Sunday, 2 July 2017

"Happy Canada Day", Spiritual Life & Collective Responsibility to Seek Justice:

The greatest personal conflict I face as a Catholic and civically engaged-justice searching global citizen is reconciling the violent/bloody history through which my faith has emerged, its complicity in producing the oppressive reality/social structures I am challenging, and the rhetoric of my faith that constantly invites all to seek justice, charity and generosity. So far, I have found mental sanity in affirming this rhetoric by believing that the Church (in action) has a role to play in bringing about a more just world. In my mind, this means that the church and its members have to go for “confession” and do the accompanying “penance”. Within the context of Canada, this means amongst other things, the church has to fully own up to its complicity in facilitating the evolution of a historically oppressive Canada to certain populations, to its role in breaking souls/families (in irreparable ways) of indigenous people and then actively working to act for justice and bringing its congregation to terms with this history. 

My experience in Canadian Catholic churches have been far from this – today for example, the priest preached about charity and service to strangers. I wondered how in Canada, the strangers (we Immigrants) are socialized to amputate history and go around acting like we are the custodians of the land. Then we went on to pray for Canada’s 150th and for religious freedom but no mention of indigenous people, the need for healing and justice in the land. I refused to say Amen to that prayer. And then the shocker came when the priest asked that we sing Canadian anthem! My belly tumbled. What does it mean for us to sing the Canadian anthem in Church, before the final blessings? Are we celebrating and sanctifying the blood and erased lives this country has emerged on or what? The journey to finding mental sanity and full belonging in the catholic church is clearly going to be a life long journey. 

Until then, I will not celebrate “Canada day”. I rather remind myself that all that I enjoy in Canada has come at the dehumanization and erasure of many indigenous lives. I had rather educate myself about this painful history and reflect on how my scholarship and actions can contribute to justice. I rather reflect on what an alternative global social arrangement could be that doesn’t necessarily come at the cost of stealing people’s resources, killing others and erasing them from memory. I had rather celebrate the possibility of us all becoming intellectually upright, honest and pursuing the decolonization and humanization of Canada for all.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Engaging & Uniting Nigerian Teenagers for Youth Issues

Today was a very special day for me and Unveiling Africa. I spent some time with students/Unveiling Africa ambassadors at St Joseph's Secondary School Agege discussing a story I wrote a few years ago about social inequities amongst Nigerian youth and the the need for youth, regardless of their social class to unite together against youth inequities.

At the session, the students pointed out that while social class disparities enables youth to live isolated and parallel lives, what sustains these division and isolation are man-made policies and programs. Consequently, these man-made policies can be challenged and disrupted. To begin this process of lifelong disruption and youth unity, I challenged them to start mobilizing in their school to practice how to unite together to make their school more inclusive of every student.
 They will fill out a questionnaire about their schooling experience and compile their views about how their schools can be improved for all. 

 To extend this further, later in April, the students will organize a Town Hall meeting of sorts to share their views and engage school authorities, local government chairman, state officials and parents on things that will need to change. They will also play host to four other schools in our network who will be charged with the same tasks. The hope with this is that youth remain alert and angered by the normalized and ongoing dehumanization in the Nigerian society but more importantly, see that they are not too young to politically engage and live out their civic obligation of action.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Threads of ethnic exclusion in Nigerian Secondary Schools

I am only in the early stages of data collection in Nigeria and the student experiences I have heard so far are mind boggling and terrifying. Student experiences and learning are heavily influenced by their ethnicity and the stereotypes associated with their ethnic groups. There appears to be blatant discrimination against certain students by teachers, bullying by students and emotional abuse by school authorities especially when it comes to student grades. There is also a lot of variation in teaching and curriculum seems to be reinterpreted to suit the private school's agenda and absorb the power dynamics of the local community. Some highlights:

1) Almost every student (more than 500 so far) that filled out my questionnaire has said that they were severely punished (some were sent to detention!) or made to pay a fine when they spoke their indigenous languages in school. English was the superior language!

2) A "Hausa-Fulani" student I interviewed yesterday talked about the predominant perception in her Federal government school which suggested that Hausa students are not smart while the Igbos are deemed to be smart. So, whenever she/any hausa girl puts her hands up in class to answer a question, the teacher skips them and goes for the Igbo girl. When she gives a "chorus" (screams out) answer even when the Igbo student fails the question, she was punished. She talked about how this became a self-fulfilling prophecy amongst Hausa girls... their teachers did not expect more from them, so they did not bother.

