Posted by: ewkigo | March 7, 2012

Stop Joseph Kony 2012

A picture is worth a thousand words…a video? Let this speak for itself. Please please please watch this video. I could try to explain what it is but I wouldn’t do it justice. Instead I’ll just copy the description the makers have for it:

KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.

Posted by: ewkigo | March 5, 2012

Ugandan Women Forced into Prostitution

As cliché as this may sound a woman’s sexuality and her ‘special’ gift are for her to decide whom to share it with and when to do so. It’s appalling, yet not surprising, that sex is such a highly priced commodity. Although is mostly affects the poor, impoverished population of the world, it’s everyone’s problem.

There have been numerous instances of sex trafficking and different ways victims are lured into a life of sex work. The most recent trick or lie that I found was in Uganda. There’s been, unfortunately, an influx of Ugandan sex workers in Asia, specifically Malaysia because of this. According to RedPepper, Ugandan women are lured into this life by flyers, found all over the country, that falsely advertise opportunities such as nannies and secretary positions open abroad. Majority of these women have degrees in a variety of academic areas and are just trying to make ends meet. Due to the lack of job opportunities in their home country they pack up and leave for these positions only to realize their nightmare has only began.

When did we start looking at our fellow men and women and viewing them only as a piece of meat? No more important than the donkey or horse or bull that is treated with such disdain? In some cases unfortunately the animals are treated better than humans. When did that become okay? And if it really isn’t okay then why aren’t there more people speaking out and trying to make a difference? Is it because Uganda has no oil? Yes we are a self-preserving species but does that really mean we’re also self-absorbed and could care less of our neighbors’ problems? This is an increasingly globalized world and unless we all start looking out for each other we won’t survive.

 

Related Articles:

http://humanitariannews.org/20120222/hundreds-ugandan-women-trapped-sex-workers-malaysia

http://articles.philly.com/2012-02-21/news/31083260_1_ugandan-girls-prostituted-uganda-women

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/ANN/Story/STIStory_724546.html

Posted by: ewkigo | December 7, 2011

Child Labor in Malian Gold Mines

I recently came across an article about child labor in the Malian gold mines. Children as young as six years old are mining gold in Mali to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, this extremely dangerous for their health. To mine gold, one needs mercury which, when exposed to it, causes various health issues; children are most susceptible to these health issues. Mercury can serious affect the nervous system and cause damage to the brain resulting in various physical and emotional disorders. It can cause muscle weakness, skin rashes, impairment of speech, hearing, walking and peripheral vision, memory loss and mental disturbances; all of which the child labor force in Malian gold mines have complained about. These children want to go to school and learn but they say they have to work to earn money to pay for their books and school. Nine, ten, twelve year olds are working their way through elementary level education. That only happens here in college. Ou

r education up until high school is free and we take it for granted. Not paying attention in school, getting pregnant at 16, being distracted by sex and drugs while on the other side of the world there are young children trying to help provide for their families and get an education. Think about your child, your younger brother or sister, cousins, nieces, nephews…

Although the UN states 16 as the acceptable age for a child to start working, and 18 if exposed to dangerous and/or extreme situations, many families in third world countries need the help of their children, despite their age, to survive day by day. Child labor in third world countries is a major issue because many families need more than two incomes to survive. Despite how heartbreaking and disappointing it is, in most cases it’s necessary. Families with two able and working parents are a blessing that many people take for granted around here. In Mali, there are very few natural resources that the country has, one of them being gold. Majority of Malians live on less than $1.25 a day. Below the poverty line in Mali. Of course the cost of living is relative base on the cost of live but regardless, $1.25 is nothing. That’s less than the cost of the Sunday paper.

