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Collection of resources/stories trying to focus on the positive side of what is going on in the place where we all started
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On Molly Melching and "However Long the Night"

On Molly Melching and "However Long the Night" | African News | Scoop.it
Melinda Gates reviews "However Long the Night," by Aimee Molloy, which tells Molly Melching's story and the story of the Senegalese communities where she works.
earthdog58's insight:

The first time I met Molly Melching, the founder of an organization called Tostan, we were driving through the countryside in Senegal on our way to Kolma Peulh, one of more than 1,000 villages in Senegal that no longer practice female genital cutting because of the innovative work Molly and Tostan have been doing with the locals for years.

 

Molly spent an hour telling me about her life and her approach, which is based on two things: deep, deep engagement with local communities, and the concept of basic human rights as the starting point for any intervention. Her personal story was inspiring. Her ideas were thoughtful. When we arrived in Koma Peulh, I saw everything she’d been telling me about with my own eyes, and it was incredible. With Molly’s help, the community had created a new vocabulary for talking about the most important issues they face, and they were using it to make all sorts of improvements to their lives.  I have not thought the same way about the work I do at the Gates Foundation since that day.

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earthdog58's comment, March 21, 2:05 AM
This is a wonderful story of how courageous compassion can change the lives of women and girls; and can make a whole community look at itself and question everything about itself.
earthdog58's comment, March 21, 2:14 AM
As Melinda Gates says in the article: "The solution is the people who live in these communities, and their drive to make the future better than the past." This is a story that makes me, at one and the same time, feel bad about myself (for not doing more, for not being a better person) and incredibly optimistic about the future. Cheered by the thought that for every act of primitive, evil stupidity there is an act of kindness, of compassion. More than one for one - for as a species, overall, we are surely better than the worst of us. The chief of Koma Peulh - a man who can not in himself be a bad person, just misguided - says a wonderful thing: [there is nothing] as bad as nearsightedness of the heart". This article has made me cry and smile.
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KCE Everyday Life

KCE Everyday Life | African News | Scoop.it
Photo by Megan Orr, 2012 Peace Fellow at the Kakenya Center for Excellence, Kenya
earthdog58's insight:

I've starred this for the top because the girl's smile represents everything that is good about Kenya, and about Africa as a whole.

There is so much amazing human potential in the continent.

Watch Kakenya Ntaiya's phenomenal talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/kakenya_ntaiya_a_girl_who_demanded_school.html

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Amnesty Int'l: Don't Call Female Genital Mutilation "Barbaric"

Amnesty Int'l: Don't Call Female Genital Mutilation "Barbaric" | African News | Scoop.it
Recently, I penned an article about  an Amnesty International initiative: an art project for which the organization had commissioned artists and designers to address the devastating problem of female genital mutilation, or FGM – using 8,000 paper ...
earthdog58's insight:

Amnesty official: “we try not to use this word.”  In an e-mail, she explained, “The use of the word ‘barbaric’ suggests that the people who do this are less than human, which isn’t so because they are being led by social pressure which is what needs to be fought. So we avoid using this word to not judge the people.”

 

The more I think about this asinine comment from that Amnesty official, the angrier I get - it is an utterly foolish statement, and does much discredit to the organisation. 

 

Maybe she should watch Kakenya Ntaiya's phenomenal talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/kakenya_ntaiya_a_girl_who_demanded_school.html

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