The world through my eyes

Posts tagged “campaign

*NEW CAMPAIGN* – African Queens Project – Going Rural

Africanqueenslogo

 

I had started a project, “African Queens Project“, this year with the intention of impacting a marginalised group in Africa: women and I have now seen it grow beyond my expectations from wining an internationally renowned award to impacting and changing the lives of young girls and Women.

I realised however that the people who would really benefit from this project were not being reached and thus have launched a new campaign called “African Queens Project – Going Rural.”

Everybody has a story and a story has the power to change someone’s life. The award-winning project, African Queens Project, has become the source of all things related and affecting African women. We collect the stories of phenomenal women from around African who are shaping their communities and countries and put it on the website in the form of videos, interviews, and audio bites as well as sharing news stories and articles about African Women. For to long African women have been marginalised and we have taken the initiative of changing women’s mindset to believe that the impossible is possible.

We want to make African Queens Project more accessible to women and girls within the rural areas in Tanzania by creating applications, books and conducting workshops enforcing our message of leadership and working towards your dreams.  We would also like to create documentaries about phenomenal women and girls doing amazing things from the grassroots level and instilling change in their communities. We also want to do this at absolutely NO cost to the women and girls who can benefit from our services.  This is where we need YOUR help.

Your contribution in any amount will be instrumental in changing the lives of women and young girls living in villages who think that this is as good is as its going to get. Change begins in the mind and mindset transformation is key if we want to see a new generation of women who can be the leaders of tomorrow.

If you would like to support us you can do so by going to this link:

http://igg.me/at/africanqueensproject/x/5356679

I would like to say a BIG thank you to all the friends and supporters who have believed in this project thus far and have seen it go from being a dream to a reality.

You are royalty!


Mental Health Campaign: #HugSitawa

I remember looking through my Twitter timeline and seeing a young woman called Sitawa Wafula being congratulated for winning a philanthropy award and when I looked into her, I knew I must share her story on African Queens Project: http://africanqueensproject.com/2013/08/12/sitawa-wafula/.

Sitawa advocates on an issue that has been a silent killer on our beautiful continent, an issue that is usually blanketed by age old beliefs and harsh traditional views thus leaving the victims of this silent killer to miss out on much needed medical treatment.  The issue I am talking about is Mental health related sicknesses. Sitawa Wafula, after suffering a rape ordeal, rose up from the ashes by giving a voice to the voiceless via promoting awareness on Victims of rape as well as mental Health sicknesses, having developed one after her rape ordeal.

She has recently launched a campaign called #HugSitawa, “that aims to create awareness about mental health and suicide and also raise money for a toll free help line.”

“Currently, 1 in every 4 Kenyans will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. This narrows down to each and every household in this country having a brush with either bipolar, depression, suicide, alcohol and substance abuse disorders, just to mention a few.
…All these households will have to compete for the services of 79 psychiatrists serving a population of 40 million Kenyans.
…All these households will also compete for space in one referral hospital what is understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded.
…And like me, all these households will not have a proper support system.”

If  you would like to find out more about this campaign and how you can be a part of it, please check out this link for more information: http://sitawa.blogspot.com/2013/09/hugsitawa-campaign.html

I am hoping that by my sharing her story and her campaign that is currently located in Kenya, that it will be an eye opener for other campaigns in other countries like Tanzania, Uganda, and Chad just to name a few. Below is a blog post that Sitawa wrote where she poetically describes what happened to her the day that shook her world and turned it upside down. #HugSitawa

Sunday 15th

“I will keep telling my story because everyday,
a man, a woman, a child is raped”
Vip Ogola
In her interview on NTV,Vip Ogola said that she will keep telling her story because everyday, a man, a woman, a child is raped; and they need to know its going to be ok,that they are not alone. Back then I wasn’t sure, I was scared, I had no one to tell me it will be ok,there was no story for me to relate to; pen and paper were all I had, my poetry was the only solace; so I did what I thought best…wrote a piece about it and went on. Right now I am sure of myself and I, too, will tell my story so that someone out there will know they will be alright, that there are people who care, people who have been there…Sunday 15th