Sometimes Americans wonder why foreigners do so much better than them, especially when it comes to education. It’s quite simple actually, they are motivated from the time they are very young and Americans don’t always feel that type of motivation. People who are intrinsically motivated and determined to make their lives and the lives of those who they love better are always a little different and it’s always a little harder to beat them. They’ve known the bad and the ugly and they believe its their turn to experience the good and they’ll be damned if anyone stops them. They work harder because they want it more. I’ve watched way too many people go through the motions of high school and college because they’re required to do so. They barely make it through and don’t even care about how well they do then they turn around and complain that immigrants and foreigners are taking their jobs. Unless you’re a Native American, you’re a foreigner as well and you need to get off your high horse and work hard and fight for that job, or whatever is, that the immigrants are taking from you.

 

Articles on Child Labor in Malian gold mines:

Posted by: ewkigo | October 28, 2011

Bank of America and Debit Card Fees

Extra extra read all about it!

Rumor has it that BofA is reconsidering it’s proposed $5.00 to its customers who use their debit cards. Well duh! I’m not surprised. I don’t think they will completely get rid of the fees, well at least not yet, but the fact that they are trying to find incentives to offer its customers is promising (ie maintaining a $20,000 balance = wow!!). The second largest bank is actually thinking about the repercussions of such fees. If they are not careful they may no longer be the second largest bank in America.

Although the economy is not where is was a couple of years ago, most households are not fully confident in it yet and slight changes such as these fees will weigh heavily on BofA customers. JP Morgan Chase &Co tried out their $3 fee for a few months and they received such a negative response from its customers. I, myself, am a BofA customer and I do like their services but I know so many people who said they would rather take all their money out and put it in a federal credit union and avoid all the charges and I completely understand how they feel. An additional $5 a month may not seem like much but for those of us who live paycheck to paycheck will opt for something else. In my opinion, they should really consider if the $5 fee is worth losing their customers, which will be an inevitable consequence.

Posted by: ewkigo | October 27, 2011

Save the Girl Child

I’ve never had to imagine what it would be like to be unwanted by my family just because of my sex. I’ve experienced discrimination, both directly and indirectly based on my skin color and my sex from strangers or people I don’t know very well but never from my own family. Have you ever stopped to think what it would be like to be hated and unwanted because of something beyond your control by those you hope and expect to love and support you the most?  Most people would say no. How can your whole family, immediate and extended, as well as the society you live in, regard you with disdain for being a girl? No other reason other than: you were born a girl!

Note, I’m not talking about you not identifying with yourself for being a female or your family not understanding your need to change your gender or whatever. That is not the issue I’m discussing here.  That is a whole completely different topic. I’m talking about discrimination from your own family from the time you were a fetus.

I recently ran across an article about this very issue that is apparently quite prevalent in India. ‘Selective breeding’ is actually an epidemic in India, according to Save the Girl Child Organization. This ‘selective breeding’ is essentially aborting female fetuses.  The girls who do survive this feticide (killing of the fetus) are born into a society that does not care whether they live or die. As a result the mortality rate of infants is extremely low due to neglect and families actually killing their children. Like this is not bad enough already as it is, they take it a step further and name the surviving girls names like Nakusha, which means unwanted. These men must not know that it’s their stupid sperm that determines the sex of a child. For an innocent child to suffer because they got the wrong gene from the man that makes these rules is appalling.

With the odds up against you as a female in India, from the day you’re conceived, how do you survive? How are you expected to live a full life? There are so many social issues facing various different societies in this world. Humans are not always very human sometimes. Although certain actions are traditional and were ‘OK’ way back when, doesn’t mean they really were ok or even humane. Just because we’ve been doing something for hundreds of years doesn’t mean we should keep doing it for another hundred. With knowledge, education and wisdom comes change and improvements and although I do accept that everyone adapts to change at their own time, I refuse to turn a blind eye to inhumanity and cruelty. My hope is and has always been for a better tomorrow for this to happen more people have to refuse to turn a blind eye as well.traditional Indian culture are the least and lowest of society. They have no power and absolutely no say in what happens to them. All the decisions are made by the main man in their life. The main reason why Indians don’t want to have females in their family is because the family, or rather the men of the family, don’t want the burden of paying dowry and those girls who do survive are considered a curse upon the family. The dowry the man’s family requests are usually large enough to cause the girl’s family to go into debt. If the family is unable to pay up, the in laws treat the new bride so poorly that in most cases, they lose their lives. They had no say on whether or not they would like to get married, let alone to whom. And in the chance all goes well and she’s accepted into her new family, when she gets pregnant she has no say whether she gets to keep the child or not.

