Indeed, it’s been quite a marathon of events over the last 3 weeks If I were a rapper (which Iam planning to do after my retirement), I could as well title my album ‘3 weeks of madness’:-the only English word I’ve used more than ‘Shit’ itself.
Between 1st-2nd September 2015, nearly 300 young people from all corners of the globe were in the 13th most polluted city in the world, DOHA, Qatar under the Global Youth Consultation to the World Humanitarian Summit. Perhaps, this was the only organised International Youth event I ever participated in! From preconference communications to post conference communications, the organisers (Reach out to Asia, UN major group on children and young people, International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent, and Qatar Ministry of Foreign affairs) deserved a standing ovation! Here’s a sample of the final outcome which we named #Doha Youth Declaration! Download it here: http://unhabitat.org/…/2015/08/AMMAN-YOUTH-DECLARATION.pdf#youth4peace Please catch all the madness on twitter under the hashtag #WHSYouth
In the second week, the Uganda Red Cross and Save the Children Uganda agreed to include emergency response and evacuation skills training for teachers and local communities in their Disaster Risk Reduction in Kasese district. This district located in South Western Uganda is prone to a number of disasters having preveously been hit by floods in 2013, refugee influx and Cholera. This training didn’t just help teachers get the valuable evidence based life saving skills, but also exposed them to the wider issues around disaster response including school based preparedness to respond and mitigate disasters! It was interesting to hear about teachers’ experiences of first aid and road safety training while they are still at college:-this is one of my Case for Space research finding coming up in the Global Advocacy Report in October 2015. Teachers’ levels of confidence in conducting first aid and road safety education to school children is low because they don’t do practice in addition to short time for this topic while they are in teacher training colleges. This doesn’t mean they don’t ‘teach’ first aid and road safety to school children, as it’s mandatory by the Ministry of Education:-It’s the quality of the training that is given. On average, a session of 45minutes is enough to cover first aid and road safety in the schools But this isnt standard, as there’re over 100 children in class. All these need to practice, and there’re over 15 topics to cover! This topic needs to be given more attention, and it could start if the teachers are well prepared before they are passed out to teach it.
In the same week, I’d an appointment with the Dutch Embassy in Uganda. Never have I ever seen such a receptive and clientelle focussed cooperation from a visa section officer. Most of the times, they don’t really seem to give a shit making visa application process the number 1 stress factor after finding a toilet when you have diarrhoea! But boy, were they helpful! Beyong imagination. Most embassies should borrow a leaf! And did you know? Dutch Embassy actually has been providing free visas for researchers! Believe it!!!
And while I was heading back , aboard Link-buses, we witnessed a heavily overloaded lorry full of matooke, irish potatoes and traders between Fortportal and Kasese road. The lorry speeding like it had just seen the devil himself, burst a tyre and lost control before hitting a trench and overturning. We stopped and put some of our evacuation skills to practice. The immediate community were pyschologically beaten by the scene which as newvision reported later, 7 lives were lost. Newvision reporter however arrived at the scene way after we had left! Perhaps, that’s why they reported only 4 injuries. Myself and a doctor from Kasese handled 13 casualties with broken bones! I wonder how the reporter came to get 4! This kind of under reporting leaves us miles away from showing the extent of road traffic injuries and their burden. Under this link, you can see the photos taken and below the photos I took from my old fashioned phone! In the same article, why does the reporter blame tyre burst as the major cause of the crash? The lorry was SPEEDING godamnit! and was OVERLOADED! Reporting like this only downplays the role that man has in reducing road traffic crashes.
In the 3rd week, I lost perhaps, the most professional soldier I know. A man who’s trademark was on promising and delivering. I’d just began re-thinking about my ideas on applying for a national Identity card because of him. To die at 56, with a heart problem should open our eyes about taking non communicable diseases a serious issue. Perhaps we should add it to the 10 commandments? ‘Though shall take annual health checks? First time, I met, Gen Aronda, it wasn’t at his home (although we come from the same district). Dude was chilling like everybody else in Emirates Lounge waiting connection flight to Entebbe from Cairo. While most General’s would be making their presence felt, the 6+ft giant of a man was sipping juice and reading a newspaper like no one gives a shit. When I said, good evening General, he didn’t stare at me. He had a trademark calmness and openness that perhaps Mr Mbabazi has But better yet, Gen Aronda, had an inviting smile and clearer eyes. I don’t know how he managed to marry one wife and further 2 children! He must have had a full list of women applicants on his tail! haha! So, Gen Aronda asked me like ,’Young man, do I know you?’ and we talked all the way from role of young people in ensuring safety of the country to why he liked Juice not coffee! One thing I will continue to be in order to honour him, I will be ‘Simple but action focused’. I remember him asking me, why young people now carry expensive electronic gadgets and yet complain on being poor? Points noted General! Till we meet again sir
Last Friday, we conducted a twitter chat aimed at creating awareness and getting views of young Africans on humanitarian aid in Africa. The views from all the young professionals that participated will form part of the African Union stand on the World Humanitarian Summit 2016! Cheers to everyone that participated! You can as well catch the twitter madness under the hashtags #ReshapeAid #DGtrends
Quick opportunities closing soon!
- Join Youth Advisory Board for IPPF-Africa Region Project: Strengthening Coordination to Increase Access of… https://publichealthourconcern.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/join-youth-advisory-board-for-ippf-africa-region-project-strengthening-coordination-to-increase-access-of-adolescents-and-young-people/ …
- Call for participation open: African Youth Conference on Climate Change, (AfriYOCC) Theme “African Youth Responses… https://publichealthourconcern.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/call-for-participation-open-african-youth-conference-on-climate-change-afriyocc-theme-african-youth-responses-to-climate-change-and-food-security-action-from-the-frontline-26-27-oct/ …
Well, a new week is here, gotta make it count!