Adaptive and Nurturing Instincts: The Cat and Ducklings who suckle!

The last few months I have been working on a daycare project to learn about how children are raised. I felt it was overwhelming and could be an impossible task to try re-socialize parents in informal settlements to be more responsive to their little ones. Now, I have this strong echo of confidence that it is possible for the whole community to be able to take care of under-fives after watching a cat love and nurturing instincts on ducklings. The question I had after watching this video is, if human beings are the most adaptive creatures on the planet, and if ducklings can ‘breastfeed’ what can stop us from raising more »

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GAIA: The Eight-year-old Volunteer!

Age is no excuse; meet the eight-year-old boy who traveled abroad to share his business skills with Maasai Women. Gaia is playful. He can also be quiet but wait until he gets into his element and the entrepreneurs in the boy kicks in. We were in this village working with women who were making beads and other Maasai ornamental necklaces and bangles to sell for their daughters to go to school. Gaia walked around observing the process of bead making. One woman in the group made Gaia a bangle and tied it around his wrist. Gaia was impressed but in a minute, he noticed a problem, he could not remove more »

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WHY YOU MUST VOLUNTEER ABROAD IN YOUR LIFETIME

It doesn’t matter whether you volunteer for a week or for a year, one encounter may change a life like Silvia Covelli did to five-year-old Njoki. Coming from Colombia, Silvia arrived in the sleepy town of Watamu wondering whether she would be useful at all. One morning on her way to her volunteer project, she was feeling unused, and almost felt it was a complete waste of time and plane ticket to come to Kenya. Silvia felt she should have used her vacation days with her daughter. As she digested these thoughts, she saw a sign on the road that advertised ‘God Our Father’ children home. She decided to go more »

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THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN BRAIN – Child Intervention in Slums

With a book to scribble on, she sat on a plastic chair in a mud-walled-earthen-floor-room-turned-daycare. Her thoughts seemingly in another planet, she was gazing at the teacher who was teaching fourth-grade content to babies who otherwise learn by play, song and more play. The look on her face was telling; it was one of a bleak future. This mis-nurturing is the genesis of injustice evident in the cycle of poverty among generations of children born in the slums. Early Childhood is the hay days of human development, progress and legacy. Fascinating neuroscience has shown how environment affects brain development and the future of the human. In the slums of Kenya, more »

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Unforgettable moments

In the village of Ntashat, over the hills of Ngong where the Maasai inhabit, Samantha Corfield is getting ready to dress up in traditional Maasai attire. She’s had her breakfast under the acacia tree right beside the cowshed. The acacia tree is home to tens of the superb starling birds. The birds are whistling  as they hover around their nests. One nest is green. It’s recently woven signifying a new life for one superb starling. I am keen to ask samantha if there is a “green nest” in her life since coming to Kenya. “I am starting to realize more and more that there is a huge difference between what we want more »

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The vision of SJAAFRICA

I am always amazed at how justice is simple, so simple to a fault. Amazingly its simplicity has made it so complex all over the world. From a religious standpoint, justice is doing unto others what one oughts to oneself. Simple things like saying “I am sorry” when you realize you’ve hurt someone else, is justice that heals. Imagine the millions of people suffering today because of the deficiency of “I am  sorry?!” If I am to present Social Justice Advocates Africa (SJAAFRICA) in its simplest, I would say SJAAFRICA is you and me standing in the gap and saying “I am sorry” in the many ways possible to a more »

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The ghosts of Kibera leave four dead in a gunfire exchange

Cité Soleil in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince may be the most dangerous place on earth by United Nations rankings but Kibera slum in Kenya’s capital Nairobi is by far the most dangerous place to live your dream. Today the Ghosts of Kibera Slum came for their dues and four bodies lay dead in a mid-morning gunfire exchange between youthful criminals and the police. What is disheartening is that an innocent man and a woman fell victims to stray bullets. The woman and a middle-aged man lost their lives when they got trapped in the scene of death after the police and the armed gangs started trading bullets. In the ensuing more »

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Young volunteer lifts woman from deathbed

The help you give to someone else may seem insignificant to you but it could be a matter of life and death to them. This is what a 22-year-old bank clerk from Munich Germany experienced on her volunteer work in a slum in Kenya. When Christina Lehner arrived in Nairobi Kenya, she had no idea she was about to rescue a woman who had been refused by doctors and send back to the slum to die. All Christina, a 22-year-old from Munich, hoped to do was to meet great people, experience a new culture, help a bit and maybe give love. She did much more; she gave life! Christina arrived more »

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A TEN-YEAR-OLD ARCHITECT

In the Biblical Story of Jacob’s family, Yusuf had a dream. He was a favorite son of his father but his 11 brothers except Benjamin betrayed him and sold him off to the Egyptians. In a twist of fate, Yusuf comes from prison to become the Prime Minister of Egypt and his God-given dream and leadership talent saves the whole world from a seven-year famine. That may be the Yusuf of Israel but he’s not that different from the Yusuf of Kitengela and his unusually talented son. Parents, when it comes to the future of your children, the back stops with you. He was nine when he drew a giraffe more »

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Men of means industrializing poverty

World leaders assume that the poor live somewhere down there below the two-dollar estate and they need a rescue mission: a kind of ‘throw me a rope and pull me out of here’. That is not what the poor are saying, the poor are saying “I need no rope, step aside the lid of deliberate seal-off to my opportunities. The original state of human beings is not poverty, poverty was industrialized during the civilization of mankind. In traditional Africa, the land belonged to the people, the water belonged to the people and communities worked their land and produced enough to feed their people. The people had thriving cultures. Everybody was more »

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