After the post election violence in Kenya in 2007/2008, it was very touching and humiliating to see people who had lived as neighbors since time in memorial, ganging up against each other on tribal inclinations. More so, the eviction of people from a place they had made and called their home for ages was overwhelming and unconscionable.
This is an experience that I wouldn't wish any human being endure.
Writing on Social Issues and Social Justice in the hopes of raising awareness on the deep issues that we face as a human race. The blog http://ronaldjanki.com/ is the forum for this small contribution.
J'ai une expérience dans le domaine de construction et je prés a le partager avec le monde entier afin de pouvoir mener ma pierre a la construction de ce monde.
War is taking over at almost 85% in the world, but what we notice is the recruitment of child in rebellion armies which pollutes and damage humanism in the machination of these soldiers children doped and unconsciousness. In one of localities where the rebellion is installed, I have spoken with some of these child that, want repeatedly to return to school or to join their families but they are afraid of multiple exactions committed while their rebel activities against neighbors, either to people who were close to them, under drug and alcohol effects. They are not completely lost but can be recovered while giving them a chance to back to a normal and worthy life.
Some people say that I'm too young to participate in theses groups in order to help the world and people in it, but this week I notice that I can do much more those people can imagine. I've been to the Youth Blast Conference in Brazil, I'm from Rio de Janeiro and I had a lot of differents experiences there, I met new people and learned a lot. Now, I'm interested in join all groups so that I can do my part in the youth of nowadays! I now that we have the power to change the world! Thanks, Gabriela Sarmet
Peace study in South Korea
Abigail Blake (US) ...Overall this trip was an amazing adventure. I will never forget. I learned so much about a culture that was so foreign to me and a culture I would have probably never have ventured to if it were not for EIL.
I made friendships that I hope can last a lifetime and forced myself to come out of my comfort zones many times, and for that, I am a stronger person. I will value the relationship I have made with my host family and group member and all of the things I learned while here.
My name is Mohammed Washala Abdi from Kenya. It was a great honor having got the opportunity to serve as an international UNV in UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS) stationed at the Ethiopian/South - Sudan Border County of Pochalla in the Jonglei state as Team leader/operations officer during the landmark referendum in 2010/2011. I still believe I learnt more from the community and institutions I worked with along other UNV colleagues in a set up mixed of both civilians and military than what I contributed in ensuring sustainable peace is achieved and consequent development in the South Sudan. The process and act of resilience among communities drawn into wars for over three decades was quite challenging as you hear stories narrated by youths and women affected by the long atrocities where gross human rights violations were experienced with almost over 2 million people killed was a life lesson experience and that Peace should not be taken for granted. Working for peace is about working for the state of minds and values of societies. Equally, volunteering opens a window of participation of affected communities in issues affecting their lives and they are always better placed in identifying effective sustainable solutions while volunteers play a center role of facilitation through various activities within programs i.e training promoting local volunteering among communities, peacemaking, peace-building and conflict transformation, an approach which can realized if pursued in totality. Peace is a critical ingredient of development the world over now that we are in a global village and interconnected in our daily endeavors with invention of digital connectivity in cyber space.
Thanks to UNV for this milestone opportunity which has made a great turn to my life in building a permanent career in civilian peacekeeping with specialized training in election management and conflict transformation courses and I look forward to making the lives of people better than we found.
MAY PEACE REIGN IN KENYA
Kenya underwent a very trying time during the 2007/8 post election violence one of its kind since independence. with that in my mind I have decided not to wait for anyone to help me SPREAD PEACE and do it for my country. in my day to day work in micro finance I encourage the small groups that I often meet not to be divided among ethnic ties because when they work and do business share things ethnicity never comes up. I encourage them to Shun leaders who divide them and forge ahead with they development projects. I also encourage women to come out in numbers to vote for leaders who will create a better future for their children. Please lets be peaceful during this coming election year those out there with a bigger voice than me help spread the word reach greater masses in Kenya. The poor Women and Children are the most affected when such bad eventualities happen.
First of all I will give a brief account of my experience in Mansehra Pakistan as a National UNV. I was assigned the task of promoting I.T Education (Information Technology), in the Government Higher Secondary School, Ghari Habibullah. This school was constructed anew by the Turkish government a year back, which had enrolled 1400 students from class 6th to intermediate level. The school was manned with 60 staff members. For I.T education, the school was provided with a Computer Lab, but hitherto used sparingly.
On initial analysis of the situation in order to promote I.T education and its effective and efficient use in the school, I first of all took up the task of making the computer laboratory functional as most the computers were not out of order, and as a second step, I decided to identify the target groups i.e. keen teachers and students. I took up the charge of making the laboratory functional by working day in and day out to bring the computers in functional condition, with the help of Agha Khan Development Network (the NGO that was already working in Mansehra) for the rehabilitation of the out of order computers to hold the I.T classes and providing computer networking facilities and provision of internet connections in the Computer Lab. After I had done so I turned towards my target groups. Apparently there was reluctance among the teachers because none of them had any hands-on experience of computer's in their professional life before. So it was important to first develop their interest in order to promote its use among the students. For this purpose I identified a group of teachers who showed their willingness to take part in the training classes. As a second measure, I targeted the willing students who also did not had any hands-on experience of the computers or even if they had they did not get enough experience to work with facility on the computer.
