SDGs especially it's fit into Ghana’s development? Yes.

My conclusion on this matter is, if you feel like you have been played long enough, get up and stop being played and play the game yourself.

Can Africa attain these development goals at all, talk less of in the next ten years”?

Hmmmmm! This question, I sincerely do not know how to answer. What I know is that we may not have reached our desired destination by the next ten years, but we definitely would have made tremendous progress along the path of progress if we are able to consolidate all the pockets of efforts and actions taking place right now.

Goal 17 of the SDGs is by far my favorite goal because it specifies how we can work together to achieve what we all desire to have and enjoy in our various countries and continents.
In my next article, I will speak specifically to Goal 17 – Partnerships for the goals, the challenges we face as Ghanaians and Africans when it comes to partnerships and collaborations and some solutions I have designed to help us work coherently towards our vision.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading, sharing and supporting.

Monday, September 9, 2019

FEMININITY AND FEMINISM ARE TWO DIFFERENT CONCEPTS


By Elizabeth Ofori, GM @TLBBHFoundation

This week, I've been thinking about so many things.... And one of them is the issue of Gender Equality and Balance....



I am proud of how far we've come as a people towards ending some of the harsh discrimination that hitherto existed or in some forms still exist against women and girls worldwide. I am particularly proud of the progress we're making in ensuring that women and girls everywhere have the same privileges and opportunities as men and boys.

But I have some few perspectives I want to share on the issue.

In recent engagements, I observed among some colleagues, two huge school of thoughts on the issue and I have soon realized that these two divergent views actually do exist on a much larger scale.

1. The first school of thought believe that there's too much "noise" been made about women and girls and discrimination against them and all that. They asset to the view that women and girls are receiving so much attention that men and boys are being driven into the background so women and girls take centre stage.

2. The second school of thought hold the view that it is a justifiable cause to be putting so much emphasis on women and girls if there's any chance to right the wrong that has been done against women for years now. They believe that the playing field stands a chance of being leveled for both groups (women and girls and men and boys) if only they keep on with the female empowerment cause that is being embarked on now.

My perspective on the matter

First, femininity and feminism are 2 different concepts which are not mutually exclusive. I don't need to lose my femininity just because I am a feminist.

Second, I do not accept that balance only means 50/50. A tonne of cotton will weigh the same as a tonne of gold but there will be obvious and significant difference in the volume of the two. A bag of cotton will most likely not necessarily weigh the same as a bag of gold. My point is, it matters what measuring unit, or medium you use to judge a particular thing or person... So to achieve balance, you don't try to fix the nature of the thing, you provide the same unit of measurement and allow whatever you are measuring live up to that unit in whatever way it presents itself. So I don't ask the cotton to come in a bar shape for it's tonne measurement just because the gold comes in a bar shape or vice versa. If the cotton has to present itself in 10 bags just to meet its tonne measurements doesn't mean the gold has to come in 10 bars. The equality here is that both gold and cotton must weigh a tonne without prejudice to their individual nature. That is balance. So like I said, it's not the nature, it's the yardstick we need to check.

Third, If hitherto, gold has been discriminated against due to its metallic nature and cotton has been favored, deciding to reverse or correct the situation by favoring gold over cotton does not actually achieve that goal. What you have only succeeded in doing is flipping the odds against cotton and hence beginning or should I say repeating the same vicious cycle of inequality, but this time in the opposite direction. What you actually want to do is to set a new and better precedent where both can equally express their unique nature and measure up to set standards in whatever form that comes naturally and unique to them.

I will conclude with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie " If you criticize X in women, but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women".

And I say; the same is true in vice versa: If you criticize X in men but do not criticize X in women, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with men.

This sums up what true equality is.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. Let the dialogue begin.

#Goal5
#SDGs
#EliminateInequalities




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

INVESTING IN JUSTICE FOR WOMEN

Investing in Justice for Women

by Dr Jeni Klugman - Managing Director, Georgetown Institute of Women and Peace and Security & Lead Author, Report of the High-Level Group on Justice for Women


Photo ©UNDP Papua New Guinea


Justice for women and girls is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, with its commitment to gender equality (SDG 5) and its promise of peaceful, just and inclusive societies (SDG 16).

UN Women, IDLO and the World Bank recently convened the High-level Group on Justice for Women, along with the Task Force on Justice of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. It delivered a comprehensive report to better understand common justice problems for women.

