What is your dream job in politics or advocacy?

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Activist? Youth advocate? Case worker? Lobbyist? Politician? Tell us about your dream job. Is anything standing in the way? Or, if you already have your dream job, tell us about your journey to get it.

Stories

Image for Success Story of Educate! Innovations/Graduate Fellow

Success Story of Educate! Innovations/Graduate Fellow

Talking about starting a job for yourself, there are young people out there who are creative and doing it. One such young person is me (Tinka Paul). I believe that youth can creatively participate in economic activities to improve on their welfare. My Job at Educate! Uganda as Innovation / Graduate Fellow involves mentoring, inspiring youth to start something for themselves and also help them to tap the on-going opportunities. Read on!

For the last six years, I have been mentoring and inspiring young people from all walks of life to become entrepreneurs and earn a living. I started out in Namasagali Sub-county in Kamuli District – Uganda where I trained the community youth at no pay. Then I spread out my wings to Kamuli Town through Educate! Uganda as a Mentor. I have reached out to over a million youth in all Uganda’s regions of Eastern, Central, Western and Northern.

My mentoring sessions are carried out in the field where I demonstrate various works. I have worked with Educate! Staff to impart skills among youth in different schools and youth groups in Uganda. I get pleasure from seeing my trainees start and carry forward viable businesses.

Today, I am consulted to offer inspirational talks to in and out of school youth and train young entrepreneurs. Among them are; Peace Corps Uganda, Junior Achievement – Uganda, Digital Opportunity Trust – Uganda, Restless Development, Child Fund International, Straight Talk Foundation, STIR – Uganda, Save the Children, Plan International – Uganda, Red Cross, World Vision – Uganda, Uganda Youth Network and Kamuli District Local Government.

Image for A+ Learning through Reading

A+ Learning through Reading

Have you remembered the very day that you learned how to read? Perhaps, you were at kindergarten or elementary when that patient mentor of yours beamed with delight upon learning that you could read and comprehend. Lucky you.

Two years ago, I came across with a photo that dealt with a barefooted boy found reading at one corner in the bookstore. Said photo stirred the hearts of millions as it spoke about social illness. The subject who was then thirteen-year old MJ seemed to be a curious cat. One that wondered what lies beyond or what happens next. My heart was pinched at the same time joyful. You see, this child might have undergone life’s crucial battles and yet he opted to settle down with any books that he could find; books that contained brilliant notions of whatever sorts; books that opened his mind to the many possibilities given the harsh reality. I salute him for I know that an incredibly bright future is ahead of him. I salute him for serving as an encouragement to his fellow. I salute him for taking the road less traveled.

In 2010, the National Statistics Office (NSO) data on the Census of Population and Housing (CPH) revealed that Western Visayas scored a 97.9 percent literacy rate, surpassing the national rate which is 97.5 percent. Generally speaking, this meant that 69.8 million Filipinos out of 71.5 million Filipinos with ages 10 and above were literate. These figures seemed to be overwhelming considering what the Philippines has undergone in the previous years. Former Education Undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz, however, stressed that there is a distinction between literacy and reading.

“To start with, let’s establish the difference between literacy and reading. They are related, but literacy is a level of competence, while reading is a skill. One can be literate but not necessarily a reader because reading, as a skill, requires the development of a habit that must be exercised daily if it is to be retained and enhanced. If left unexercised, the skill becomes rusty and can even be lost.”

In a bid to boost literacy and reading skills, the Department of Education (DepEd), has strategized worthwhile programs such as Language Development, Basic Literacy, Library Hub, Book Week, and National Reading Month among others. These celebrated programs were further strengthened with the help of private institutions and non-government organizations (NGOs). Thank heavens as these conscientious efforts paved way to a profound desire of learning.

Some people took time to read (or so I thought). They read as part of their hobbies. They read to research, be entertained, and gain knowledge. Illustrious author Lewis Carroll underscored key points on nurturing critical thinking and understanding the passages while reading. He advised that one should “begin at the beginning, and do not allow yourself to gratify a mere idle curiosity by dipping into the book, here and there.” This held true with respect to establishing a mental connection between the reader and the author.