After the initial rehabilitation of the computer lab and identification of the target groups, I introduced a schedule of I.T classes for the students of classes 9th & 10th, by dividing them into multiple sections of approximately 70 students each, where each section was required to have two classes per week.
After the introduction of the I.T classes, I in collaboration with the teachers decided to setup a Monitoring Committee, to oversee the Computer Lab. The Monitoring Committee will be headed by the Principal of the School and will comprise of 6 teachers, to keep the Computer Lab in functional condition.
Besides this, as part of my mandate I also introduced the concept of volunteerism among the teachers, student and the community through my informal and social interactions. As part of this effort, I celebrated the International Volunteer Day in a function held in the school premises on 5th of December 2008. On this occasion I displayed banners, distributed brochures among the participants to promote volunteerism. In my estimation it is indeed important to introduce the concept of volunteerism among the communities affected by disasters, because it will inculcate among the communities a sense of ownership and bonding together in emergency situations and post emergency situations and become a part of the process of rehabilitation. This helps in two ways, firstly, that it promotes their participation and secondly, that it involves them in the decision making process. Both ways it helps them have say in the decisions which may have direct affects on their lives.
In order to promote volunteerism in NWFP in the wake of current security situation, I would suggest that we should introduce the concept in places where it is more acceptable and risk free, like universities and educational institutions. As I would bear this out with my experience, as I came across the idea of volunteerism by introduction through a friend who had worked in the UN, whereas we were not introduced to this idea in our very important professional career building phase. In all earnest, it is important that the idea of volunteerism is introduced in the universities and colleges to enable students gain important practical experience. This will help create a local work force having rich experience of local conditions. I personally see this concept as an investment in humanity which pays rich dividends in future.
My name is Samuel T. Sherman, Jr. I’m studying criminal justice at Howard Community College, after which I intend to matriculate to a four year University to study International Conflict Resolution. I am the founder and Executive director of the “ Johnny Mad Dog Foundation.” A personal initiative, volunteering for child soldiers in Africa. This foundation was created in 2007 after a shooting of a feature film “ Johnny Mad Dog, (www.johnnymaddog.film.com ),” a film base on a story writing by a Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala, base on his experience in the Congolese crisis. A French film director ( Jean-Stephane Sauvaire), adopted this story and shot the film in Liberia with real victimized children of war ( Child soldiers). I worked as assistant director to Jean-Stephane on this project working with many ex-CAFF ( Ex-Children Associated with Fighting Forces) in the sub regional west Africa ( Liberia, Sierra Leon and Ivory Coast).
Our program is to work with youth in Africa, focusing for the moment on young Liberians, victims of 14 years of civil war with the development of Education and daily life skills. The program aims to help participants develop achievable personal developmental goal. Education can be a crucial component of rehabilitation and reintegration into society for children once recruited to fight who have not had the opportunity to educate them selves.
Base on these voluntary services and dedication to my cause, I was offered a scholarship opportunity by Dr. Kathy Rokefeller, director of the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center (MCRC), Howard county, Maryland. After my studies and training in basic “Mediation and Conflict Resolution,” a division of the Maryland judiciary; I am certified and licensed as a Mediator, doing voluntary community conflict mediation resolution for the state of Maryland, in Howard County since 2011. I want to use these skills abroad in post-conflict zones. With my background in Liberia, I personally want to use this mediation and experience in peace keeping to help people in war affected areas, especially in post-conflict areas to heal. Hundreds of thousands of kids were affected by the war in Liberia, some have fled, some are still in Liberia, and many of them are just not accounted for. People are still marginalized and not getting the support they need. There are kids in graves there that we don’t know who they are, kids who are alive there tell me they have no parents, no home, no support. When I go back there they say please get international attention for us. Base on these many but few mentioned factors, I have decided to volunteer for ex-child soldiers globally. I have been working with universities, colleges, the United Nations, advocate institutions, European Union, and at the U.S. Congressional level collaborating with “ Child Soldier Relief Foundation,” a non-profit here in Washington D.C discussing these ill’s in society. As part of the sustainable development goal, a component of the Millenium Development Goal ( MDG ). We focus on the prominent social issues which have more to do with the “Justice Initiative,” the forceful recruiting of teen aged boy’s and girls as “Child soldier .“
There is an estimate of over 350,000 plus children affected by these conflicts and there is an urgent need to address these issues through awareness program, one such like this international volunteer participation initiative and at many symposiums serving as a conduit, a medium through the voice of the voiceless can be heard. Children are the future resource and need to have the basic and fundamental rights to life, education and family. Instead, they are being used to fight wars against their will. If we are working towards a “ sustainable development,” we’ve got to look critically at these ills in our society today.