Wednesday, March 26, 2008

(Columbia University) Presentation: Hearing their Voice

I would like to thank Prof. Marion Riedel of Columbia University and the AGPP Student Caucus of Columbia's School of Social Work for the invitation to present on my work with orphans and commercial sex workers in Ethiopia through ALIF.  One of my aims behind establishing ALIF was to create a medium and/or platform that would amplify the voice of the poor and underserved.  In order to amplify their voice, it first has to be heard and noted, and the accumulation of their voice is identified as a Needs Assessment. While studying at Columbia, one of the courses I took while pursing my Masters was Program Development and Evaluation, with Prof. Riedel.  One of the many skills that Prof. Riedel emphasized was beginning an initiative with a Needs Assessment, essentially their voice.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to walk alongside the poor and in some cases, I've been able to serve them as well--and at the core of that service is hearing their voice--performing a Needs Assessment. 

Again, I'm deeply in debt to Prof. Riedel, Prof. Robertson and other faculty members at Columbia for accentuating the value of their voice.

Thank you,
Nasir Al-Amin

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Post Event: Thank You

Serving Humanity: “The best of mankind are those most beneficial to mankind.”

I would first like to convey a sincere appreciation to all of you for attending the fundraising and awareness-raising event hosted by Rodney and Lava Gina on behalf of ALIF. Your attendance and contribution are vital to ALIF’s aim to amplify the voice of orphans and vulnerable children, as well as the clarion call of sex workers for a better life.

In an effort to amplify their voice, the following are short videos that illustrate the plight of orphans and commercial sex workers in Ethiopia:

Title: A Father's Struggle: "I just want to be able to send her to school." {Video Part 1}  

Title: A Father's Struggle: "I just want to be able to send her to school." {Video Part 2}

Title: One Woman’s Story

Title: “I don’t want this life for her”

Title: Sex Work for HIV/AIDS Treatment {Video Part 1} (English Subtitles)

Again, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Rodney and Lava Gina for hosting this fundraising and awareness-raising event.

One Life at a Time,

*If you would like to contribute to the education of orphans and vulnerable children visit the following link: 

Saturday, March 01, 2008

EVENT: For The Love of Ethiopia

A life is not important except in the impact it has on the lives of others" (Jackie Robinson)

Event: For the Love of Ethiopia
Host: Amir Rodney Smith
Location: Lava Gina
116 Avenue C, between 7th and 8th St.
Donation: $10

Discription: Ethiopia is a country of distinguished history and presence. We come together in this particular time to remember the historic victory at the Battle of Adwa (March 2, 1896) and to commemorate that victory by supporting Ethiopia's children!

Each of us can change the lives of others today. Guided by a vision and by true faith in the power of one, Nasir Al-Amin established ALIF as a means to support the Ethiopian community one child at a time. ALIF provides scholarships and school supplies for orphaned and vulnerable children within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Through ALIF, his efforts have created a platform for us to support the change that we want and need to see in humanity.

At the core of this event is the belief that people have the power to change humanity. Therefore, our aim is to remind people of their own power to affect change and assist them with moving beyond issue awareness to actualize social change. We will show video interviews and photo journals of commercial sex workers and orphans, as well as facilitate a brief talk on ALIF’s work with this population in Ethiopia. Join us in our aim to network for social change!

Funds will go to support school fees, uniforms and supplies. Student updates will be provided for those who contribute and who sign our guest list at the event so that each of you can see the benefit of your contribution and become family to a child in need.

*For those who cannot attend but would like to purchase a uniform, school supplies or both, you can make a secure Paypal contribution online by clicking on this link:

To learn more about ALIF visit:

Contact Information:
Rodney Amir Smith
Phone: 212.477.9319

Thank you for supporting change, action, and unity.