On a personal note, it is with kindred hearts I share with you my Top 10 Reasons as to WHY EVERY PERSON SHOULD READ A BOOK…..NOW

A book a day kills ignorance away.

They say ignorance is bliss. But hey, such ignorance will shatter your soul to death one day. When you read a book, there lies enlightenment, a jumpstart towards developing critical thinking, analytical ability and social responsibility. These are necessities that, sadly, are often disregarded. It’s never an excuse that you know nothing just because you did not read. You need to read, otherwise, you end up being a foolish one.

Reading soothes your mind, mends your heart.

Whether you’re from work, practice, or school, reading relaxes your tired mind. There’s this heart-warming feeling rushing through your veins the moment you read an interesting line. The next thing you know, you can’t get enough of embracing the book. And when you’re feeling blue, go grab a book and there you’ll find happiness, contentment and peace. The comforting words teach you that, in time, you’ll heal the scars, forgive those who have wronged you and move on with optimism.

Great books lead to great writers.

Reading and writing goes hand in hand. The words are like sharp-edged swords that fuel the passion to speak out your thoughts. Today’s great writers owe their brilliance to those books they savor, and that they still continue to learn from them. Phenomenal A Song of Ice and Fire Series author George R. R. Martin, for instance, draws his inspiration from the literary masterpieces of J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E Howard, Fritz Leiber and related novelists.

There is renewed hope in every pages.

And when you think that hope is gone, well, think again. Every book promises a gleaming hope, serves a reminder that beneath the dark clouds, the sun is smiling at you.

It ignites imagination, sparks interest.

Talk about mental image power and interest rolled into one, a book is an enchanting storyteller. It knows how to capture its readers’ attention. It forms vivid pictures that only the playful mind can think of. It hones ingenuity, hence, unleashing your creative juices. A book is never boring to read at. The key is to select carefully the one that best mirrors your interests.

It’s a reflection of a lifetime.

The characters in every book exist not just for flattery or whatsoever. They are meant for something great. They create a definite purpose and that includes imparting life lessons. Many times, readers can relate their experiences based on the characters’ due to the universal themes that bind them together. These themes usually dwell on love, hatred, pain, loss, forgiveness, justice, faith, hope, truth, and power. On top of that, these equally great characters etch worthwhile memories through ages.

…because books have magical wings that can bring you to faraway places

Dreaming of traveling to distant places or basking into sweet escapes? I tell you, books have the power to splurge you to the many wonders regardless of time. Choose from a variety of science fiction, mystery, history, political satires, fantasy, classic literature, and you’re good to go.

The paperback scent is just too hard to resist.

The touch and musty smell of an aged paper is something to look forward to. Its distinctive scent is one of the characteristics why a lot of people still prefer paperbacks despite the emergence of electronic copies.

To nurture young minds

To our dear friends, parents, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins, consider this: Our children need books to ponder on, to shape their point of views. It is best that you read along with them as it promotes optimum learning and healthy bonding relationship.

Reading brings out the best in you.

I believe authors don’t want to mess up with their readers. By all means, I am referring to books as comrades – the kind that brings out the best in you no matter how tough the ride gets.

For starters, I believe it is never too late to read. Go grab a book NOW. Begin reading from page 1, and in no time, you’ll crave for something more. For adept readers, I urge you to shred your ideas into pieces and help your fellow embrace the art of reading in pursuit of harnessing their full potential.

Hushbury Liz Iloilo City, Iloilo, Western Visayas, Philippines

Space between a dream and reality

Dreams as they say can only be achieved with effort, hardwork and determination; but as a youth, how am I going to reach my dreams with the very slightest opportunities?

Desires being contested by chances; very high standards for a job and low quality of education involves expensive bills that ends into frustration. Youth with less opportunities for better education are hopeless, like being punched left and right. It is a saying, you have to go through the hole of a needle before we can really say "success!" What can we do about it? Who is to blame? Questions popping up in my mind.

There's no doubt, poverty is the biggest issue though with many solutions. Is it really the government responsible for this? It is given, we humans are highest in the hierarchy, but the battle can never be won by one versus thousands, we need a little help there. It completes the picture, - no man is an island, - we need learn the positive crab-mentality, which means we help each other up, not the other one. Many people are incapable of doing what others can, it is a struggle for existence with no one to lose nor win.

