Army of Women- (Protecting Children and Youth from Poverty, Housing and Homelessness

HomeArmy of Women- (Protecting Children and Youth from Poverty, Housing and Homelessness

Army of Mamas’ goals are:  To Build Bridges, work towards identifying and promoting the best practices, advocating for policies that create strong and closely coordinated partnerships and collaborations with communities, stakeholders and policy makers to ensure that comprehensive integrated delivery of social services and supports are available to improve the lives its people, seeking to combat poverty, homelessness to improve and strengthen the capacity of citizens by identifying priorities and to implement solutions to poverty, homelessness housing, mental health, addiction, youth at Risk and Employment issues.   In essence, it puts power back in the hands of the people in their communities by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development. Women Empowering –Women, advocating for Violence against women, feeding the homeless, cloth the orphans and fight against Poverty reduction index level, with long term goal of having clinics where the poor will be attended to locally.   Army of Mamas are activists who are former refugees/New comers, who locally and internationally advocate against extreme Poverty reduction level, Hunger, Gender equality, Human Rights issues, Food security, Maternal Child Health and Nutrition, Water FGM, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, Environmental sustainability, Child marriage, Child Solder, Girls’ right to play, Bullying among youth that is an enduring social issue that affects all the communities, when Women come together, and JOIN each other it is POWERFUL, it  motivates, inspires, helps one another and makes the a huge difference in this world.

HOUSING AND POVERTY- 

TO PUSH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OTHER DEPARTMENTS FOR THE CREATION OF AFFORDABLE NATIONAL HOUSING STRATEGY: With Canada not having a long-term National Plan for Housing, AGL’s Housing and Poverty committees call for development of a comprehensive National Housing Strategy for accessing affordable quality housing which is a first step in reducing poverty, hunger and homelessness, especially among vulnerable populations including low income seniors, new immigrants/refugees, Aboriginal peoples, People of African Descent, the At Risk Youth and women, those with addictions, persons with disabilities, illness; as well as affordable housing for young families that is an important step to commence a middle income life style with improved health and wellness, which allows children to more fully benefit from the education system.   Affordable housing has many different interpretations, any meaningful definition that reflect local community needs ranging from accessible social housing through rental apartments and houses to low-income and middle-income family homes.

Empowering Women/Girls:  Promotion of gender equality is a priority among AGL’s programs.  We focus on Women’s empowerment, a strong part of our work with communities, target many of our community’s women and youth – led development programs, we promote more equitable gender relations with the tools they need such as, primary education, adult literacy, and informal education that supports them with the work experiences intervention tools to identify barriers to employment.  We  focus on informal education as a spontaneous process to help them learn, it works through conversation, the exploration and enlargement of experience.  It’s purpose is to cultivate communities, associations and relationships that make for human flourishing.  We argue informal education to be driven by conversation and being with others as it develops through spending time with others, sharing in their lives, listening and talking when they are engaged in learning projects they teach themselves.  In all of these roles they talk and join in activities with others (children, young people and adults).   Some times they work with a clear objective in mind, linked to some broader plan e.g. around the development of reading, writing and conversing.

Violence against women: – Violence against women is collectively, violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Sometimes considered a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim’s gender as a primary motive.  This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women states that:

“Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women” and that “violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.”  Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared in a 2006 report posted on the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) website that: Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.

Violence against women can fit into several broad categories including:  Violence carried out by ‘individuals’ as well as ‘states.’ Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are rape; domestic violence; sexual harassment; coercive use of contraceptives; female infanticide; prenatal sex selection; obstetric violence and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence and female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction/forced marriage. Some forms of violence are perpetrated or condoned by the state such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging. Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in its research on VAW, categorized it as occurring through five stages of the life cycle: “1) pre-birth, 2) infancy, 3) girlhood, 4) adolescence and adulthood and 5) elderly”  In recent years, there has been a trend of approaching VAW at an international level, through instruments such as conventions; or, in the European Union, through directives, such as the directive against sexual harassment and the directive against human trafficking.