Posted by: ewkigo | September 4, 2011

Family

Heyy guys,

I recently had a lot of family visit for a very special occasion. My cousin was getting married and they flew thousands of miles to be here for her and support her as she started her new life. However, since I’m currently unemployed and no longer in school, I was essentially responsible for them by default. I was actually very excited about it because I got to spend the most time with them…and got a few freebies while they shopped as well :). However, I quickly got exhausted of taking care of little kids and driving everyone around everywhere. I was physically getting worn out and emotionally detaching myself from the family, becoming almost numb when dealing with them.

Today I dropped off one of my favorite aunts to the airport to go back home and she took me aside to talk to me. She told me she really appreciated all I have done and she saw how much I have sacrificed for her and her family to enjoy their stay with my family. I didn’t have to do anything but I did anyway and that helped make a huge difference in her experience. She said she would pray for me that I get a job soon and get into Law school and she’ll always remember this trip. I was so touched I almost cried. Whenever I did anything for her she always remembered to say thank you no matter how small the task was and I realized that really made a difference. Whenever someone asked me to do something I was usually reluctant after a while but whenever she asked I never hesitated because I knew she appreciated it and didn’t take me for granted.

I always say if I change one person’s life, or if my actions have some sort of positive impact in someone’s life I’ll be happy with just that. However, I realized that’s not always enough. I’m not saying people should flaunt what they do and announce to the world all the good things they do but being recognized for what you have done feels good. Showing gratitude and appreciation for the things people do for you will keep them doing those wonderful things for you. It will keep their heart warm toward you and your heart warm towards them. Simple, uncomplicated, easy words such as ‘please‘ and ‘thank you smoothes out relationships in unimaginable ways and keeps them that way for years to come.

Love those around you!

Posted by: ewkigo | September 3, 2011

What If

What if,

Just what if,

We all felt remorse for the wrong we have done?

Every single person in this world

Was apologetic, regretful and contrite

Every every action

Big or small,Or even just one,

That one that meant something to someone at sometime

Could it start a ripple effect?

Could it change the world?

One person at a time?

If we thought of our fellow man,

For a day, for an hour, for a minute,

Would it make a difference at all?

What if,

Just what if
We all thought more earnestly about our actions before we acted?

Considering the intentions behind our actions,

The root and the purpose of our desired to act,

Those who may or may not be affected,

How they may be affected,

The repercussions of our actions,

Would we still act in the same way?

Would we be okay with that action?

If it was done unto us by another?

If we treated each other,

In the same manner we would like to be treated,

For a day, for an hour, for a minute,

Would it make a difference?

What if,

Just what if,

We saw the world through God’s eyes

As it was originally intended?

We took more pleasure in the little things

And remembered to enjoy what we do have.

When we look in the mirror in the morning,

Or when we go to bed at night,

Are we happy and content with who we are,

Who we’ve become?

Do we recognize ourselves?

Or is their room for improvement?

Maybe if we loved a little deeper

And forgave just a little more

For a day, for an hour, for a minute,

Maybe, just maybe, then would we make a difference.

Eva Kigo

Many people have called me naive and idealistic for seeing the good in people and believing that the world can change. But I refuse to settle for less than what I know I deserve. I refuse to settle for what the world has become. I’m not naive. I know the horrors, the pains, the inhumanity and the evils of this world and I do not close my eyes to them or even look away. But I know the beauties of this world and I have seen what strength and passion can do to those who have been wounded and deserted. At best, I’m a hopeful realist who refuses to be pessimistic. Maybe if we were all a little more tolerant of one another and less judgmental, things might be different. Because at the end of the day who are you to judge another? Have you never done anything wrong? Or do you think you’re better than those you judge?