3) The Igbo girl that I interviewed today attended a high cost catholic private school in the East - she talked about how she was taught in an insular way, as if the best identity one could be is Catholic and Igbo. So students who were not Igbo felt excluded in the school. Even though you are not Catholic, you were forced to do all the Catholic norms. 

4) The last two students I interviewed today were from Kogi and Akwa Ibom. They attended high cost private schools in Abuja and they talked about the intense bullying non-Hausa's experienced in school. They talked about how "cliquey" the Hausa students were in their school and how they always spoke Hausa and outrightly tried to castigate anyone they thought was Igbo or simply not Hausa. To belong was to speak Hausa. Even the teachers spoke Hausa to the students but the male participant said when he tried to speak his indigenous language with his brother, he was shunned. The girl shared an experience where a Hausa classmate came to her to tell her that she hated Igbos,thinking she was Igbo... but she is Igala. I asked why they didn't report these issues, they said teachers/adminstration ignored these issues simply because of who they thought their parents were or trivialized it as student banter. The participant from Akwa Ibom said that things got out of hand in his school that a bloody fight broke out after exams between non-Hausa's vs. Hausas. 

5) My participant who is from Akwa Ibom shared that a teacher said something very offensive about Akwa Ibom people. He reported to the principal and the teacher got fired. But he believes that the teacher got fired simply because of who they thought his father was.

6) One of my participants went to a Foreign (e.g Chinese, Turkish, Japanese) Nigerian secondary school - she talked about how they were mandated to learn the foreign language ( not english or French, e.g. Chinese, Turkish, Japanese) till SS2 but questioned why Nigerian languages were stopped at JSS2. She says that they also had to sing the anthem of the country everyday. 

7) My last two interviewees were neither Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba - even though Nigerian languages was offered, non of theirs was an option. The female participant said she felt like another line in the school's balance sheet. 

These is so much to say about these experiences..but what is clear is that our schools are clearly a microcosm of the Nigerian society. All the divisions that play out in broader society is alive and well in our schools and amongst our teenagers. When I asked my last two participants how secondary school prepared them for life after school - they said their secondary school showed them who to relate and not relate with... This is so so sad. The decolonizing and anti-colonial imperative of educational change in Nigeria is made clear in these student accounts. We Nigerians must gather ourselves together and choose justice and inclusion for all as mainstays in our union. Afterwards, we must develop a mandatory decolonial course that seeks to unify secondary students through their indigenous histories to interrogate these perceptions students/teachers have, show what we have have in common while affirming each others rights to be different. We must put English in its rightful place - as a foreign Language! Students need to be made to understand that English is a language of communication and not necessarily of their culture. English should not be presented as superior to other languages. Students should not be punished for speaking their indigenous language!!! And of course, the parents/homes - we need a decolonization and healing retreat for our parents..Parent Teachers Associations's must be retooled to deal with these issues and help parents teach their kids better and demand that their schools open the minds of their children, And teacher training must be REVAMPED!! 

I am meeting more students who are Muslim tomorrow.. I am looking forward to sharing the experiences I have heard so far with them.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Ojo Maduekwe: Recruiter and Mentor of Future Public Servants - Pt 2

Despite my attacks on PDP, critique of the ruling class that I clearly established that he was a part of and the obvious age difference between both of us, the High Commissioner wasn’t defensive, patronizing or condescending. While holding his ground for PDP, he treated me like an equal and held up an intellectually mature discussion backed with history, facts and anecdotes. I was impressed. He challenged me to go into politics and once again, argued that politics is the most effective platform to bring about system wide change. He said that youth like me that complain must move beyond complaining and try to go in and shape the system. In addition, youth should not wait for sitting politicians to hand over power to them simply because they are youth. It will never happen. He argued that youth must walk through the system and go claim power for the social change they envision. A few months later, to my surprise, the High Commissioner and his wife organized a well- attended (by much older community members and officials from the High commission) elaborate dinner at his home -the Nigerian House in Ottawa to honour and encourage me for my public service at the U of T and in Nigeria through Unveiling Africa. 