Sidenote: It is a long piece, unedited (OK just worked on the paragraphing, period). When I was working on my book I thought of shortening it, but yet again I looked at those pieces and saw how they have made me, and the fact that I didn’t write this or any piece for entertainment or for literature critics to see if it follows the rules. Poetry is my vent and the book is me opening part of my diary to the world and yes it was to be out mid this year, and it is ready but I, too, have to be ready.@Vip, you don’t know how your voice has helped me, right from when I read your story on The Standard to seeing you on national television plus the many things you do for people who have been raped. Makes me kinda wish I met you back in 2003,but all things work at His time so its never too late…May He continually bless he works of your hands.
Oscar Wilde said, ‘There are many things that we would throw away, if we were not afraid that others might pick them.’ I have held on for far too long, now it is time to let go. I wrote this piece on after events that took place on Sunday 15th June 2003 for therapy and it has helped me for the last 6 years. Now I write it in my notes, praying it does the same for someone.
I am ready to move to the next level of healing.
SUNDAY 15TH
If the sun was there on that day, I don’t know;
And if it shined brighter than ever, I don’t care.
My tears, all view they clouded.
What moved me, to date am yet to know.
An errand to run, you said you had,
Before I fully awoke, you’ll be back,
As the day to spend together you desired.
So over I turned,
And deep into sleep I fell.
If all the anger I feel is at you, I don’t know;
And if you spend your whole life making amends, I don’t care.
Nowhere in sight, so off I go.
Your best friend I meet, wish I never stopped to buy that gum.
A message from you to me, he to keep me company.
Back to the host we agree, a little more time he said.
A little spike in my cup of tea he added.
One sip, two sip;
Cant recall if there was a third.
If the hosts heard me cry out for you, I don’t know;
And if you know I cried for you, I don’t care.
Back from the dead I return, warmth behind me I feel.
My love when did you arrive, stone face meets my eyes,
Shock, worry, their brothers and sisters on me descend.
A leg out the bed, chill over my body.
Naked as a new born
Not a cloth in sight.
Just a rubber on the floor.
If I vomited on the bed and blankets, I don’t know;
And if the vomit remains to date, I don’t care.
Sick all over my body, headache, numbness, anxiety.
I need my clothes, I want to go home
A word out, a threat
One look at his monstrous face, more vomit,
Disgust and fear.
Slowly he dresses,
Looking satisfied.
If my best friend thought my request for a dagger was a joke, I don’t know;
And if I got one and killed him, I wouldn’t care.
He is mocking me,
Enjoying every moment of my anguish
Where are you?
Did he know you wont be back?
Why did I go back?
If I didn’t care about my breath and stop to buy gum
Or drink that tea?
If everyone pointing and laughing, knew my dirt, I don’t know;
And if it became local gossip, I don’t care.
A cloth at a go I get, as against you he talks,
To every comment I agree and thirsty I claim to be.
A glass of water he fetches, out the door I run
Tears streaming like a river
Tripping and almost falling
All this after a pretend siding with him
The only way out I saw.
If one should or should not take a shower,I didn’t know;
And if that was removing evidence, I didn’t care.
I was out
Feeling dirty
Ashamed
What would you say
Would you want me anymore
My best friend on road I meet
Why the tears
What tears
I’m just high, its the weekend so it allowed
Cold shower
No effect
If someone had seen me and told the folks, I don’t know;
And if she could have thrown me out, I wouldn’t have cared.
Home I go, effects of whatever spike taking toll
Seeing three roads, all leading to hell
A slap so hard no sense it brings, scissors on my hair
No longer beautiful, just a dirty, slutty piece of shit
Desiring death
Medicinal concoctions
Nothing works
If the folks sensed something was amiss, I don’t know;
And if your unbelief was shock, I don’t care.
A week outside I don’t step
Waiting, counting, wondering
Will they come?
Lord I cant be pregnant
Was that a cramp?
Away I go
As there is no one to talk to
If you’ll get to know what really happened, I don’t know;
And if you don’t, I don’t care.
Word around for me you have been looking.
Together I see you
Worry grips me anew
Do you know?
To ask I decide
Disbelief; you reaction
Driving the knife deeper
Though severely bruised,
Under this I try to arise.
A way to heal I need.
As much as you look at me,
You cannot see it.
But I carry a scar with me wherever I go.
And in whatever I do,
It is always there,
Watching me,
Mocking and degrading.

Africa’s Campaign: “Nyerere is Back in the AU”

If you had read one of my last posts titled, ” Nyerere disgraced at the AU,” you would have seen how they had shamefully removed Nyerere’s portrait from the AU, and replaced it with Emperor Haile Selassie citing really weak reasons as to why they did this. Now, after a hard-fought campaign by the Tanzanian Foreign minister who joined forces with the Tanzanian Ambassador to Ethiopia, in which many African countries supported this campaign, Nyerere’s portrait has been reinstated in its rightful and true place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

What bothers me in the first place is why we should even be debating whether or not Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s portrait should be featured in the Headquarters of the AU! Anyone who knows their history will understand the absurdity that I am talking about. However, let me be thankful that order has been restored and not get into the nitty-gritty of things (you can refer to my previous post where I did). Below is the article detailing what took place in order to right the wrong. A big thank you to everyone who campaigned for this!

Mwalimu’s portrait back at AU ‘Big Five’ line-up

By  GABBY MGAYA, Tanzania Daily News

At last, the portrait of Tanzania’s founding president and one of the pioneers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – later renamed African Union (AU) – Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, is back at the reception gallery of the Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere

Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere

Tanzania – and most of Africa – had ‘taken to arms’ during the Union’s 19th Ordinary Session over what was described as ‘’notable absence of Mwalimu’s portrait in the lineup of OAU pioneers in the new AU headquarters and demanded an immediate reinstatement.

Foreign Minister Bernard Membe and Ambassador to Ethiopia Joram Biswaro had led the campaign last July that was supported by most African countries. Rising on a point of information during an AU ambassadors’ meeting on the sidelines of the summit, Tanzania’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr Joram Biswalo, had expressed concern over the omission of Mwalimu’s portrait in the lineup.

He had called for an immediate reinstatement. An explanation that the portrait lineup represented African zones – and that Emperor Haile Selassie, represented others in ‘their’ zone, including Tanzania, had failed to convince the Tanzanian delegation, compelling it to press hard on the matter.

The rest of Africa supported Tanzania. Dr Biswaro’s concern was shared by several speakers from other African countries who felt that it was not right to exclude Mwalimu Nyerere from the portrait lineup of pioneers of the continental body, geographical representation or not, judging from the Tanzanian leader’s key role in the liberation of the continent.

AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma had on December 28, last year written to one of the campaigners in the portrait’s reinstatement crusade, Tanzanian scholar and author who resides in London, UK, Mr Harid Mkali, saying that Mwalimu’s portrait is ‘’now among the other five leaders who were initially selected on the basis of regional representation.

The letter, with reference number BC/Z/1881/12.12, signed by the commission’s Chief of Staff, Bureau of the Chairperson, Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Natama, on behalf of Dr Dlamini Zuma, informed Mr Mkali that the ‘situation has been accordingly rectified.’’

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was established on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, with 32 signatory governments, including Tanganyika (later renamed Tanzania). It was disbanded on July 9, 2002 by its last chairperson, South African President Thabo Mbeki and replaced by the African Union (AU).