Hola a tod@s:

Querido Noah: Una Historia Real De Amor Y Lucha En El Corazón De África.

Desgraciadamente “Querido Noah” me ha acompañado solo una semana porque no podía leerlo en 2 días ya que tengo clases y mil cosas que preparar. Me hubiera gustado que el libro no terminase nunca porque he sido FELIZ leyendolo, por eso escribo estas líneas, para recomendarlo.

Este libro me ha echo tropezarme en el metro de París hasta casi caer al suelo, reirme a carcajadas hasta que los parisinos me miraban pensando que había perdido la cabeza, llorar con un nudo en la garganta, erizarme la piel y lo más importante que este libro ha echo por mí: devolverme la esperanza. Es una historia que me toca el corazón de cerca ya que llevo casi 10 años en contacto con todo el mundo de la cooperación internacional, del voluntariado, de los proyectos de desarrollo, ect. Es una historia de amor, de lucha interna y de éxito.

Me encantaría que lo leyeran todas las personas en general pero sobre todo, centrándome en mi mundo, me gustaría que lo leyeran esas personas que nunca han comprendido mi pasión por este trabajo, todos los que intentaran convencerme de no irme a RDC, todos los que viviran preocupados sin ver el aspecto positivo de este trabajo.

Africa debe seguir su propio desarrollo, quizás integrando muchas de las otras técnicas ya conocidas, pero intentando mejorar el sistema de desarrollo que nosotros seguimos, que es destructivo para el planeta y sus habitantes.

Con los ojos aún inundados de emociones te agradezo Conchín Fernández por haberle dado la vida a este libro que sera eterno.

Marisa Gámez

 

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“Un voluntario en Calcuta”, “La libertad del compromiso” y “Helado y patatas fritas”, Hernan Zin

Hola a todos:

Llevo tiempo planteándome en qué idioma debería escribir los posts y siempre acabo sin tenerlo claro. Así que, como mi amiga y compañera de prácticas Mitra, me recomendó, según el tema y según mis ganas.

Ya sabéis que admiro Hernan Zin como profesional. Me gusta todo lo que hace, ya sean libros, documentales, artículos…

“ Un voluntario en Calcuta: lecciones de la ciudad de la pobreza” fue el primer libro que leí de Hernán Zin y el cual me hizo seguir su trabajo hasta la actualidad. Este libro recoge la experiencia de Hernán Zin como voluntario en Calcuta durante 3 años. De una manera sencilla, humana y profunda nos transmite las reflexiones de sus vivencias en una ciudad compleja, diferente y llena de aprendizajes.

Sí el primer libro que había encontrado me encantó “La libertad del compromiso” aún más. Simplemente el título me dejaba horas pensando el significado que esas palabras tenían para mí. “¿Es posible cambiar el rumbo de nuestras vidas, dejarlo todo y entregarnos a aquello que realmente nos dicta nuestra vocación? Hernán Zin, un periodista argentino que abandonó su prometedora carrera para dedicarse a ayudar a los demás y a crear un undo más justo, nos brinda el testimonio de una serie de personas muy próxima s a nosotros, sin ninguna condición especial, que lo han dejado todo para ofrecer nuevas oportunidades a los más desamparados. Son maestros, empleados, estudiantes universitarios, comerciantes, que un buen día deciden darle otro significado a su vida y, desde su barrio, desde los suburbios de la India o desde las calles de cualquier ciudad repleta de niños explotados, emprenden una nueva existencia basada en la vocación por servir a los demás. Una vida nueva, un nuevo horizonte y una nueva visión de las cosas.”

Tuve la suerte de conocer más sobre él en la mesa redonda “ El cine como herramienta social” que el Festival de Cine de Málaga organizó junto a VOCES (www.voces.org.es/). Allí descubrí que era imposible tener otro de sus libros que llevaba tiempo buscando: “Helado y patatas fritas: una denuncia de la explotación sexual de los niños”.

Este es uno de sus primeros libros y el último que he leído hasta casi caerme en el metro al no poder distraer mi atención. Es duro, crudo, hiere pero abre los ojos e incita a luchar contra esa brutalidad.

Gracias Hernán Zin por tu trabajo.

Marisa Gámez

I’m in love with MOOCs

Dear ALL,

These months I’m very busy but I love it!

In this dynamic world everything changes so fast! Population increase, diseases increase, solutions increase, opportunities increase…

Some years ago I started some e-learnings with NGO’s and other kind of organizations. This year World Bank Institute surprised me with a very good e-learning “Violence, conflict & fragility” and after with ” Introduction to Disaster Risk Management”. I highly recommend its Institute : http://einstitute.worldbank.org/  

Inma, a friend that I met in Freetown, told me about COURSERA where I found one of the most interest courses I’ve never found in my field: Resilience in children exposed to trauma, disaster and war. Minessota University+ Coursera. https://www.coursera.org/  

There I learnt more about MOOC: massive open online course (MOOC). It means if you have internet and time ( unfortunately a lots of young people unemployed have that) you can use it to learn, improve your skills, and be better prepared to work. The majority of the courses are free and you can have a certificate if you complete the assignments. You can find in almost all the areas but it’s depending on your research skills. For example:

– Would you like to improve your Public speaking? You have a course organized by Washington University that I really like: https://www.coursera.org/learn/publicspeaking 

– The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has unveiled the first-ever ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) on how to minimize disaster risk through natural or ecosystem-based solutions. read more: http://climate-l.iisd.org/news/unep-online-course-focuses-on-disaster-risk-ecosystem-based-solutions/ More information If you are interested in enrolling for the course or require additional information, please contact them at: the.mooc@unep.org     

– In my opinion Plan International is, with Save The Children, Red Cross, World’s Vision, and other international organizations, one of the most efficient NGOs working with children. I’m not sure if this is a MOOC or not but I highly recommended for the people interested in working with children in complex context, emergency and more. http://learn.plan-academy.org/  Child protection in emergencies, Education in emergencies and more!