My subsequent interactions with Papa Ojo revolved around him sharing his experiences, compromises and contradictions in politics. His explicit mission was to recruit me into public service and politics! However, he wanted me to ground myself in my philosophical beliefs and find a personal entry point into politics that will not involve me giving up on the ideals that sustains my passion in civil society. As a result, I shared my dreams about contributing to the decolonization of Africa’s education system and using Africa’s education (starting from Nigeria) to develop the next generation of African leaders who can help bring about a culturally relevant democracy, inclusive and self-reliant continent. He encouraged me to pursue the dream of setting up an outstanding Teachers College/K-12 School that could become a model for public policy. To assure me that all my dreams will be achieved and that my kind exists in politics, he connected me to like-minded Nigerian politicians who had developed an advocacy and citizen action profile. 

As a mentor, Papa Ojo was always looking out for me and my interests. After the inauguration of a cultural centre that he attended in Anambra state, he sent an email describing the event and informing me of the potential allies I had for my projects: “What came across from this awesome family donation of a three-storey human development center to Obosi is the possibility of an authentic Igbo Renaissance by new generation Igbos who are not apologetic of their Igbo-ness but see a Nigeria in great need of a non - chauvinistic Igbo tonic… Just to let you know you have potential allies in your bold projects for our people and for God to continue to bless you.”

Before Papa Ojo left Canada as the High Commissioner, he handed me over to members of this network as his daughter. One of the people he connected me to was his high school teacher who was in Nigeria during the Biafran war. He played a very active role in mobilizing Canadian support for Biafra. He had numerous artifacts that were of interest to me. 

Upon completing my PhD in 2018, I was looking forward to working with Papa Ojo to publish a book in 2020 (50th anniversary of the beginning of the war) about the Biafran war and Canada’s involvement.  Amidst these big dreams for me, Papa Ojo kept me in line and insisted that the completion of my PhD remains the most important thing at the moment. In response to one of my emails expressing excitement about the cultural centre and eagerness to connect with the founder, he affirmed my excitement but said: Don’t get distracted: get your PhD first! The world is there for you to conquer!

My experience with Papa Ojo as an enabler, nurturer of intellectual curiosity, opportunity finder and connector, was not exclusive to me. After the symposium I organized, he posted a book to one of the audience members that came to discuss with him. Even though I live in Toronto, I had heard about how Papa Ojo organized events for Nigerian youth and the community at large in Ottawa. In a Facebook post expressing shock about Papa Ojo’s death, my baby sister from another mother (Kika Otiono) shared how Papa Ojo encouraged her love for poetry and gave her a book. 

Kika Otiono & Late Chief Ojo Maduekwe

My good friend, Titilope Sonuga is thankful to Papa Ojo for the opportunity she had to perform at the inauguration of President Buhari. He also attended the PhD graduation of a Nigerian student – Rita Orji at the University of Saskatchewan. Upon completing his role as High Commissioner, he joined the board of African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) with the goal of strengthening the organization’s capacity to enlist more African youth in Math and Science research.

Beyond the technical side of him, Papa Ojo was just a lovely, energetic, intelligent and tireless man. He knew something about everything. I developed the kind of relationship I wish I had the chance to develop with my grandfathers. He was an enabler, encourager and just a good friend. 

If I were to count Nigeria’s gains from Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Ojo Maduekwe is one of them. He was not only an outstanding representative of Nigeria in Canada but he brought the community together, nurtured the next generation in our different walks of lives while inducting us with his passion and exemplary service into the world of public service and politics. 

Given that Nigeria’s education system continues to fail in critically educating and preparing the next generation for transformative citizen participation across all walks of life, the pricelessness of Papa Ojo’s steadfast commitment to enthusiastically bringing his experiences/victories/ failures in politics and public service to the doorstep of youth comes to bare. For me, Papa Ojo was my political and history education pipeline. 

Through our discussions about the difficult/controversial political choices he had to make, I started to reflect more on the intersection between the immediate social needs of citizens, political philosophy, human ideals, social constraints and personal convictions. Such conscious intersectional approach that is grounded in a clear people-centred philosophy to public service/governance is what is missing in Nigerian politics and is what Papa Ojo’s political experiences and reflections affirmed in me as obtainable in the polity. 