For too many women, gaps persist between the promise of justice and its reality. Women living in poverty experience more frequent and more complex, interrelated legal problems and, every additional legal problem can increase their probability of experiencing more.

The Justice for Women report provides a global overview of legal discriminations.

• More than half of women have experienced a legal problem over the past two years.
• From health to consumer issues, similar shares of women and men face civil legal problems. However, women face more family-related legal problems and restrictions on their rights.
• In Australia, people with multiple disadvantages face problems six times more than those with none.

A strong case for investing injustice for women
Justice for women is a basic human right, reflected in such core treaties as CEDAW, and it is critical to progress on all the SDGs. But women’s justice makes economic sense.

For the first time, this report brings together the evidence demonstrating that investing injustice for women—and especially eliminating legal barriers, reducing gender-based violence and child marriage—produces high returns to the economy and society.

Women’s justice, security, and inclusion, as captured in the WPS Index, is strongly associated with human development.

• Ending child marriage could generate annual gains from lower population growth, for example, estimated by the World Bank and ICRW to exceed US$20 billion in 2015 and US$560 billion in 2030.
• Women’s land rights are associated with better outcomes on many economic and development fronts.


Fortunately, many proven actions, including eliminating discriminatory laws, are cost-effective, relatively easy to implement and produce sizeable gains. However, additional resources are required to enforce existing and new laws. Providing affordable legal services for disadvantaged groups likely require more money.

What works to advance justice for women

The Justice for Women report framed promising approaches to women’s justice under five categories.
Eliminating discriminatory laws signals that gender-based discrimination is unacceptable. Since 2013, there have been 87 changes in legal gender equality in 65 countries. With the support of UNDP, the G-20 along with women activists, academics, and politicians successfully lobbied for gender equality in Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution. Fourteen principals safeguarding women’s rights were ratified, including reproductive rights, marriage equality, and protection from domestic violence.


Preventing and responding to intimate partner violence has moved to the top of the global, and in many countries, national agenda. The pace of national legislative reform on domestic violence has been rapid since 1976 when only one country prohibited marital rape. Now a majority of countries have laws on domestic violence.

This legal reform needs to be accompanied by supportive policies and regulations, as well as community engagement. Strategic litigation can be a way to bring about a gender-responsive interpretation and application of the law. In Afghanistan, UNDP has been working with community religious leaders to increase women’s knowledge of their legal rights.

Overcoming disadvantage for poor and marginalized women requires targeted policies and programs. This can be done through social protection programs—the focus of this year’s CSW.

Others include:
• Legal aid to enable poor people to seek justice that would be otherwise out of reach
• Support from paralegal services
• Promoting legal literacy to create an awareness of legal rights and duties
• Empowering women, economically and as rights holders, is part of ensuring justice.
• A legal identity can be a stepping stone to women’s empowerment. Access to some government programs are conditional on having a legal identity.
• Strengthening women’s land rights has intrinsic and instrumental importance for both women and men. Family law, inheritance law, and land law affect the right to own and control property. In collaboration with UN Women and other UN agencies, UNDP finds that in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, daughters are eligible to receive only half the inheritance of sons, while marital rape is not a crime.
• Eradicating patriarchal biases in family law has been successful in many countries.
What works to change the pervasive under-representation of women in decision-making in the justice sector?
• Political will is the most important.
• Fair and transparent selection, nomination, and promotion processes.
• Improving data and tracking progress. Most countries license attorneys and bar associations, who collect, but do not publish, demographic information.

Evidence suggests that measures, such as legal reforms, are best coupled with community efforts. A one size fits all approach is not effective—programs must adapt to the local context.

Looking ahead
How can we accelerate progress? Governments and partners are now preparing Acceleration Actions on Justice for All for the SDG summit in September. Those working at the intersection of SDG5 and SDG16 can contribute by mobilizing further actions and registering them as commitments with the United Nations ahead of the SDG Summit. UNDP is a critical partner in making this happen.

The report Justice for Women, its executive summary and the infographic summary are available online in English and Spanish. The report of the Task Force on Justice, and related reports are available online in English, Spanish and French. The Justice for Women video can be viewed online alongside related activities.




SOURCE: UNDP

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

SDGs ERA & THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN


By Aysha Jaral - TLBBHFoundation Guest Blogger from Pakistan

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” -Nelson Mandela

There is nothing more innocent and pure in this world than the children. But are we holding out on protecting children’s rights?

We are living in 21st century and our children are still bearing corporal punishments in schools. A large number of our beggars are children under the age of 10 years. Everyday we hear a new story of child sexual abuse and it is a crying shame.




