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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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International Development News | A Maasai woman, pushing for change

International Development News | A Maasai woman, pushing for change | African News | Scoop.it

There is room for change even in a culture you respect, says Maanda Ngoitiko, a leader who has challenged the status quo of what it means to be female in a pastoralist Maasai society.

 

Ngoitiko grew up in the traditional, male-dominated pastoralist community of Soit Sambu village in northern Tanzania, helping with the needs of her family and their cattle. To escape forced marriage and in hopes of continuing her education, a 15-year-old Ngoitiko ran away from home. After finishing secondary school in Dar es Salaam with the help of a pastoralist community group, she received sponsorship from the Irish embassy to further her education in Europe.

 

Ngoitiko then returned to northern Tanzania to work for a Maasai community organization, but she realized there was an urgent need for an organization led and managed by Maasai women, dedicated solely to addressing their strategic and practical needs

earthdog58's insight:

 

Give girls and women the tools and they will make the needed changes happen.

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Tanzanian women hope for a stronger voice in new constitution

Tanzanian women hope for a stronger voice in new constitution | African News | Scoop.it
Mary Rusimbi: After intensive lobbying by a coalition of women's rights groups, gender equality is climbing the agenda in Tanzania at a key time
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