As a young adult, it has been my past-time to read and write until I discovered, I can develop such past-time into a real dream that requires a professional skill. Journalism is one of my desires in life, yet opportunities doesn't knock on my door. I have to walk the other path, that is the split and opposite of my dream.

Politics is a way too crucial and complex route. With all the reality that lies ahead, it is very poisonous for one's eye to discover truth and be silent about it. Killing you softly from the inside. Indeed, politics is a dirty job, where right becomes wrong and wrong is the right. It's like wanting to save everybody but you are so helpless, you can't even save yourself. A sad reality.

But then as I exhaust my self in life, it occurs to me that the very few things I have in hand can be used to lead me into my dreams; by being wise, resourceful and responsible for my self. I can do other things apart from what I really want, as I can do it along the way. Poverty is not a barrier for success, but an obstacle that is I am very happy to go through. As what Belva Davis said: "don't be afraiad of the space between ypur dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so."

Loretta Delos Santos Concepcion, Conception, Romblon, Mimaropa, Philippines
Image for Starting small to reach my dream job

Starting small to reach my dream job

I'm lucky to be working my dream job in international development in the Middle East and North Africa - the topic I studied in university. Today, I run the global communications for a network of nonprofits in the region. But I never imagined that my path to the role would take the shape that it did. When I started at my organization four years ago, I expected to be working as an entry-level communications associate. I quickly learned that I was hired primarily to be the assistant of the founder of the organization - not what I'd had in mind as I worked through years of grueling university and specialized language studies. But that first role is what has made my dream job possible. I had never wanted to be an executive assistant and wouldn't have responded to a job posting for the position, but the leader I worked for was a phenomenal role model and teacher. I had the opportunity to observe how he built relationships, made difficult strategic decisions, and navigated the challenges of establishing a social start-up. It was the best on-the-job training I could receive. He invested in my own development, and expected me to contribute my perspectives on important decisions - and he really listened. What I learned in that first role made it possible for me to transition through a series of other positions. Some of the most valuable skills I use today are those I learned at that first role - working a job that I had never wanted to begin with - and I will always be grateful that I had that chance.

Mariel Davis New York County, NYC, New York, United States of America
Image for Challenges facing democracy in India

Challenges facing democracy in India

I would like to share the current situation of youth facing in great democracy like India. Our PM Modi is promoting & inviting world to invest here. But, instead of encouraging youth, government is trying to manipulate them & using them as a tool,dragging in news to hide other important facts. I don't have a dream in such situation where freedom of speech is considered as sedition, where Education Minister remove all muslim writer's chapters from school books. The insecurity young girls feel here after hearing minister's irrelevant comments on their clothes, characters, etc. I still wonder, how long this is going to happen.

From last 2 years, we are facing many problems inside national institutes like FTII [Film & Television Institute of India], JNU [Jawaharlal Nehru University], TISS [Tata Institute of Social Sciences]. I am not a pessimist, i am a documentary filmmaker & trying to create & follow my dream.

But is it possible to rise your own voice when you feel insecure, threatened, lost & shameful at the same time. How long we are going to protest? At the end, this is plan of the big conspiracy with elites & businessmen. It's same everywhere. Where we are standing as a youth, future of India. FTII, JNU , TISS students are protesting against same system but how far we will go ? Is this path lead us to become one of them who needs power to do something. We are looking for answers.

I would like to capture this in-depth stories of youth who are facing different problems in all over country. There are uncertain things happened recently, like student's suicide because of caste discrimination, sedition & arrest of JNU protestors, lawyers as well as police becoming goons and beating students, judges are giving clean chits to all possible murderers who are part of current government. Rise of nationalism & extremists who are youths as well as others are non-believers. How these groups deal with situations & how they see India as a country?

There are many issues, I can highlight here.

But for now, would like to mention, Youth of this country is looking for freedom, not from one particular system but the roots of society & its functioning.

[THIS WAS AN EMAIL SUBMISSION]

groundtruth SH264, Jamb, Wardha, Maharashtra, India

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