 The following violence that the Army Moms are against:  State violence, Human rights issue, War rape and sexual slavery during military conflict, Violence by the police and other authority figures, Forced sterilization and forced abortion, Domestic violence, Female genital mutilation, As a public health issue,  The fight for a more humane and respectful birth, Legal action against obstetric violence, Diagnosis planning, Honor killings, Dowry violence, Acid throwing, Forced marriage, Mob violence, Stalking, Sexual harassment, Human trafficking and forced prostitution Mistreatment of widows, Accused of witchcraft, Stoning and flogging, Interventionist approaches, Debates about best approaches, Breast ironing, Sport-related violence against women, Sport-related violence by male college athletes, Controversy over contributing factors, Response to violence by male college athletes Feeding the homeless

TULE PAMOJA FEEDING PROGRAM OF DTES VANCOUVER

Feeding the homeless and hungry people: – Is our monthly feeding program.  Treating the homeless person with respect, taking time and actually talking to them in a friendly and very respectful manner gives them a sense of being and belonging, we give them wonderful sense of civility and dignity, just by being friendly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression, and paranoia that many homeless people face daily.  We notice that the homeless and their problems are not always the same, they are commonly very diverse, homeless person you meet could be a battered woman, an addicted veteran and so on.  It is always a good idea that we protect ourselves and be cautious at all times when talking to street people, staying in areas where other people can see us because some of the homeless are often wanted fugitives and criminals on the run from the law. With our referral programs – We encourage the homeless to get help through respected homeless shelters.  Practicing Random Acts of Kindness – We make a deliberate attempt to brighten other person’s day by doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring.  When we do kind acts for others, we help create kindness-aware communities that value generosity of spirit, action, and kindness toward others as essential parts of a healthy community.

With our soup kitchen and hot healthy meals, we cook and serve the homeless, they don’t just need food, they need a smiling face to go along with it and we restore their faith in humanity by just lending a helping hand like they’re a worthy human being.  We donate to a food drive, shelters, churches, and coalitions, this is especially useful around the holidays.  We put on a Christmas dinner and New Year’s breakfasts, _Lunch to celebrate Kwanza and Black History month.  Make and hand out care packages to people on the streets, we buy and gather socks, gloves, scarves, ponchos, and toques, bundle up clothes with some holiday treats in our care package and then give them out on Christmas Eve.   We help the Homeless Enjoy Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is a genuine reflection of gratitude that really makes others happy.  We extend by inviting those we know in our houses for thanksgiving, to enjoy a hot, full meal.  We set up a bed for them and let them sleep in our houses.  Deliver and serve free healthy hot meals once a month to people living with HIV/AIDS in DTES at the Door is open or on the streets of Vancouver- Hastings and Columbia streets.  Our services include meals, showers and street nurses for Youth /Women at risk, those living on streets with Mental challenges, HIV, addiction and disability challenges.  We volunteer our time, money, food, or clothing that makes a positive change.

Partner with Poverty Reduction Coalition BC representing other dozens of organizations in B.C.  The coalition wants to see B.C.’s poverty rate reduced by 30 percent within four years and all homelessness ended within eight years.  Partnered with Raise the Rates – The coalition suggests individuals concerned about poverty and homeless to put pressure to welfare rates increase, get more social housing built, and up the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Army of Moms, Board members and Volunteers at AGL are encouraged to keep a food kit in the cars, while driving at DTES Vancouver, Burnaby, Westminster and Surrey where homeless in need could be easily seen. There might be the same person we drive by or pass on the street, but other than that, it’s totally random. So we are always ready to help by keeping a food kit in our cars.  A gallon-sized resalable bag (or two) with non-perishable items is a great way to always be ready.  As for non-perishable items, we think of the basics. Granola bars, canned fruit or vegetables, peanut butter, maybe a candy bar, pretty much anything we can open and eat (that can’t get smashed, like potato chips).  Not forgetting pet food! It’s estimated that around 10% of homeless people have pets to keep them company. That’s 1 out of every 10! Pet food can be just as useful, if their pets aren’t fed, that’s one more thing they have to worry about.

Making an Everyday Effort – We keep and have a few gift cards on hand.  Instead of needlessly spending money, we spend it for a good cause! Having a gift card or two is super easy to carry around.  We keep it simple with: Starbucks, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, or Target, Tim Hortons, and even $5 which is an amazing gesture. Gift cards are much easier to carry around wherever we go.  We keep our recyclables as homeless people often go around collecting cans and bottles, we donate to those who may ask for change.  We do “Army of Moms” Fund raising, it takes our efforts, sometimes from friends or at our workplace, when we get a few friends together, there’s power in numbers. The more people we get involved, the more people we help. Its good idea to get the word out there, flyers, pass ’em out, send emails, do a couple of Facebook shout outs, whatever reach the most people, even if everyone donated one dollar, it’d be something, and its appreciated.  We organize a food drive, just like fundraising, sometimes people are more inclined to give away canned goods over money.

