Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My take from the 2009 European Summit for Global Transformation in Rotterdam 20/11/2009 - 22/11/2009

I wish I was warned that the academic life will make me become a "once- in - a - Month" blogger. I am seriously fighting against this development. God help me.

Just like I mentioned in my previous post that the fellows will be going to Rotterdam-Netherlands for a summit. We did make the journey! With Jeroen Hermkens effort in calling the embassy that they are expecting us at the summit and that they had invested a lot into having the 8 of us at the summit, the embassy gave our visas just the second day of submission and a day before the trip! They told me at the embassy that mine might take 3 Months to process because I am a Nigeria with 6 Months UK Visa!

This being a Nigerian getting to be a stumbing block is hard to understand. We are honest people, aren't we? I do understand the different kind of crimes by few Nigerians that have put us into this situation. We just need to keep working towards a better Nation, with a little or low level of crime reported anywhere in the world. We can do it!

Back to the summit detail, the European Summit for Global Transformation was a fantastic event. I became all emotional with 2 video clips that touched on global warming and climate change. It was an overwhelming feeling to learn once again about how we the human beings have forgotten that we don't have another planet but this very one - THE EARTH. It was a powerful and it was a rude awakening moment. This is really a point for us to be the change as we can no longer deny the disaster coming if we fail to act. Reforestation is one powerful message of hope and I hope we will all do something to safe the earth! Different species of animals are going into extinction due to our acts and of course science plays a role in this as well. We must save the earth!
At the summit, I met a 23 year old Maggie that is raising 27 children in Nepal. She provided Shelter from the land she bought from her savings that she demanded from her parent in the US. Maggie wandered as I would say to Nepal and seeing these kids on the street, she believed she could do something to give them a worthy life. Now with a house over their heads, food in their tummies, they are able to go to school and learn. Maggie, with her NGO in place is helping children with rare diseases to get treatment. What a worthy life for a 23 year old lady that is passionately making a change.

There was Subhash Ghimire studying in the US and educating children in Nepal through organising computers camps, setting up a library with a promise to go back to Nepal after his education. He believes in working in his home country where he can utilise his knowledge for its development as oppose to the idea of "stay abroad and send help home". Another fantastic lady is Renu Shah Bagaria who teaches Nepal kids in the morning and evenings using her own money. This is not talking change but acting it.

The European Summit for Global transformation started with the aim of sharing passions with like minded change makers, meeting to connect, network and contribute to each other's work. This summit started in 2006 with a few friends that came together and put their idea into action. This is a perfect place to use the word TEAM { Together Each Achieve More}. Special thanks to Rebecca Self for her effort in ensuring the 8 fellows made it to the summit. And to Jeroen Hermkens, Stefan Heinz and Cheryl Cooper, I say a big thank you for their help towards our trip to and from Rotterdam.

I am trying not to make this post too lengthy and I will like if you can click on the liinks provided to read more about the summit and see how you can translate this into action or how you can contribute in your own way into making a difference. Though I have focused on Nepal in this post but there are other change makers from Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, USA and Switzerland with life changing projects in their various communities.

Esra'a Al Shafei, Director, mideastyouth.com, a TED Fellow and an Echoing Green Fellow from Bahrain is a 23 year old lady whom I would have met in Chicago as she made it to the blogHer conference. This is a fearless young lady that believes in the empowerment of the Bahrain youth. Not even the threat from her government will stop her from providing ICT support for over 100 Non-Governmental Organisation in Bahrain. I am touched by her dedication and wisdom.

For me and the 7 other fellows of Conflict, Security and Development Group, we knew the summit for us was not a waste, but a gain. A reminder of the need to do all in our power to contribute to the development of our nations and let it be known that we did our best. Phidelia Amey, a fellow from Ghana has this to say " The summit brought together people from 23 countries who in their own ways are doing things to transform the world. It was about ordinary people who in their ordinary and small ways are doing extraordinary things and trying to make the world a better place for all. I was an eye opener for me that I can help transform the world and that there are people out there who share in my vision and enthusiasm. Apart from all the inspiring words that were shared by people at the summit about how one can help bring about transformation, it was also evident that I have the greatest opportunity and potential now to make our planet earth a better place for all"

Moment of change and transformation, I will say happened to Nina from Rwanda who lives in belgium with her husband and kids and speaks 7 languages. She has turned her back on Africa she said as a result of the Rwanda Genocide that claimed her parents, 6 of her siblings, 8 kids of her sister and her husband and turned her into a refugee. She lost 16 members of her family to the genocide. The summit touched her being and for the first time, she is ready to deal with her past and contribute to the future of Africa! This was very touching. They say work and no play makes Standtall a dull lady which I refused to be. We found a club at Rotterdam where we went to dance and take a few drinks. I have got a very good evidence of how hot my steps are in the image below. Yes, I rock!