Whenever I think about children and children rights, it reminds me of a wonderful Oscar winner movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which shows the reality that how cruel world use the innocent children for their own purpose.

Now lets have a look how much work for the protection of children rights has been done and is in process.

UNICEF is responsible for 7 global SDG indicators and co-custodian for further 10 indicators. Its work is structured around 5 overarching areas of well-being for every child. These are;

1. Every child survives and thrives

2. Every child learns

3. Every child is protected from violence and exploitation

4. Every child lives in a safe and clean environment

5. Every child has a fair chance in life

So, SDG agenda 2030, can bring a hope to the children all around the world. Every child has right to live, to get quality education and good health. Their mental health is really important, because the future belongs to them.

As Frederick Douglass says; “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

QUALITY EDUCATION & THE GHANAIAN PEOPLE

By Elizabeth Ofori, GM @TLBBHFoundation

As an SDGs Advocate and Consultant, one thing that I'm particularly concerned about is how the Global Goals translates into the different narratives of different localities, communities and national stories or conditions.

Today, thinking critically about Goal 4 - Quality Education within the context of the Ghanaian people, I have concerns about the approach of the Ghanaian Government, CSOs in the educational space and individuals championing the educational cause as to whether we are actually making progress or just going round in circles.

One huge challenge regarding the Goals and the activities of various groups in the cause is the issue of Sustainability.

The first target for Goal 4: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes

For the Ghanaian people, it may look like we’re making some progress here with the government’s new free SHS policy. And before I am misunderstood, I do acknowledge that this is also a step in the right direction.

Then again, my concerns still remain:

1. Is this new free SHS program sustainable?

2. Is it an initiative that has been clearly communicated to all stakeholders especially different political groups, as well as major educational stakeholders?

3. What happens to the program when there’s a change in the political climate (I. E. A new government comes to power)

4. How is the program being funded?

5. Who is being held accountable especially for resources being used for the program?

6. Are both girls and boys having equal access to this?

7. What’s the quality and standard of this free senior high school? Is the free education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes?

8. How is the progress of the free senior high school going to be measured and evaluated in a holistic way that considers all aspects of its progress

I could go on and on but the point is, Quality Education is an important goal and I believe “quality” in this regard is not supposed to be a one size fit all thing but rather a dynamic and interactive measure that considers the unique features of the environment at play.

Let’s keep the conversation going!

#SDGs #Sustainability #4QualityEducation

#Goal4


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

KASHMIR DISPUTE - A THREAT TO WORLD PEACE AND JUSTICE


By Nida Jannat, The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation - Guest Blogger - Pakistan

Without justice, there can be no peace. He who passively accepts evil as much as involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it ~ Martin Luther King.

As an ambassador of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I opted for Goal #16 that calls for Peace and Justice and Strong Institutions. 

As the whole world has witnessed a long tale of suppression, brutality, and injustice enunciated in a variety of documents. In the 21st century, we are witnessing an akin situation in Kashmir that reminds me of dark ages where discrimination and ferocity were on the climax. The same paradigm of brutality is being practiced in Jammu and Kashmir to curtail the voice for self-determination and freedom of expression of indigenous.




Justice is an integral part of democracy, but if authorities breach the laws and launch crackdown on its citizens, we must call it state-terrorism rather putting the veneer of militants to stifle locals that are struggling for their survival.

Recently, the despots of the region have launched mass mobilization of troops in Jammu and Kashmir to provoke residents that could endanger the peace in the valley and also lawful efforts have been taken to reduce the autonomous status of Kashmir.

Several innocents women and children have been targeted using cluster ammunition that is prohibited in Geneva Convention. Security council and concern institutions should exert power to calm the situation.

The peace process is being deteriorated in Kashmir continually. I request my all SDGs fellows to launch awareness campaigns in their respective areas for the sake of peace and prosperity it will be viewed as your huge contribution towards peace and justice.

Dear readers, repeat after me: We will save humanity from atrocities. We are not going to tolerate bloodshed in Kashmir. We will remain firmly under the umbrella of democracy to incorporate peace and justice.

Let us stand against injustice!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

SAY NO TO FOOD WASTE: BE A ZERO HUNGER HERO


By Sahib Zadi - The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation - Guest Blogger Pakistan

Pope Francis said “Wasting food is like stealing from the poor”. I believe it is indeed true. Every second a person dies of hunger. The FAO estimates that as many as 25,000 people lose their precious lives everyday as a result of hunger. More than 1 billion people suffer from hunger. This means that 1 in every 6 person on Earth don’t get enough food to live a healthy life.