Through our Bring Vancouver Home initiative”. With other partners, we work with the homeless people.  Since the homeless don’t vote much and don’t get a lot of attention when it comes to our representatives, we work with other organizations to educate homeless people to go out and vote, and we look for ways to keep save their IDs.  Army of Moms get involved in local politics, when we feel that our current representatives are doing enough to protect or help those in communities we live, such as children with Mental challenges, First Nation children and Refugee children.  We get involved ourselves, either on the school board, Parks or even on schools committees, churches and other local organizations, Sometimes people won’t speak for us, so we have to speak up ourselves.   We all together as Army of Moms help with Habitat for Humanity as well.

Cloth the orphans  – “I have come to realize more and more that the greatest disease and greatest suffering is to be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, to be shunned by everybody, to be just nobody, to no one.” ~Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997).  Some of the biggest challenges facing orphans and vulnerable children are hunger and malnutrition.  AGL volunteers have seen hundreds of children waiting in food lines for a single meal.  No doubt, food is essential for survival, yet numerous children, especially orphans, receive only one meal a day or none. Dressing an orphaned child – The excitement and gratitude of the children is uncontainable when they see a new piece of colourful clothing, and a clean pair of black school shoes.  For few years we have provided new and gently used clothing for children in dire need in Kenya and Haiti, we encourages supporters to donate the funds necessary to provide education and items needed, but if a contributions of shoes or clothing is made, donors are asked to assist with the shipping.  Education:  We look at education reform from a lot of perspectives, some of those reforms have been good and some of them have been not so good, we know why kids drop out, we know why kids don’t learn.  Its poverty, low attendance, negative peer and or influences.  We know why, however, one of the things that we never discuss or we rarely discuss is the value and importance of human connection the “Relationships”.  James Comer says that no significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.  George Washington Carver says all learning is understanding relationships.  Each one of us has been affected by a teacher or an adult.

What Do We Mean by Poverty, Asks the Army of Moms? –  There are a variety of ways to understand poverty, it can be conceptualized strictly in economic terms i.e. as inadequate income. Or it can be conceptualized as social exclusion, and taken into account a broad range of personal, social, economic, cultural and political factors. Some definitions focus on “absolute poverty”, which is interpreted as a lack of resources to meet the physical needs for survival. Others focus on “relative poverty”, which is interpreted as a lack of resources to achieve a standard of living that allows people to play roles, participate in relationships, and live a life that is deemed normative of the society to which they belong.  Our understanding of poverty as: Absolute Poverty which is “Lack of resources to meet the physical needs for survival” or and Poverty as Exclusion- Processes of deprivation and marginalization that isolate people from the social and economic activities of society.

As we serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in some parts of the world, we draw the strength from global diversity and experiences, we promote creativity and innovative solutions as advocates for global responsibility. We facilitate lasting change by providing economic opportunities through education and training for employability, seeking a world of social justice and tolerance where extreme poverty is reduced, see a global community living in dignity and security women and daughters being respected and heard.

We strengthen capacity by addressing human rights issues such as discrimination in all its forms, pursuing our mission with compassion and excellence; as the people whom we serve deserve nothing less.  We seek to increase the support helping women and families who are still struggling to find common voice to develop financial means and affordable healthy lives. (We support and work with Women to-” Turn their CAN’TS into CAN, DREAMS into IDEAS, IDEAS into PLANS, and PLANS into ACTIONS”.  Our projects are designed to ensure women are able to take a greater role in decision – making progress at both household and community level.  Women have strong management skills in areas concerning food security and how land is used, they are not just being the challenge and they are being the lasting change to increase accessibility to healthy food.  This is coupled with work to support women be more financially recognized and independent.

Our programs support all the UN Millennium Development Goals and beyond with with our partners abroad.  With the UN”s Sustainable Development Goal, our focus is to work with local people as Leaders.   Combining education, trainings, workshops and dialogue for knowledge and skills on income generation and business development in agriculture extension development,  infrastructure rehabilitation, good governance, humanitarian assistance,  pro-poor economic development, strengthening women’s capacity for peace-building, leadership skills and support to internally displaced, addressing the underlying causes of extreme poverty level, responding to common needs, priorities and challenges.  We work at all level to support the development of communities to reduce extreme poverty index level.

AGL continuously adjusts its programs and activities in response to the increasingly community development needs, priorities and challenges, focus on Education to support Youth and barriers to employment, Agriculture and natural resource management, gender-based violence, water and sanitation, climate change, social justices, income-generating, psychosocial, humanitarian support to refugees from the Great Lakes Region countries and other countries.  We highlight the ideas, campaigns and advocate for initiatives we care about most, such as women/girls and children empowerment around the world, looking for permanent solutions to fight against poverty and social injustices.  We believe that Successful Implementation of the SDGs require the grass-roots participation and support of the people in all nations rich and poor.

