Across the African continent there are thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who aim to promote and increase the living standards of community members.
Some NGO’s focus solely on education, whereas others focus on making clean water readily available to local communities. Regardless, all NGOs, have a common objective to better the lives of locals and leave an impact. While all NGOS aim to create impacts there are limited programs that are capable of success has a lasting impact that can be sustained by communities for years to come.
Into Your Hands Africa (IYHA), an NGO that works throughout rural Uganda, has implemented programs that are all focused on education that can be passed on. Into Your Hands has many programs, however their Community Development Associations (CDA) directly impacts community members, who in turn have had the ability to impact many more hands—so to speak.
This program is broken down into three key phases- educational workshops, exposure visits to demonstration farms, and implementation through group formation and mentorship. A few, select beneficiaries, also are given subsidies in the form of seedlings or livestock to help kickstart their own farms. The key phases are emphasized because they all based on education and learning the necessary traits of both sustainable agriculture, but also sustainable business techniques.
This program has a domino effect because annually recipients learn, but also former recipients are able to extend their knowledge to more people within their community, and teach them how to start their own businesses and play a role in community’s economy. It is an effort that has lead to communities growing together, because they can look intrinsically and use the tools they have cultivated through various workshops to not only make a better life for their family, but also a better life for their whole community.
The Community Development Association is largely focused on moving from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and animal husbandry to promote economic growth. Piloted in 2016, this program already has had an incredible and powerful turnout and will continue to do so. The CDA had an initial turnout of 326 community members from the sub-counties of Ndagwe and Kisekka who participated in the educational workshops delivered by Into Your Hands. The workshops are lead by three main facilitators, a livestock veterinary, a specialist in crop production, and community development officer—each experts in their respective fields.
The constant focus is using education to inspire community members. On top of the purely educational workshops locals also attend inspire workshops at successful farms. This gives them the chance to ask questions, to gain further knowledge and use ideas others have successfully implemented.
When 326 people learn something and they implement it at home they immediately teach their families and close friends as well. The Community Development Association in turn has impacted an additional 1630 community members. From one hand to the next, learning is passed on.
Written by Josephine Bush
For the first time as president, Donald Trump set out on a nine-day trip to the Middle East and Europe. Beforehand, Trump had hosted several foreign leaders at the White House. Nevertheless, this was his first time leaving the United States as President. During this trip, Trump met with leaders of the world’s three primary monolithic religions.
Saudi Arabia has long been the US’ closest Arab ally and so, Trump was greeted warmly by King Salman. While he was there, Trump gave a speech about combatting extremism, saying that it was a not a fight between various internal religious sects, rather one between merely “good and evil.” His speech also focused on his stronger alliance with Saudi Arabia and taking a step back from any partnership with Iran. The history that US shares with Iran is bleak; however, Obama previously made diplomatic inroads. It appears under the Trump Administration, the strongest tie will continue to be with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, almost exclusively. Trump’s speech also focused on the Syrian crisis - urging the Middle East to take charge themselves, and not wait for US intervention. Conclusively, the two nations signed a $400 billion agreement to invest in either country. This is intended to create jobs and stability within the Middle East.
Trump’s next stop was with Israel - another long-term American ally also located within the Middle East. While in Israel, the US President continuously announced that Palestine was ready for peace. However, it is vague and unclear as to what sort of solution Trump deems a viable option. It appeared to have been staged and inappropriate- as if the negotiation between Israel and Palestine should be treated like a business agreement. During Trump’s time in Israel, he visited what is commonly known as the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall. This was unique because no other sitting President has visited it, due to the fact that Jerusalem is not recognized as the capital city of Israel.
Trump’s final stop of his religious tour was Vatican City, where he met the Pope for the first time. Trump was given a tour and at its conclusion, he met with the Pope. Formerly, Pope Francis and Trump had exchanged negative comments via social media; however, they both said that they were not interested in fighting. During a speech, the Pope continued to say that walls do not offer a real sense of security and ultimately, all fail. The Pope has consistently said that it is Christian to build bridges rather than walls. Pope Francis also gave Trump a copy of his encyclical, Laudato Si, on climate change. So, although no apparent fighting went on during this meeting, it remains clear where either leader differs in their beliefs regarding key issues such as immigration and climate change.