Kafo said...

thank you

can't elaborate on the reason for my gratitude but all is due time


Ms.O said...

Wow I am very Inspired. Good job Stand Tall

Myne Whitman said...

Your blog continues to be an inspiration. The story about the Rwandan woman touched me. all the best to her...

Ore said...

ST, thanks for finding the time to blog and update us on your journey. I am inspired just reading about the people you met.

funkola said...

way to go!!! and we miss u loads.
p.s:luv d club picture...looks like u had a blast.

AustynZOGS said...

Thanks for your comment.You have always standout as my most visible mentor and inspiration in Blogsvelle.May God keep blesing you and your especiallu in this Yuletide season

musco said...

great inspiration for us all!

m1ke said...

hmmmmmmmmmmm. I can't even shouted. this na better post

Gattina said...

That's wonderful what you are all doing to make a better world !
You know African people have always difficulties to get a Visa because so many want to flee their country to find a better life come over with a tourist Visa and then stay. That's why it is so difficult. It has nothing to do with Nigeria especially. It's sad that honnest people have to pay the "bill" for illigal behaving people.

Don said...

I have to really really take my hat off to the young lady Maggie who raises twenty seven children. That is incredible, especially at such a young age. Wow.

Glad that you enjoyed yourself at the Summit and found meaning within. I see you handling your business on the dance floor as well.

Words of wisdom @ It was an overwhelming feeling to learn once again about how we the human beings have forgotten that we don't have another planet but this very one - THE EARTH. It was a powerful and it was a rude awakening moment.

Welcome back, Standtall.

Anonymous said...

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush................

Grahamn Kracker said...

I am reminded of when I first tried to send you the kitty-neutering funds by bank wire and they wouldn't do it, because you were in Nigeria.

Yet, the bank would be blessed to have anyone so honest so honest as you on the staff.

You are meeting so many interesting people and learning so much.

Man - I just want to come over there before you go and photograph you in the midst of all this, but how do I do this?

Uzezi said...

23 n raisin 27 kids? wow!

hope u r good. didnt know u were away

Black Cat said...

Sorry I haven't visited for so long! The ESGT seems great. Sorry you had problems with your visa; what Gattina says is true.

No, I'm not in London, I'm in Brighton & Hove. I thought you were coming to the University of Sussex, so it would have been easy for us to meet up. I would love to meet you though - maybe we can sort something out. :)xxx

Parakeet said...

I really do admire what you do...we should meet up. Inbox me your number and will give a call.


StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Kafo: dearie, wished you can elaborate... you know. Howdie?

@ Ms.O: the birthday gal, thanks for a bunch

@ Myne Whitman: Thanks MW, Nina is looking forward to making a change, I will keep in touch with her to see how it goes.

@ Ore: I always remember to thank God for someone like you who opened up the opportunity to learn hwo to blog and teach others...

@ Funkola: I sure did. How are you my lady?

@ Austyn: aww thanks.

@ Musco: thanks for stopping by.

@ M1ke: lol. Thanks.

@ Gattina: Thanks for your contribution. Nigeria has got the means to create better lives for its people, the likes of me will not stop advocating for transformational government.

@ Don: thanks. I think the Summit discussion on Climate change is going to help my seminar or Climate change next week.

@ eliastaiken : thanks for stopping by. I am still trying to interpret your proverb in the context that is applicable to the post.

@ GK: I just opened Pay Pal with ease cuz I am in UK. The image of my country has to change for good. I am sure we can make the photograph happen. It’s likely I will be New York for 1 month next year with all the fellows…

@ Uzezi: yeah 23 raising 27 kids. I mentioned on my blog that would be traveling. You had not being here in a while though.

@ Black Cat: I will be visiting Brighton before I leave England. I will let you know when I am coming. I am also hoping to start my masters at Sussex next yr.

Parakeet: thanks dearie. Will send you an email ASAP.

funkola said...

i'm very well sweetie.xoxo

blazing said...

this is good and inspiring.keep it up girl

poeticallytinted said...

I love you dear and I miss you. and I am so very proud of you. (beaming)

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Blazing: thanks dear

@ Poeticallytinted: when are you coming to London? I have being madly busy here. We are getting knowledge of 12 months in 6, it's being fun, challenging, tiring and busy. I am working on my essay due for submission on Tuesday. When I am done with the essay, I will give you a long call so we can catch up. Miss you and Mickey. Still loving you both.

histreasure said...

i'm proud of u girl..this was a very inspiring post..ordinary people doing extraordinary things..just great!!

histreasure said...

i'm proud of u girl..this was a very inspiring post..ordinary people doing extraordinary things..just great!!

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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