Zero hunger; The 2nd goal of the SDGs, growing up in the world, it is one of the most dominant goal to discuss and to be solved.

Nutritious food is a basic human right. No human alive deserves to go to bed with an empty stomach. But we all are abusing our rights by trashing our food, food which starving children would have died for.

Approximately 9 million people in the world die of hunger each year according to world hunger statistics. 98% of those who suffer from hunger live in developing countries. 553 million live in the Asian and Pacific regions, while 227 million live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Latin America and the Caribbean account for 47 million. India has the highest population of hungry people.

According to the report, Pakistan losses thousands of mothers and children due to lack of food. In Pakistan, district Tharparkar is said to be one of the dangerous regions of the country in terms of people’s survival. Every year, hundreds of people die in the area due to food insecurity and malnutrition.

On average, 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. Not only food industry but we are all food waster too. Every day, people throwing their meals away, at restaurant, at home, at school and at wedding halls. Many people scraping full plates of food into bins, which millions of people would died for.

The consequences of food wastage are utterly atrocious. Food loss and waste are large contributors to world hunger because people don’t share their food with others. If someone can’t finish food, share it with a person.

A beautiful quote by Mother Teresa “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one”. This may decrease the death rate of hunger in our society. While changing our daily dining habit is the easiest and the most effective way to solve this issue. There are few steps that I strongly believe we are can take. There are some NGO’s that work towards reducing food waste and eradicating world hunger.

Thus, we also need to take action immediately. We need to minimize our domestic food waste and we need to be aware of the consequences of food wastage to humans, nature and the economy and we need to donate money or food to the NGOs who are working for world hunger. This is how we can be a hero, “A Zero Hunger Hero”.

Friday, August 2, 2019

SAY NO TO GENDER DISCRIMINATION


By Ayesha Latif - The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation - Guest Blogger Pakistan

Hillary Clinton says; “Human rights are the women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”.

Yes, I agree with her because I have never doubted the power of women to change the world.

We have heard a lot that “Educate a woman and the community will prosper”. Yes, I do believe because when you educate a woman you actually educate a family and this is how the community succeeds.



Last month, I got to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, and thanks to Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation for making us aware of the value of these goals. I really appreciate what you did.

Gender Equality; the fifth goal of SDGs. Growing up in a male dominant society, I realized that it’s one of the most important goals to discuss and to be solved. A society where a woman is considered to just look after their home and family. Its really hard to listen to something like, ‘This job is not for women, only men can do’. According to the International Labor Organization, in Sindh Pakistan women work more than their men but still, their wages are lower than men. This is how our system shows discrimination and makes men superior to women.

What a beautiful saying by Malala; “When God created man and woman, he was thinking, ‘Who shall I give the power to give birth to the next human being?’ and God chose the woman. And this the big evidence that women are powerful.”

Educate your girls. Make them confident. And say no to ‘Gender Discrimination’

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

WHEN CREATING OPPORTUNITIES, LET THERE BE EQUITY.



By Elizabeth Ofori - General Manage The Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation, Inc


In a recent conversation with a very good friend, he said this "... Liz, there will always be the rich, and there will always be the poor. I don't understand what equality you want cos these dynamics will never change".

I thought about this for a split second and responded " yes, you're right...The dynamics of hierarchy are deeply entrenched in even the way our planet is made. There are different layers of the earth's crusts. Hierarchy brings balance and a good balance is what we intend to achieve sustainability no matter what it is you're doing"

"However, when we talk about reduced inequalities, we're not saying we want everyone to be rich, we're not saying we want everyone to be male or female, we're not saying no one should have a physical challenge (we wish), we're not saying everyone should be black or white or yellow or brown"

THIS IS WHAT WE'RE SAYING!

We're saying that don't treat me differently because I have no money, don't treat me differently because I am male or female, don't treat me differently because I am differently-abled or physically challenged, don't treat me differently because I am white or black or yellow or brown, don't treat me differently because I am young, don't treat me differently because of where I come from.

Give me the opportunities that you know I deserve. Consider me based on my merits, my strengths, intellectual capacity, track record, my passion, skills.

Consider my vision, does it align with yours? Then consider me. Look at my grades, do I qualify? Then consider me. Look at my passion, my intellect, skills, is it what you're looking for? then consider me.

