threads of our fabric

Reflections on navigating between two cultures and understanding the self-awareness process

Fellowship announcement for Africa Day – May 25, 2011 May 25, 2011

United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Many good things come from Africa and yours truly is a 100% product. My life and opportunities afforded me would not be possible today, if not for selfless humanitarians who tirelessly worked (in many places still working) to ensure that women have a contributing voice in society. I happened across this announcement that was extremely worth sharing. I wish you the best should you apply and let me know the outcome.

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Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights launching Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent, Geneva

Deadline: 15 June 2011

In the context of the International Year for People of African Descent, the Anti-Discrimination Section of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is launching a Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent from 10 October to 4 November 2011.

The Fellowship Programme will provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the United Nations Human Rights system and its mechanisms, with a focus on issues of particular relevance to people of African descent.

This will allow the fellows to better contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of Afro-descendants in their respective countries and communities.

Who can apply?

– The candidate must be an African descendant.
– The candidate must have a minimum of 4 years experience dealing with Afro-descendant or minority issues.
– The candidate must be fluent in English.
– A letter of support from an Afro-descendant organization or community.

Selection Process

In selecting the fellows, gender and ensuring a regional balance will be taken into account. All documents submitted must be in English.

Entitlements

The selected candidate is entitled to a stipend to cover accommodation, basic living expenses in Geneva, basic health insurance as well as a return economy class plane ticket.

Application

Interested candidates are requested to submit their application by email to: africandescent@ohchr.org or by fax to 004122-928 9050 with a cover letter clearly indicating “Application to the 2011 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent” with the following documents:

– An application form which can be downloaded at    http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Events/IYPAD/ApplicationFormIYPAD.pdf
– A Curriculum Vitae
– A letter of motivation (maximum 1 page) in which the candidate will explain his/her motivation for applying, what    he/she hopes to achieve through this fellowship and how he/she will use what they learn to promote the interests and rights of afro-descendants
– A letter of support from an organization/entity they are affiliated with.

The deadline to receive applications is 15 June 2011. Please note that only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

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Application for fellowship is available here

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Life in ANIMATION May 19, 2011

Map of Africa indicating Gross Domestic Produc...

Image via Wikipedia

HELLO!!! I took a long hiatus and now I am back… It certainly was not a loss of words or ideas to freely write about…life has just been happening in high-def animation too quickly to pause and process. I apologize for the brief pause because that is a diservice to you and many other transient readers. Let us try to re-cap some hot-happenings in my world and continue full force ahead! 

As usual, since Africa is always on my heart and all its causes integrated into my fibers, I have been heavily advocating and supporting African-led, African-sponsored, and Africa-focused events throughout the Metro DC area. One of them that has my fingers tweeting like crazy ( @threadsofrfabrc) is Secretary Clinton’s Global Diaspora Forum that is going on in Washington D.C. from May 17-19th, 2011. (Follow them on twitter @DiasporaAtState) It is all very exciting and I kept hearing the echo of Horace Walpole’s statement “Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion” in the shadows of my mind. There were a number of great initiatives launched but my top three were:

  1. IDEA – International Diaspora Engagement Alliance
  2. BOOM – by m-Via. (global mobile banking services launched in Haiti and Mexico) 
  3. African Diaspora Marketplace – USAID and Western Union (Our African atm service system, lol)

All of which should radically spark a faster globalization movement built on connecting immigrant linkages with their native country roots. It is incredible how all of this is based on using extended relationships to leverage opportunities. As Africans, we have a huge extended family network who often depend on us for financial support. Over the years we have sent significant sums of money for school fees, household support, funerals, investments, housing etc… In fact, in 2009, $20,742 million USD was received in the form of remittances by countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, constituting about 2.2% of that area’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

It’s great that the Diaspora is being recognized in powerful ways, politically for diplomacy and peacebuilding, economically for innovative development and businesses ventures, and socially…well we know how to party and have a good time! But more importantly, in Africa, the way we do business is through relationships, people to people without intermediaries… Our sense of connectedness has always been our strength and now our opportunity!

It’s feels great to be an immigrant!

Stay tuned for information on Africa’s representation/image in the media – I will be twitting from tonights African Diaspora for Change event “Media Check: Africa”…follow me  @threadsofrfabrc

 

CARE 2011 – 10,000 Women Strong Project March 11, 2011

Hello – As I gather my thoughts from an inspirational CARE 2011 National conference that took place in Washington, DC, please enjoy one of the many featured highlights of the experience! More on my thoughts to come!

 

The New AGE (African Girl Evolutiion) – Sneak Peek! March 8, 2011

It is with joy, many long sleepless hours of labor, and tears that I present to you a preview of The New AGE (African Girl Evolution)…

 

Lessons from the kitchen | World Pulse February 28, 2011

Filed under: Leadership — Sharon Asonganyi @ 8:55 pm
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Lessons from the kitchen | World Pulse

Enjoy one of my postings as a Voices of Our Future Global Correspondent with World Pulse!

 

The Not so Little voice within January 28, 2011

Filed under: Leadership,Reflections — Sharon Asonganyi @ 11:34 pm
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When the world sets its eyes on Africa…Will she be ready? How are we equipping our youth both in the Diaspora and Africa to understand the issues of our continent. How do we teach them to always be innovative as they seek solutions?…these are just a few of many daily haunting questions. As I think about my talents and take inventory, the purpose is always ‘how best to use them for the greater good’. I beseech you to do the same and identify areas in which you can engage. For as the saying goes “Tomorrow waits for no (wo)man”. The question is not ‘What can you do?’, but ‘What will you do within your sphere of influence?’…

 

My Voice – Our Voice – African Women January 19, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration,Leadership,Reflections — Sharon Asonganyi @ 5:13 pm
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I recently published a piece on World Pulse as a Global Correspondent for the

Voices of Our Future media training program entitled:A collective unified voice is far more effective

Writing has always been something that comes natural to me. With words, my freedom of self-expression is pretty much limitless…I enjoy crafting words like a painter uses colors and brush patterns to evoke emotions from stillness.

Every day, I spend many late nights scouring the web seeking for resources targeting recent immigrants. Truth be told, I am more likely to locate resources for refugees with more systematic support compared to resources available for immigrants. As I continue on this amazing and exciting life journey of capturing the voices of African women and girls globally, repeatedly I hear silent, hidden burdens that need a healthy outlet. A need for a safe space just to “be” for a moment. Hearing female survivors of rape turning something that once marred their spirits into fueling embers of strength and hope has been beautifully inspiring. Capturing the voices of women turning passion into a vision and business strategy, encourages me on my path.

Through partnerships with freelance journalists, videos have been completed in Cameroon and are now underway in Kenya! Our theme “What does Africa mean to me?”. ..The response has been enormously humbling. People giving of their time, talents, voices, and input because collectively we recognize that this project is needed.

As women, when we share, we heal…

when we cry, we heal…

when we come together and lift each other,

only then can we overcome.

There are little footsteps behind you of daughters, sisters, nieces, or cousins…help steer them. The focus groups are just the beginning…take action and spread the word. Thank you for stopping by my kitchen. Come often and feed your spirit.

Reflections: What inspires you? Are you drifting through life or do you have a life plan for the years ahead of you? What can you begin doing today as a stepping stone towards your dreams? Where are you going???…