However, like Papa Ojo noted at the symposium, the extent to which Nigeria can move to a more ideologically nuanced approach to politics and public service is dependent on a critical mass of like-minded youth going into politics. The missed opportunity to develop this critical mass of like-minded politically engaged youth include my greatest regrets about Papa Ojo’s untimely passing. I looked forward to him living long enough to publish his memoir and institutionalizing his ideas/experiences for the next generation to learn. As he will want and expect, we like-minded youth must now find each other en masse, critically learn from his legacy as well as other politicians and most importantly, be unwavering in our commitment to using our lives, passion, skill and intelligence to serve the public good. 

Papa Ojo, you will forever live on in my heart.

Ojo Maduekwe: Recruiter and Mentor of Future Public Servants - Pt 1

My cherished relationship with the late Ambassador Ojo Maduekwe (Former Foreign and Transport Minister) who later fondly became my “Papa Ojo” began on March 17, 2015. 

As a Junior Fellow at Massey College - University of Toronto, I convened the Massey International Development Symposium themed: Governance, Human Development and Rebellion in Africa: How Does Canada Matter?” Alongside two former Canadian Senators (Hon. Hugh Segal & Hon. Peter Stollery), Ambassador Maduekwe was the third panellist who was to provide the African perspective on the effectiveness of International Aid in Africa and what Nigeria is specifically doing to increase the participation of youth in governance.

L-R:Senator Peter Stollery, Late Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Hon Hugh Segal, Chizoba Imoka

Like many Nigerians last year, I was utterly frustrated by the performance of successive PDP (former Nigerian ruling party) governments and my patience for Goodluck Jonathan’s government had run out. I was sick and tired of what came across as a very corrupt, disconnected and insensitive administration. As a result, the least I wanted to do was to meet or have anything to do with any PDP politician. Neither did I want to plan an event that will provide a platform for the Nigerian government to rationalize or downplay the situation in the country. So, when it became clear that the African speaker on our panel would have to be a Nigerian diplomat, I was reluctant. Nevertheless, I immediately thought of inviting a senior civil servant that I had met at the Nigerian embassy in Ottawa in the previous year and was quite impressed by his passion and shared frustration for issues in Nigeria and Africa. I sent the invite to him but he refused and insisted that I route the invitation directly to the High Commissioner – I did. Four weeks later, we received a confirmation that the High Commissioner will attend the event. We were relieved, sent our posters to the press and started publicizing.

However, six days to the event (March 11, 2015), I received an email from the High Commissioner saying that he had been trying to reach me via phone and that I should contact him as soon as possible on his Nigerian number. My heart skipped when I saw this email – I was prepared for the worst; he was going to pull a PDP government stunt on us – cancel his attendance! When we spoke, he said he had to come back to Nigeria for an emergency election meeting with the president and one of the meetings fell on the day of our event! He asked me to advise and help him make a decision: cancel his meeting with the president and come back to Canada for our event or stay back in Nigeria to attend to the president and send a representative? What a request! Anyways, I expressed understanding for the dilemma that he was in, explained the objectives/goals of our event and gave him the option of inviting another official.

To my surprise, over the phone, he decided to re-arrange his schedule in Nigeria and attend our event. He said he was going to explain the importance of our event to the president and excuse himself from the rest of the meetings so that he could fly back to Canada in time for our event on the 17th of March 2015. To say the least, I was pleasantly stunned but, hey, this is a PDP politician, so I tamed my excitement and was still mentally prepared for things not to go as planned. March 17, 2015 came and the High Commissioner showed up as planned with his wife and senior staff members. At the event; I didn’t mince my words about the ugly state of affairs in the country and how so little was being done to reverse the social situation by at the very least, investing in education and getting more youth involved in governance.

Audience members also asked honest questions about the inequalities in Nigeria as a contributing factor to the Boko Haram insurgency and the role of the ruling elite like the High Commissioner in sustaining Nigeria’s rot. 

Massey International Development Symposium 2015

We were all surprised and amazed by the High Commissioner’s robust answers for every single question that he was asked, his intellectual honesty, quality of analysis and sustained passion/energy throughout the event. At the core of his arguments were two points: Nigeria is yet to form a meta-narrative about itself that synthesized the diverse cultures/histories/ aspirations of the over 250 ethnic nations that make up the country. As a result, Nigeria wasn’t a nation so to speak like say Canada, where there is a strong philosophical sense of identity/ belonging (for many Canadians but not all), strong attachment to the nation state and a clear and functional state to citizen relationship. Hence, he agreed that direct aid to the Nigerian state is problematic and in fact, Nigeria didn’t need aid.