– And still in Disaster risk management topics. https://disasterready.csod.com  For example Humanitarian Starter Pack 1  “Just starting out in your humanitarian career or heading to the field for your first emergency deployment? Through a combination of online courses, videos, and guide booklets, the Starter Pack will help familiarize you with the international standards and best practices that underpin effective and accountable humanitarian action.” Urban Refugee Learning Program (URLP), UNHCR Protection Induction Programme, WASH courses, language courses, etc.  

About Health http://www.globalhealthlearning.org/ 

We also have http://en.humanitariannavigator.org/courses/  Building a Better Response or “Basic Security In The Field II (BSITF II) contains vital security information for personnel, family members and others covered by the UN Security Management System (UNSMS).”

 

I’m sure we can find out the best e-learning for as, improve as professionals and as individuals and after…find a better job!

Best,

Marisa Gámez

 

Ebola is real

I was in Conakry when Ebola outbreak started.

I remember some friends saying “i´m not sure what it is but it’s better if you come back to Freetown now.”And I did it because I had to keep on working in Caritas Freetown. I still remember the “poda poda”, small “bus” where we were around 20 people in few meters square, thinking ” if ebola is in Conakry and it’s contagious it will arrive to Freetown and provinces in Sierra Leone soon”.My friend Fernando was working in the provinces and he told me that already were some cases in April or May, but I really thought that in Freetown were a lot of raising awareness campaigns. Not enough.

I came back to Spain and France in June and here the news were so frightening that I was talking with my salone friends to check on them and the real situation.

The number of Ebola cases so far this year it’s very complicated to estimate exactly but around 15 319 (WHO). 5444 people died by Ebola in Libera, Sierra Leone and Guinea, French MSF worker with Ebola, some spanish missioners infected and died, our spanish nurse auxiliary infected, some americans also…

What is Ebola? Why is still killing so many people after 6 months? Why International aid did take a lot of time to act? How are working the medias on it?

If you want to have more information, there is a lot of sensitization resources, videos and another tools on the net.

http://www.msf.org/diseases/ebola

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/

Regards and hope,

Una morning!!! Aw di bodi? Good morning all the people! How are you? This is my first month and a half here in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and I didn’t take my time to write, sorry, I was living. First of all I would like to Thanks all the people who encouraged me to come and live this experience, my grandfather to do it possible, my parents, friends, Tchak, my University, lectures, my mentor M.Henderson-Peal and also all the people here. I would like to start making a short introduction of this wonderful country.

Country Profile

msleone

Sierra Leone is a country on the coast of West Africa bordered only by the Atlantic Ocean, Guinea and Liberia. With an area of 71,740 km² it is just slightly larger than Ireland. Sierra Leone is divided into four administrative regions: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; which are subdivided into fourteen districts. Each district has its own directly elected local government known as district council, headed by a council chairman, in whom local executive authority is vested.

 

Freetown is the capital, largest city as well as its economic, commercial and political centre. Bo is the second largest city. Other major cities with a population above 100,000 are Kenema, Makeni and Koidu Town.

The country has a population of 6 million people with a density of 79 people/sq.km (in Freetown 1224).

Spoken languages are English (official), English Creole, Temne, and other West African languages. Major ethnic groups: 35% Temne (in north), 31% Mende (south-east), Limbo, Kono, Mandingo, Fula, Krio.

The major religion with a 77% of population is Islam, 21% Christian. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate along the coast and dry savannah in north and the rainy season from may-October, with peak in July- Aug.

 

Sierra Leone was officially declared independent from Britain in 1961. Since that time the country has been plague by several coups and conflicts. Sierra Leone is gradually emerging from an era of civil conflict, which began in 1991 and caused destruction of the agriculture and mining sectors, and the collapse of public services, health and education. The war led to the displacement of two and a half million people, almost half of the country’s population, the death of over 70,000 people, 2.6 million displaced people and immeasurable suffering (World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy Paper, 2006).

 

Sierra Leone is one of the world’s economically poorest countries. As recently as 2013, it sat at the bottom of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Human Development Index  (IDH) 177th of 185 countries monitored. The country ranks 31 on the failed state index, and 52 out of 158 on the Global Peace Index. Sierra Leone’s child development index is 55.94, placing the country 136 out of 137. Global Food Security Index (GFSI) place Sierra Leone 98 out of 107 countries in 2013.

Pop. Affected by natural disasters (average/year/mln people): 361 World Risk Index: 33 (173)

These are the official figures obtained from UN documents.

 

Kenya 2009- Nairobi

 

Again in Nairobi I was  in Mathare slum, Kayole- Soweto (Imani’s Children Center) and other places that I prefer not to explain here because I don’t have so much time.

Finally I took the decision to volunteer in Hamomi Children’s Centre (http://hamomi.org/) they do a very good job in education with children in Kangemi slum and here your have a  video of music class.

I was helping Esther W. in Kibera (you can watch the small documentary)

And also in AMURT http://www.africa.amurt.net/category/kenya/education-kenya/  also in Kangemi slum.

All the three NGOs are working in improving the acces and de quality of education in diferents slums but not only that, a social inclusion, medical assistance…

Kenya 2009 – Kisumu

We were in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa. It’s in the greater Lake Victoria basin. And we were visiting Covenant Home. I had a very good impression of them but It’s far from Nairobi so I think I can´t volonteer there.

http://www.covenanthome.co.uk/

covent covent2 kisumu

Lake Victoria is amazing