Reflection of a Mandela Washington Fellow: Are Africans Making Africa Vulnerable?

Storytelling is a potent tool for civic leaders. This is because it gives us the ability to narrate our story of change as we work to influence people and policies towards collective growth. With storytelling, we also get a chance to create a true picture and peddle to others the great potentials that our communities possess. Through effective storytelling, we are able to help people see beyond the peripheral of issues around us. At such, we can challenge existing perceptions and build positive expectations while giving others a chance to see the other side of the single stories that build their perceptions.

Environmental Education And Action

It is now a fact that over 2 billion people in the world do not have access to safe sanitation and hygiene facilities. The worst case scenario happens when we discover that some communities have been provided with proper hygiene and sanitation facilities and yet the people refuse to use these facilities- This is seen when communities are not educated about the health and economic impact of ignoring sanitation and hygiene facilities. But what about the economic burden that disease resulting from lack of sanitation and hygiene facilities could pose to government? 

HHI Co-Founder, Tobi Owolabi Wins Queen's Award

Isaiah Receives Queen's AwardIn recognition of his outstanding contributions towards improving human lives, HACEY's Health Initiative Project Director and co-founder, Isaiah Owolabi has been awarded the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards on Monday, June 21, 2015 at the United Kingdom’s Buckingham Palace.

A 16-Year-Old Reflects on the Sex Ed Classes She Took at 6 and 13

This post was originally written by CONOR FRIEDERSDORF for www.theathlantic.com. It is about a 16-year old girl’s view  on sex education classes she took at 6 and 13. Enjoy.

When I was six years old, my parents enrolled me in a two month sex-ed class at our Unitarian Universalist church. The class was fairly basic; on the first day, I recall sketching a crude outline of a man and a woman and then labeling their body parts. I felt vaguely subversive when I got to the male and female figures’ respective groins (I have the nagging suspicion that my drawing did not include breasts, because at six, I had not yet even begun to consider that my chest could ever change shape). Our teacher sang a song about Josh and Jenny, fraternal twins with two eyes and ten toes each, and then—gasp!—mentioned Josh’s two testes and Jenny’s one vulva, presumably in an attempt to normalize dry, scientific discussion of the human body.

Some weeks later, the topic shifted to what makes a family, and we dull suburban children learned about the fictional Serena’s rather unconventional family reunion (“This is Serena’s gay cousin and his 20-year partner.

Ending Extreme Poverty

What is extreme poverty? I don't have a theoretical definition but i can give you a practical picture- At the age of 3 his short life had been an unending chain of misery, but now his suffering was almost complete. The starvation that racked his fragile body was slowly shutting down his vital organs. His young mother, Jemila, sat in the dirt rocking him gently in her arms as she softly wept. She too was ravaged by the effects of hunger but although weak and lethargic she couldn't bear to let go of her young son. This would be the second child she had lost to poverty. Her little girl had died 18 months earlier from pneumonia and now she instinctively knew she was saying goodbye to her precious son - Now that is extreme poverty.