Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hana has become an orphan...

By: Nasir Al-Amin

I'll give you all an update when I return. However, I just wanted to forward this information on to you. Hana's mother is the woman we visited on thanksgiving--she was the one that was bedridden.

E-mail below:

Selam Nasir,
How are you doing? Today I have bad news. That is Hana mother (HIV Woman) died last Friday. It is hard for you to hear. But we couldn’t do any thing because everything is done by GOD. The only thing we can do is to care Hana.

I am really sorry Naisr.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Girl’s Education: Investing in a more Compassionate World

By: Nasir Al-Amin

In Ethiopia, the sight of school age girls working at construction sites, is a visible reminder of the influence poverty has on the education of girls. Across Ethiopia, girls tend to be the most disadvantaged in terms of education: of the 7.8 million Ethiopian children out of school, 4 million are girls. However, this is not a problem particular to Ethiopia, as globally an estimated 62 million girls are out of school, and some 100 million girls engaged in child labor.

There are a myriad of factors that force girls into child labor. For instance, girls drop out to support ill family members and/or younger siblings, the associated cost of education (school fees and supplies), and cultural/family preference to educate male children over girls. Although, the importance of educating girls is multifold:
1) An effective strategy in tackling poverty;
2) Later in life, girls that are educated are more likely to earn more than less educated women, and tend to have more decision-making power with regards to age at which they marry;
3) Educated girls tend to have fewer children, as well as healthier children;
4) Children of educated mothers are more likely to be educated, thus decreasing the probability of entering child labor;

I have worked with young girls who split their day into a morning shift at school, and their afternoon at a construction site. They described hazardous work environments and being forced into exploitative situations. Like the millions of other girls poverty has forced into child labor, they deserve better. I firmly believe educating girls is essential to the global fight against child labor and poverty. Investing in girl’s education is a step towards a more caring and compassionate world.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

"We Need Change"-School Uniforms

By: Nasir Al-Amin
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Something as simple as a school uniform can be an obstacle to impoverished children enrolling in school and obtaining an education.

Click here to view this photo album.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"God doesn't make junk"

"You are not an assembly-line product, mass produced without thought. You are custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece. God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve Him," and his creation. "God doesn't make junk."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Moment of Success…

By: Nasir Al-Amin
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Reflections from Ethiopia

A few months back I wrote about one of the young men ALIF sponsors that graduated from Addis Ababa University. I cannot begin to express how proud I am of him and the feeling I had when hearing of his accomplishment. On Sunday, November 29th during a celebration ALIF was hosting for the kids we serve he pulled me to the side asking if we could talk. After finding a place to sit and an exchange of warm greetings he said, “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, but I want to tell you I have a job now. And I make enough to take care of myself and my grandmother, so you can give the money to someone else who needs it.”

My aim has always been to help people get to a point where they don’t need my assistance, and this young man no longer needs it.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerso

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"I used everything You gave me."

“Life is a long lesson in humility. Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well. When I stand in front of God at the end of my life, I hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say: "I used everything You gave me."” -Anonymous

“Life is full of opportunities and choices...”

“Life is full of opportunities and choices, no matter who you are, what you do, or where you live. Starting your own journey from Me to We can be as simple as picking up the morning newspaper. When we spoke with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for helping to bring peace and reconciliation to South Africa after the fall of apartheid, he called the morning paper “God’s prayer list delivered straight to my door.” At first, we were surprised: what with the current state of the world, the morning news can make for difficult reading! But for the Archbishop, the paper’s stories about local and global issues offer a menu of issues to choose from—and a map of possibilities for change. We have never forgotten his comment, because it helped us to truly see that opportunities all around us.”

(Kielburger, Craig. Me to We, page 227)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Personal Ethos for 2010: The Art of Giving

By: Nasir Al-Amin
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

My personal ethos for 2010 is to excel in the art of giving: to always be in the act of giving. Giving of time, wisdom, hope, compassion, knowledge, silence, forgiveness, wealth and love. I'm deeply indebted to the impoverished women and children of Ethiopia for their numerous acts of giving that have enriched my life.  

Tickle An Orphan Until Tears Appear

By: Nasir Al-Amin
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During EID al-Adha, I spent a moment tickling an orphan until tears appeared in his eyes.

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Thanks Giving with an HIV Infected Mother

By: Nasir Al-Amin
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I spent "Thanks Giving" with an impoverished, bedridden mother infected with HIV. She taught me what I need to be thankful for and what I should be giving of myself. Make a difference with your life.

"To Serve" and "To Give" are two verbs that should define your life.--Rick Warren

Click here to view this album.