Category Archives: Advancing Leaders Fellowship

SIT Alumna’s local cause reaches the international stage

By Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2013, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 For some time now, EEPD AFRICA has been working assiduously to achieve its goals to create awareness and advocate for persons with disabilities in Africa. We know we cannot do this alone, though, so we are making every effort to network with like-minded people, organizations, and coalitions. Recently, we met with a representative from the World Vision International to tell her more about our work. Our Accessible School Environment Advocacy media campaign has been going extremely well, and after Professor Angela Hare saw one of our YouTube clips, she reached out to us to learn more about our work. Why was she so interested in our campaign? According to her, she could not stand by after seeing how most Ghanaian children with disabilities are being neglected and deprived of … Continue reading

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Save Girls’ Education in Balochistan

By Gul Khan Naseer, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, South and Central Asia Region Legislative Fellows Program 2013 Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan by area, but has the lowest literacy rate in the country. Only 44 percent of children are enrolled in school, and only 36 percent of girls are getting an education. According to Pakistan’s constitution, every child aged 5–16 is entitled to free and compulsory education, so why are so few children in this province in school? With involvement from local private schools, Balochistan’s Panjgur district has the highest literacy rate in region, but it is facing a serious problem. In April 2014, the religious extremist group Tanzeem-ul-Islam-ul-Furqan showed its determination to prevent girls from going to school. The group left written threats on the doors of the Oasis School, saying if the school did not close, … Continue reading

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Connecting the World Cup with Social Innovation

By Ntaryike Divine Jr, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, International Visitor Leadership Program 2012 June 2014 was a tremendously thrilling and yet challenging month for Science Investigations Inc (SCINC).  I spent most of the month in Brazil covering the 2014 World Cup for Cameroon’s Canal 2 International TV channel while also keeping up with the increasingly enriching World Learning Advancing Leaders Fellowship courses on social entrepreneurship. From the sidelines I watched Cameroon predictably underachieve. They were the second team to be knocked out of the tournament, and it dawned on me that the team managers’ science unawareness explained some of the reasons for the blunder. Why would a team preparing to play in tropical South American climatic conditions train in cold Austria? And did their late arrival—only four days prior to their first game—affect acclimatization and fitness? These types of questions … Continue reading

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Making International Days Matter أمل العالم

By Amira Ali Bouaouina, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, English in the Leadership Context 2013 The distinction between “Children’s Day” and the “International Day of the African Child” is glaring. While children around the world celebrate the first occasion by playing, dancing, drawing, and expressing their dreams to become doctors and astronauts, the majority of African children have never even heard about their special day. It simply passes by as any other normal day, where many still don’t have enough to eat, dig for water, deal with pregnancy and motherhood at too young of an age, and pass away silently. It has been more than three years since Algeria—the city of Ouargla, more specifically—received masses of refugees from the Sahel region of Mali due to war and political unrest. According to the Algerian newspaper Akher Saa (May 2014), five THOUSAND African … Continue reading

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Adapt and Overcome

By Alicia Moore, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 Summer has finally arrived at Blue Yonder Organic Farm, and the season is well underway. Apples, raspberries, and pears grow big in the orchard, swelling to perfection under clear blue skies. Leeks, garlic, tomatoes, and a variety of produce are maturing rapidly, almost ready for us to savor nature’s bounty from our fields. While the expression “adapt and overcome” is actually part of the Marine Corps mantra, I heard it often during my time in the Army. We never really know what type of curveball life is about to throw at us or which obstacles will halt the progress in our journey. A life well-lived is filled with not only triumph and joy, but sometimes difficulty and pain. Time on the farm is calming and sweet, but there are still reminders that … Continue reading

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Coming Home

By Thelma Boamah, Advancing Leaders Fellowship 2014, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 From a distance, I’ve been observing youth empowerment initiatives and lauding youth-generated solutions to challenges in Ghana and Africa for a few years now. I was something of a quiet cheerleader, looking on and playing whatever role I could as a member of the Ghanaian diaspora. The World Learning Advancing Leaders Fellowship has enabled me to return to Ghana to implement the Junior Camp Internship Program, and in the past month or so since I’ve been here, I have started to connect and collaborate with some of the same people whose efforts I’ve appreciated from afar. My first weekend back in Ghana, I attend a Barcamp. That was major! Barcamp Ghana in the flagship program of the GhanaThink Foundation, the organization I volunteer with and with whom I’m implementing … Continue reading

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Human rights education in Pakistan

Gul Khan Naseer By Gul Khan Naseer, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, South and Central Asia Region Legislative Fellows Program 2013 I have been advocating for the rights of religious minorities and marginalized groups in my area since I became a human rights activist and a development professional. Still, there is much more to do, as it is just the beginning. It is really very discouraging for me and my friends that the indigenous Hindu community is leaving their place of birth, Balochistan, due to religious extremism. Unfortunately, we are on a triangle bordering Afghanistan and Iran, which means we are surrounded by religious extremists. Hindus have been richly contributing to Balochistan’s economic prosperity and development since pre-patrician days. They are traders, shopkeepers, and have owned export and import businesses since before the Partition [the division of British colonial territory that created India and … Continue reading

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SCINC: Hopping from the Drawing Board to Reality

By Ntaryike Divine Jr, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, International Visitor Leadership Program 2012 The excitement spawned by the April 3 New York Pitch Competition has gradually transitioned into a blend of anxiety, hope, and above all, reality, as I crisscross Cameroon, presenting Science Investigations Inc, SCINC, to a diverse array of potential stakeholders. In late May, the project received resounding acclamation from the Minister of Communications and Government Spokesperson Issa Tchiroma Bakary who described the venture as “a clear blessing, which should come to fill an existing gap as well as offset a status quo that has unfortunately sustained science aloofness by people in this part of the world.” We hope to keep this momentum going with another high-level meeting for mid-July with a panel comprised of representatives from the ministries of scientific research, agriculture, the environment, and higher education; officials … Continue reading

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The Upper Hand الْيَدُالْعُلْيَا

By Amira Ali Bouaouina, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, English in the Leadership Context 2013 In April 2014, World Learning trusted and offered assistance to a group of young Algerian students who had a vision (not any earthly vision!) to create a safe and supportive learning environment for Malian children refugees in Ouargla, Algeria. This initiative has also been warmly welcomed by the community. Teachers, friends, and community leaders are determined to realize the My Africa Learns to Inspire or M.A.L.I. project. We, Algerian youth starting in Ouargla, strive to be the change or “spark the mind” that can create change.  We, ourselves, were inspired by the pioneer youth association Youth Capacities Development (YCD) and its ardent belief that, “The upper hand is better than the lower one” (Prophet Muhammad PBUH):  the upper bestows, while the lower one begs. In some … Continue reading

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Battle Buddies

By Alicia Moore, Advancing Leaders Fellow 2014, SIT Graduate Institute 2013 It has been more than a month since I received World Learning’s Advancing Leaders Fellowship to launch my social innovation project teaching US military veterans the basics of agriculture and how farming can heal the trauma of war. It is so encouraging that the World Learning supports my idea and vision for turning a humble organic farm into an agricultural training center for veterans. Soon after I joined my friend and fellow combat veteran Sara in managing the Blue Yonder Organic Farm, I realized that in the world of agriculture, everyone has a buddy. All of the cows, ducks, hogs, bees, chickens, lambs, and horses have a friend or a bunch of friends here on the farm; creatures do not do well by themselves. Sometimes these friends are unlikely … Continue reading

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