Children

Children everywhere deserve to access health care, education and basic needs.  The early marriage restrict their access to education and sentenced them to a life of poverty, they need to survive, thrive, learn, grow, make their voices heard to reach their full potential, be empowered and be productive citizens.  Our annual Universal Children’s Day, for us it’s a day in which we together with children’s created programs to inspire and celebrate all that it means to be a child. On this day, the global community commits itself in building a world in which all children can survive and thrive, learn and grow, make their voices heard, reach their full potential and be empowered.  To celebrate Universal Children’s Day we take a look at childhood at its best, from all around the world.

Sports – as Catching Device (Mijezo ni Mtego) – We use sports as a method of support to children and youth who experience trauma in disasters, it is an application in the field of sport and development. Sports is an attractive activity for participants and it’s often used as a draw card to recruit children and young people to health, education and other community services programs to deliver educational messages with a focus to youth education development.

Healthy Development of Children and Young People through Sports impacts on Physical education, motor skills development performance and educational potential are seen as “changes” in the children. This shows the positive relationship between being involved in physical activities and psychosocial development.  Sports and physical education is fundamental to the early development of children and youth, the skills learned during play, physical education and sports contribute to the holistic development of young people. Through participation in sport and physical education, young people learn about the importance of key values such as:  Being honesty, building teamwork, fair play, respecting themselves and others, adherence to rules and academic excellence at school.

Sports provide forum for young people to learn how to deal with competition, and copping. These learning aspects highlight the impact of physical education and sports on a child’s social and moral development in addition to physical skills and abilities.  In terms of physical and health aspects of their development, overwhelming amount of evidence is to focus on positive effects of sports and exercises on physical health, growth and development.  Long-term involvement in physical activity is to build health activity habits that encourage life-long participation in physical activities. This extends the impact of physical education beyond the schoolyard and highlights the potential impact of physical education on public health.

To achieve broader goals in education and development, our sports programs focus on the development of the individual and not only on the development of technical sports skills.  While the physical benefits of participation in sport are well known and supported by large volumes of empirical evidence as sport and physical activity have positive benefits on education.

Best Practices in After-School Programming

At AGL we have placed a focus on after-school or “critical hours” programming. This is based largely on the recognition that providing positive programs and activities for Children and youth, help deter deviant behaviour and build skills that will benefit children and youth later in life.

Identified as follows are selected key attributes of successful after-school programs.

  1. Sustained Participation: Children and Youth experience greater gains across a wide variety of outcomes when they participate with greater frequency (more days per week) in a more sustained manner (over a number of years).
  2. High Quality Programming: There are a number of attributes that describe high quality programming.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Helping Children Overcome Disaster Trauma through Post-Emergency Psychosocial Sports.

We organize and conduct pilot projects as Inter-cultural Dialogue programs, by means of education and inter-cultural exchange, we curry out research in the areas of cultural diversity differences, Sport and Development.  We promote the constructive management of pluralistic and multicultural societies as sports is also potential for personal development, social inclusion, peace-building and youth empowerment.  We seek to increase the use of sports and play programs to encourage young people, particularly girls and young women, to attend school within their communities and Kaguma refugee camp in Kenya.

In addition, UNICEF has a strong focus on using sport to campaign for girls’ education, promoting education through events and awareness campaigns.

 School learning performances – Sport-based programs improve the learning performance of children and young people, with encouraged school attendance and a desire to succeed academically.

FIFA –  Promotes the development of women’s football and pledges to support women’s football financially.  Live Your Goals aims to encourage more girls and women to play, participate and stay involved in football. Join our campaign and help us to try and grow the number of girls and women playing football worldwide from 30 to 45 million in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™!

Youth –  Youths skills Development Program: Working together, brainstorming list of skills or abilities needed to be successfully.  Skills development is a primary means of enabling young people to make a smooth transition to work. We use comprehensive approach to integrate young women and men in the labour market, including relevant and quality skills training, labour market information, career guidance and employment services, recognition of prior learning, incorporating entrepreneurship with training and effective skills forecasting.

Objectives of our Youth employability skills are: Communication, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Initiatives and Enterprises, Planning and Organizing, Self-Management, Learning and creation of Technologies for creativity and innovations. With Improved basic education and core work skills that are particularly important to enable youth to engage in lifelong learning as well as transition to the labour market.

