Monday, March 30, 2015

Women as Peace Advocates

March is Women’s History Month in the United States.  It is set aside to focus on the contributions of women to the development of the country.  March 8 is also celebrated as International Women’s Day.
In his proclamation, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Throughout history, extraordinary women have fought tirelessly to broaden our democracy’s reach and help perfect our Union.  Through protest and activism, generations of women have appealed to the values at the heart of our Nation and fought to give meaning to the idea that we are all created equal.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

Gathering for Peaceful and Credible Elections

“Nigeria is making progress in its democratic journey despite security challenges,” said Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission.  Professor Odinkalu made this assertion at an event organized by the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association in support of peaceful and credible elections in Nigeria.

Citing the success of Nigeria’s democratic process, Professor Odinkalu said, “First, Nigeria will be witnessing the most competitive election in her history with an opposition that is stronger than ever before and which has footprints across the country.  Second, control of the National Assembly is now split between two political parties, one controlling the Senate and the other, the House of Representatives.  Thirdly, the number of election litigations has decreased by 35 percent, from 86.1 percent in 2007 to 51 percent in 2011.”   He said young leaders are important, urging them to be optimistic and use creative ways to connect with their peers.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

AMANA Initiative: University of Abuja Law Clinic promotes trust and peace building through dialogue

“There can be no development without peace,” Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Gwagwalada said as he addressed Abuja Law School clinicians and a group of more than 200 participants at the stakeholders interactive town hall, organized by the University of Abuja Law Clinic under the *AMANA Initiative.

The University of Abuja Law Clinic is a general practice clinic that serves as a laboratory for law students. Throughout the year, student clinicians take turns staffing the clinic—meeting members of the community, registering their cases, and, in some cases, providing pro bono legal services to indigent residents.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

School Children Reflect on the Life of Martin Luther King

Ambassador Entwistle (center) pose with students
and teachers who participated in the Essay
competition -- photo by Idika Onyukwu
February is celebrated as Black History Month in the United States to highlight the struggles and contributions of African-Americans to the country.  Activities are usually held in the United States and in various parts of the world during the month that focuses on different aspects of African-American life and especially those who have made significant contributions to their advancement.

In Abuja, the U.S. Embassy brought together secondary school students in the city to reflect and share their views about foremost American civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The event was organized in collaboration with the Foundation for Moral and Ethical Development and alumni of the International Visitor Leadership Program.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Creating extraordinary pathways; How YALI program changed my life!

“The Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative has come and gone.  For all the participants it was a life changing event.  One of the YALI Fellows here writes about her experience.”

Until I attended the YALI program which commenced on June 14, 2014, I was just an ordinary girl, contributing my little quota to the society and changing the world from my own little corner. Today, I'm still that ordinary girl changing the world and lighting the path for many others but the YALI program has made my pathway an incredible and extraordinary one. I am a lawyer, a community advocate and a founder of two organisations promoting maternal and child health in Nigeria. I am Adepeju Jaiyeoba.

December 2013 was my turning point. I woke up to an email from a friend with the link to the YALI program application portal.I opened it and contemplated filling and submitting, I had my program scheduled for 2014 already, YALI was not on it and I really didn't want to apply. Today, I cannot imagine being anywhere else at this time but on this program!