Business in Brussels
While in the capital of the European Union, Trump focused on NATO and how many of the member nations do not abide by the recommendation of dedicating 2% of their GDP to NATO. During this trip, he requested that NATO members step-up and to stop relying on the United States for military funding. Trump also briefly noted that Brexit worries him, in terms of the job market.
Collectively, this meeting distinguished the values, goals and policies held by Europe and by the new America, under the Trump Administration. Not soon after giving a speech promoting religious tolerance and investment in youth alongside Barack Obama, Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel said that America is no longer a friendly alliance to Germany. The relationship between Germany and the United States has been a significant alliance that dates back to the conclusion of the second World War. Considering this “non-alliance” with Germany is unprecedented in the modern history of the United States, it will be very interesting to witness how either State interacts with one another from this point forward.
United States President Donald J. Trump has been in office for nearly five months. During this time, Trump’s activity has dominated the media. After having reviewed such coverage, I have pinpointed what I believe to be his greatest accomplishments, or “Trump’s Triumphs.” Please have a read and be sure to leave any comments or questions below.
1. Trump Drops The Paris Climate Agreement
On June 1st, Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement, making the United States one out of three nations who are not apart of the Agreement. The other two nations, Syria and Nicaragua, are engaged in a brutal, civil war and believe that more should be done about the climate, respectively. Although this is not universally seen as an accomplishment, this can be seen as the largest international “Trump Triumph.” He has both supported and been supported by the growth of the coal and oil industries; therefore, this is seen as a win for his supporters, businesses, and his administration.
2. The House passes health care bill
On May 3rd, the House passed legislation that could lead to the repeal and replacement of Obama’s most significant accomplishment, The Affordable Healthcare Act. Trump’s legislation, The American Health Care Act, barely passed through the House with a 217-213 votes. Nevertheless, it marks the biggest domestic accomplishment Trump has seen while in office.
**What it could mean, if it passes through the Senate:
Many aspects of Obama’s healthcare plan would be dismantled, leading to a reduction of coverage. After you have been uninsured for 63 days, you will be charged a penalty upon seeking out healthcare. Trump has also promised to keep that children can stay on their parent’s plan up until they are 26.
3. Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed
In early April, Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in a 54-45 vote. This confirmation filled the open position, thereby filling the Supreme Court and reconfirming the 5-4 conservative majority of judges once again.
NATO has long been an alliance that is primarily financially backed by the United States.
It is intended and recommended that each member country spends 2% of their GDP on NATO defence, however there is no penalty if a member country spends less than the recommended 2%. The United States currently spends 3.61% of their entire GDP, which based on how large the United States economy is ends up being a total of 22% of NATO costs. Trump has used this debate when confronting NATO members noting that the total reliance on the United States needs to come to an end. During his most recent visit to Brussels, he advised that NATO focus on combatting terrorism threats and immigration. Although it is unlikely Trump’s claims will lead to nations meeting the 2% recommendation, it is likely a more nationalistic agenda will be set by NATO members for defense —meaning, the members pay less into NATO and more on their own defense initiatives, internally. From the Trump Agenda, this is a triumph because it is a step towards focusing on America’s national agenda rather than supporting countries who are not fully committing to a financial arrangement.
5. Domestic Jobs
One of Trump’s primary promises during the election season was to turn inwards and create domestic jobs. Early in his presidency, he started reaching out to businesses and working out deals with large companies to keep jobs within the United States rather than having companies outsource their work. However, instead of reinstalling coal plants that have gone out of business in recent years, the United States could or rather should back alternative energy industries. Nonetheless, Trump has played a role in reopening traditional industrial work.
6. Immigration Policies
Tighter immigration policies and vetting procedures, a wall, and a decrease in immigration are wins for the Trump Administration. Although both his bans as well as his wall along the southern border proposals have not been adopted and made into law, they could be considered somewhat effective due to the fact many people are scared to enter. Further, Trump has achieved higher rates of deportation of illegal persons in the United States. Though many individuals have been deported, the question still remains: how effectively are the millions of tax dollars, that are being invested in deportations, supporting the economy?
*Author’s Disclaimer: This article is intended to highlight what the Trump Administration has accomplished from an objective point of view. These six pillars are all objectives Trump has laid out during his election and though many of the initiatives have yet to pass, the groundwork has been laid. Each of these six points can be seen in a positive light if viewed with a conservative lens. Though I do not personally align with the political party, I find it important to note what has happened in the first five months and what could happen in the future. A well-rounded education is key to being not only an informed citizen, but a good one as well.
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