2016 to 2020 Strategic plan  – DRIVING CHANGE THROUGH SOCIAL INNOVATION:

(Endesha Gari Padilisha Uvumbuzi) – Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Examples of innovative approaches in teaching and learning include: Classroom and course management innovations, new ways of teaching that promote participants’ engagement, re-organization of a course(s) that improves their ability to apply what they learn, course content that clarifies historical changes in theory, novel assignments that lead to increased participants engagement, the publications, and/or activities that bring participants from diverse backgrounds together.

Leadership in innovation that forges new paths and inspires others within and beyond, mentoring colleagues about innovative approaches, working in administrative, service positions, retail, hospitality, auto and humanitarian and as volunteer Leaders/Coaches to promote innovation and actively participate in creating other pathways that enhance learning.

Youth Skills Program  for work experience intervention- As a potential global workforce of over 2.1 billion people, At AGL we ensure young people obtaining knowledge, employability skills and confidence they need to gain meaningful employment and critically build a more equitable and sustainable world.  For the past 5 years, we have been one of the leading partner in helping youth develop their skills for employment through Education, Job and Transferable skills that are taken with them from one situation to another, from one job to another.  

we focus on the important skills to employers which are soft and hard skills.  Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.  Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured, such as typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs. By contrast, soft skills, are less tangible and harder to quantify, such as etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk. In business, hard skills most often refer to accounting and financial modelling.  Difference between hard and soft skills – By contrast, soft skills are less tangible and harder to quantify- Examples- include job skills like typing, writing, math, reading and the ability to use software programs; soft skills are personality-driven skills like etiquette, getting along with others, listening and engaging in small talk.  We as well support youth Leadership, Capacity building skills, “Environmental protection, care and sustainability”, encouraging community involvement and participation. We teach young people to advocate and campaign for Bullying among other youth, social issue that affects them, increased Skills training programs for the vulnerable youth, who face different challenges to access employment, actively participate in sports development, multicultural activities and other community services in collaboration with other partners.

Technical vocation institutes- In Africa

Our years of experience have taught us about the importance role that the Vocational Training Institutes play in youth Knowledge, skills, employability, empowerment and Economic Development. Our approach to these Institutes are unique in that it applies creativity, innovation and learning that results in a strong demand-oriented approach which is key growth sectors of the national economy.  The advance specialized skills for economic growth (ASSEG) will be achieved with partner Institutes.  2017 to 2020 We shall source the funding from the Governments in the countries we work and international/local agencies to help us kick off these program in Uganda, Kenya and Haiti. In three years, the project will provide 4,000 young people with the skills they need to succeed.  The program to place youth directly into existing jobs in different fields such as: hospitality, construction, ICTs, automotive/mechanical and Jua Kali. Strengthening this project further, our efforts will be supported by the skills and expertise of both national and international partners.

Focus is on Low social-economic demographic where most youth have been marginalized for different reasons from mainstream education in some countries, engaging participants in their familiar territory a way to build their self- esteem/confidence and curiosity about what’s offered.  At AGL we focus and similarly engage with other organizations, self-help groups etc, to offer courses in the local gatherings such as: Market places, churches and or schools, tailored for the clients so that we are truly offering what is appropriate.  We believe that starting from a strength based perspective (that is building on what is already part of the community’s capacity, knowledge and skills) is a positive way to engage a community as evidence of impact.  

 

Advocating for the Albinism in the young people and their rights

Advocating for the rights of young people with different developmental disorders and challenges

Oculocutaneous albinism is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a lack of pigment in the hair, skin, and eyes. Albinism is caused by defective or absent tyrosinase, an enzyme necessary for melanogenesis. Although rare in the western world, albinism is quite common in sub-Saharan Africa, likely as a result of consanguinity. Albinism has long been associated with stigma and superstitions, such as the belief that a white man impregnated the mother or that the child is the ghost of a European colonist. Recently, a notion has emerged that albino body parts are good-luck charms or possess magical powers. These body parts may be sold for as much as $75,000 on the black market. As a result there have been over 100 albino murders in Tanzania, Burundi, and other parts of Africa in the past decade, which is now beginning to garner international attention and thus prompting novel legislation. To ameliorate the plight of individuals with albinism in Africa, we at AGL support the coordinated effort to be organized, involving medical professionals (dermatologists, ophthalmologists, oncologists), public health advocates, educators, social workers, human rights, anti-discrimination activists, law-enforcement agencies, and governmental support groups. The main issues for us is to advocate and address skin cancer prevention education, stigma and discrimination denouncement, and swift prosecution of albino hunters and their sponsors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_people_with_albinism