On the other hand, he argued that the extent to which the Nigerian state develops and transforms would be dependent on the quality of people that go into politics and public service. Currently, Nigeria’s political problem, he argued is that: Nigerian politics doesn’t attract our best and brightest. That is the central problem. The best and brightest are outside politics. He spoke fondly about Dr. Stella Adadevoh’s life sacrifice for Nigeria. Nigeria’s ability to defeat Ebola was because she stood her ground against the wish of Patrick Sawyer to leave the hospital. Her eventual death was as a result of this heroic act that subverted a looming public health crisis. To this, he said: We need young people who can stand their ground and say, we will only support what is right.” While praising the creativity and dynamism of Nigerian youth, he argued that the youth felt that they were too good for politics and seem to expect a miracle to happen without their direct involvement.

While acknowledging that Nigerian politics has rightfully been seen as unethical and many politicians bandied as corrupt, he still insisted that no one will change Nigeria except the youth who constitute the majority and politics remains the most effective platform to create society wide changes. He conceded that more needs to be done to consciously recruit and involve youth in politics. The kind of recruitment Papa Ojo envisioned was to build a critical mass of engaged citizens and citizen representatives: “We need to build a critical mass of people who see politics as a vocation for doing good; for doing right. Once that critical mass starts to expand, you are going to see the true destiny of Nigeria rise to the fore. So what can we do and I am asking you all. What can we do to encourage the likes of Chizoba into politics?

The desire to get people like me who are passionate about social justice and system wide change into politics became the crux of the fond relationship I later developed with Papa Ojo. After this event, he invited me and the event co-organizers for drinks. 

Digvijay Mehra: Event co-organizer

At our meet up, I passionately quizzed him about his role in PDP and how PDP and previous ruling elites like himself ought to have setup the education pipeline through which students are trained to become excited about politics! Bluntly, I told him I wanted PDP to lose the elections, not because I was an APC (prominent Nigerian political party, current party in power) devotee but because of the erosion of ethics and common sense that GEJ’s government was facilitating.

End of Part 1 - To be continued in part 2 (next post)

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Chizoba Imoka: 2016 Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award Winner - Award Ceremony Acceptance Speech & Photos

This year has been a marvellous one for me. A few months ago, it was announced that I am the 2016 winner of the Adel S. Sedra Distinguished Graduate Award

The beautiful award ceremony was held yesterday and I was so happy to share this special occasion with some of my closest friends.

Aunty Juju (Juliet) - silent fighter for justice and women's right, all time energetic Cindy,  my Massey sisters - Dina & Swathi

My Lohifa!!!!! Friend sister from high school days in Nigeria, My Baby Myles, Devon, Dina & Passionate Ronke

LOL - Because Myles needs to look at the Camera!

Such an honour to meet Prof. Sedra himself! Without this man, graduate students like myself will not have a minimum funding package. I feel so privileged to hold an award in his name!!!
Like I say in my acceptance speech video below, the story of my life is the story of my family and friends who ALWAYS come together to send me off to the world to do the things I believe in.

I have the best friends ever!! A big shout out to my friend Ada Esonwanne for buying me this dress so that I can slay at this award ceremony!!
From my incredible family members, mentors and friends who drive long distance, drop everything

Christine Karcza - One of the incredible women that rock my world - I have the privilege of also having her as mentor from my Massey family 

to be there for me to write my applications, feed me, make sure my hair style is appropriate and even buy me what to wear for my award ceremony!

I am very aware that all that I have today and my ability to walk around the University of Toronto campus feeling entitled to some respect and dignity is because of the people that have come before me and the sacrifices many people continue to make for me and people that look like me.

L-R: Prof. Adel Sedra, Me!, Prof. Meric Gertler - University of Toronto President and Tye Farrow - Director of University of Toronto Alumni Association

I am aware that over a century ago, people that had dreams and pride like me were sold off as slaves and were not allowed to eat at the dining table. I am also reminded that even till today, many Black people like myself in India, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and even in African countries are still treated like objects and animals simply because of their skin colour, perceived disability, identity or/and poverty. This is the case for other marginalized groups around the world.

Through the death, activism and courageous acts of scholarship and public service of people before me, many of us can make claims for economic/cognitive justice, equity and dignity amongst other things. Despite all the work they have done, there is still so much more that needs to be done. I have decided to focus on trying to dismantle the colonial education system we all are trapped in globally but starting from Nigeria and the broader African continent.