I don’t claim to have any answers, but I do believe it’s important to ask questions because, who knows, we might no longer have a need to fear the dark.

Posted by: ewkigo | May 17, 2011

Graduation

Good afternoon followers,

I have some wonderful wonderful news. I recently graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Woot Woot!! It was a long time coming and I am glad I made it through it all. This past year had a variety of challenges and disappointments but I made it through in one piece and for that I’m grateful to God. With this chapter of my life complete, I have more time on my hands meaning blogging will be more of a priority. I promise to blog at least once every two weeks and hopefully I will make a difference in some way.
Before I sign off I want to briefly talk about working in teams. This year more than any year I had to work with a lot of different people on various group projects. I, personally, do not like group projects and I’m sure I will find many who share my opinion but I recognize the value and the need for them. Despite how you may feel that something is not your fault or that you did not ask for a particular situation, remember to take responsibility for whatever your part was and accept your situation; work on it and do whatever you have to do to make it better, including changing your attitude. This is not something I always do but I try and that’s where we should all start because at the end of the day no good comes from crying over spilt milk.
<3EK
Posted by: ewkigo | October 7, 2010

Mental Health Day

Today is Thursday and my worst days are Tuesdays and Thursdays, However, today is different. I was relaxed and laid back all day and I didn’t worry about anything at all. This is because I took a mental health day. My life has been filled with confusion and disappointments lately and I’ve been overlooking all the wonderful things that have been happening to me and focusing only on the sadness. I, therefore, decided to take a ‘mental health day’ this morning. It’s just a day where I do away with all the obligations and responsibilities and sit back and enjoy every moment. I spend my time being grateful for the good and hoping for a better tomorrow. For me, it’s extremely important that I am able to do this because I’m an extremely emotional person and I can easily lose sight of the blessings I have been fortunate enough to enjoy. I get overwhelmed and flustered at times and I just need to take the time to recharge my batteries. I have an extremely positive outlook on life and for that many call me naive and idealistic.

I constantly hope and pray for a better tomorrow despite my misfortunes and imperfections. I go out of my way to see the best in everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt. I do not judge because I don’t think I’m worthy of that privilege. Who am I to say how one should live their life or what decisions they should make? This is not to say I have no opinion, not at all. On the contrary, I do have opinions and I voice them openly, however, I won’t judge you and treat you differently because you deserve more; at the very least you deserve respect. This is how I view life and not many people share this view. As a result, I’ve come across quite a few who ridicule me and think I’m a joke. A few years ago when I started viewing life in this way I found it very exhausting to keep up with others and explain my position. I would be drained of energy after a while, feel sad that so many people could be such pessimists, feel overwhelmed and tired of being positive when so many things go wrong. Thus the creation of the ‘mental health day’.
I literally believe it’s crucial for my own sanity. I spent all day doing nothing and I absolutely loved every single moment of it. I lay in bed, I read the paper, I went on facebook, I played tag with a pretty cool guy and I had an amazing day. I feel energized and rejuvenated and ready to face the world again. Therefore, dear reader, I would encourage you to try this one time and see what difference it’ll make in your life. Till next time, have a good night.
Posted by: ewkigo | February 2, 2010

Introduction

Hello there reader. So I’m new to this whole blogging idea and I started it after I read my cousin’s blog, truthspeak-gigee.blogspot.com. I’m young and in the past couple years I’ve changed and realized I have a lot to say and what have to say matters. It may not seem like I’m making much of a difference but I believe even the tiniest voice in the smallest of places can make a slight difference that will eventually count for something. You may be skeptical and you may judge me but that’s your prerogative and I will respect your opinion as it is. I do, however, ask you to be respectful of myself and others as well. I will basically be talking about anything and everything but my main focus will be discussing real strength in ourselves and what true power really is. An ancient Chinese philosopher once said “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power.” This was the main influence of my idea. I hope this blog not only helps you, but also opens your eyes and encourages you to help others as well. For now, however, goodnight.

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