When creating opportunities, let there be equity.

What the rich person can afford 10 times over, the poorest person should be able to afford one.

Yes, there will always be different classes and levels of wealth among us. But we should never be OK when we still have people amongst us who live in such abject need that their living is almost inhumane.

Let's come together and build strong societies and communities where the least person can afford to eat a decent meal, have a decent job and provide his or her own decent basic needs.





Monday, July 29, 2019

IS EDUCATION & TRAINING ENOUGH?


The following submission is a recent understanding I gained reading  Trevor Noah's memoir "Born a Crime". I agree with him first hand.  





We have heard this saying over and over again...we're even taught it in rhymes during our preschool days - "if you give a man a fish, he will have a single meal, but if you teach him how to fish, he will eat all the time". Oh, how we believed it. And chanted it with such gusto.
Then we saw ourselves over the years trying to learn to fish so we can eat all the time.


What we forgot to see then, but hopefully we get to see now, is the fact that after teaching a man to fish, you need to provide him with a fishing gear so he can begin to fish.
Most people who have made it successfully today will always tell you about their big break. The one moment when someone or something presented him or her with the hook and line he or she so badly needed to put his fishing lessons to use and convert it into something substantial.

What am I saying?

I am saying that it's not enough to just give a person education or training without providing the job opportunity (or starter pack,  whatever form it takes) or what I call "the hook and line" needed to transform that knowledge into wealth.

That's the current case of the alarming rates of unemployment especially youth unemployment globally but sadly more in developing countries.

You see job advertisements asking for 25 years of experience for a role that simply requires basic knowledge in bookkeeping, organization or administrative work.

You see global organizations advertising roles that require a minimum qualification of a high school diploma or let me step it up a bit; a degree (which most young innovative people have) but they go ahead to say must have at least 10 years experience in a similar role.  (really?)

What we have failed to realize is that the world is shifting from the era of typical specialization to what we now call expert generalists. The days when a person studies accounting and becomes an accountant the whole of their lives is gradually but steadily giving way to the days where you need to be an expert in different fields.

In as much as experience is important in any given field,  we need to remember that we have to take the chance on the people  (especially young people) who have the energy, drive, passion,  innovative ideas and non - financial wherewithal to add value to your organization, institutions, or business.

Decent work should not be a privilege to a selected few but equal access to anyone who is ready to put the hand to the plough. - By Elizabeth Ofori  GM TLBBHF




Friday, July 5, 2019

YALI WEST AFRICA COHORT 14 PARTICIPATION

Young African Leaders Initiative – YALI West Africa Cohort 14 Participation

The first Cohort of the second phase of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) West Africa, arrived on the GIMPA Campus in Accra Ghana to begin the 3 weeks intensive onsite training.

Out of about 13,000 applicants,
 


ELIZABETH OFORI, the General Manager of the Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation was among the 150 participants from 9 West African countries selected to join the 14th Cohort of the YALI Accra RLC.

The 17-week long training comprises of 2 weeks online training, 3 weeks on site training and 12 weeks of post training activities including mentorship and internship/community service in that succession. The onsite training for the current cohort just came to a successful completion as participants departed to their various countries to continue with post training activities after which successful applicants will graduate to join the growing network of YALI Alumni.


The program was designed with core courses spanning relevant leadership topics like Leadership and Accountability, Ethical Leadership, Contemporary Issues affecting the Sub Region and Gender Equality and Equity. After these core courses, participants are divided into their respective elective tracks for which they signed unto the program; Civic Leadership, Business, and Entrepreneurship and Public Policy and Management. These 3 areas represent the 3 major aspects of a nation’s development and participants received deep and relevant lectures from seasoned and passionate facilitators filled with practical assignments and presentations covering relevant topics affecting the sub-region. The learning here was life-changing.


As a participant in the Civic Leadership Track, Ms.Ofori was trained in the sector of nonprofit management and building a sustainable social enterprise. The West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI) facilitated the whole session on nonprofit management and sustainability. She stated, "The knowledge and skills gained here are so impactful and useful to my work as the General Manager of the Lady B Bless Humanitarian Foundation and I am already geared for action to lead the foundation into higher impact and life-changing moments".



One useful aspect of the YALI program is the network of young, smart and uniquely diverse Africans who share similar passions. It’s a network for life and its value is immense.



Now that the onsite training has ended, the next step is completing all post-training requirement in order to graduate into the prestigious YALI Global Alumni Network.