It is truly my hope that the awards I have received this year and the PhD program I am in serves as a vehicle for me to advance the cause for us to build a public schooling system that dismantles colonial structures in our society, disrupts social inequities, restores justice and supports the creation of a democratically transformed and equitable Africa and world.

It is my prayer that more young people in my generation also figure out what justice and equity looks like for the marginalized populations in their respective fields, so that as a collective we can act together to pass on a more just world and sustainable world to the next generation.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Conference Speaker - Results Canada 2016 Conference: Voices that Change the World

On April 17, 2016, I had the privilege of speaking at the RESULTS Canada conference in Ottawa themed "Voices that Change the world".

Results Canada is a very interesting organization - they equip people with the knowledge and political skills they require to lobby local politicians on critical social issues they care about. Accordingly, this conference was a gathering of RESULTS Canada members, who are also known as "citizen advocates". Two out of the three days event was focused on knowledge sharing and the last day involved the citizen advocates going to Parliament Hill to meet with politicians.

In support of this unique approach to citizen engagement, I shared my experience as a youth advocate/founder of Unveiling Africa and provided the closing remarks for day 1.

The most enjoyable part of this conference was meeting new people and engaging with the questions from the audience.

From Toronto to Ottawa: It was a pleasant surprise to meet Masha at this conference; it certainly made me feel more at home.

Chizoba Imoka, Lauren Liu - Former NDP MP (youngest female MP in Canadian history!) and Donovan Taplin (Municipal Councillor, Town of Wabana - Bell Island)

Clarecia Christie - Project Manager, TFO Canada; this woman is one passionate and action oriented sister. It was a delight meeting her.

In response to my experiences at Unveiling Africa and critique of my education experience in Nigeria and Canada, audience members asked about alternative approaches to encouraging teenagers to act for change and what an ideal classroom/society will look like. I thorougly enjoyed sharing my views on these questions.

The passion and electricity from these teenage girls blew me away. They were asking for my opinion on their projects on feminism and racism. I was so impressed to see teenagers talk about global structural issues.
I am also always delighted to support young Canadians that are not going to Africa and not buying goats for "starving African children" in the name of social change!

R-L: Clarecia Christie demanding an elevator pitch from my dear sister - Kika

 My closing remarks was a little more impassioned than I had planned. The panelists before me spoke about the sustainable development goals (SDG) in a very sanitized way. I am not as optimistic about the SDGs. Interspersed in the rest of this post are tweets from my remarks.

I hate to bust SDG bubble, says @chizobaimoka but we mustn't forget history, we also need to eliminate colonial structures #voices4results
This woman called Inez Kelly brought tears to my eyes and taught me some Irish/Black history. Memories of how Irish people were treated is what drives her in fighting for justice for all. She said to me: "I see you" and we go way back. With the hope of creating "better quality slaves", the British brought Irish women/children together with Black men.

As a result, my closing remarks provided a brief historic context of the SDGs and made a case for our social change efforts to be geared towards restoring justice in countries we seek to serve in, fighting for a "pluri-versal" world as opposed to a "uni-versal" world that thrives on the marginalization of other global indigenous knowledge systems and only honours English language and the 5 other imperial languages/cultures (German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French).
If we want equity in health/development programming we 1st need equitable global governance structure says @chizobaimoka #voices4results
We need a world that is sustained by the diverse cultures of the global community. Community members should be able to have an equitable chance to use their cultures as a path way for economic, social and political sustenance.
“Why does the west push privatised public services in Africa, when we would never tolerate it at home?” - @chizobaimoka
 Lastly, I talked about the importance of NGOs working towards becoming redundant in the communities they serve. Becoming redundant means that your mission has been accomplished.
“We have to stop measuring Africa’s capacity to rise by our consumption” @chizobaimoka
To optimize whatever goodwill is embedded in the SDGs, we need to think about the colonial history of our global governance structure, the Western centered/Eurocentric approach to pursuing development (for example, getting an education is equal to mastery in Maths and English - does this mean English is the only language synonymous to intelligence? If not, why are other forms of intelligence not honoured in the SDG approach to education?)

Gideon (PhD student, University of Ottawa/RESULTS Canada citizen advocate) and Danny Glenwright  (ED, Action against Hunger)

Because you can never have enough selfies with the ever cheery Clarecia