Interview with Venny Thembi Dlamini #SouthAfrica #oneafricanleader #1africanchild #Africa

Emotions grow deeper whenever South Africa comes to our mind.
Rainbow NationIn the land of the Nguni people, the Venda people, the Sotho people, the Tsonga people… was born the OneAfricanChild Representative named Venny Thembi Dlamini, a lady who was meant to dedicate her life to children.
As she opens up her soul, we discover a very sensitive person. Her words describe her more that any introduction.


What were your dreams as a child?

As a child, my dream was that of a potent gospel singer.
The soothing lyrics that bounces off my tongue extend to release the tension held within. My passion for singing still undoubtedly exists as it emanates profoundly from my soul.
Having led a Praise and Worship Team at the age of 12 in my Church in 2005, the support that l earned from my brethren fascinated me tremendously, and my love for music increased.

Could you tell something significant you happened to do for a child?
In 2013, l prepensely liberated a child from his abusive parent’s home, by taking the helpless child to social workers. All driven by my philosophy that every child is significant and deserves to be loved and cherished.

What is the first word that naturally comes to your mind when you hear “Children”?
Defenseless
•Without protection from those around them, children (rich or poor), are frail.
I recently read a case of a poignant event which occurred in Cape Town, where a certain man (father of the child) repeatedly and consciously beat up his 2 years old daughter to death.
There is no way that the little girl could have successfully defended herself from her father’s cruel conduct. Hence the first word that comes to me when I hear the word “Children” is none other than “defenseless”.

How did OneAfricanChild get into your life?

OneAfricanChild got into my life in all honesty through its founder, Miss Victoria lbiwoye. l read so much about her selfless service and started communicating with her; from I afar felt her profound zeal for OneAfricanChild and African Children.

Why do you allocate such amount of time and hope to poor children and orphans?
I do so, because firstly I grew up under dire poverty and I am an orphan too. Hence l actuate myself to try and preclude others from the sting of pain, rejection and suffering in the best way l can. l drank from the cup of poverty, abuse and rejection, l can only try and reach out the best way l can, for what they feel is what l too felt, and l can precisely relate to the vulnerable children’s lives.

How do you positively impact lives around you every day?

I take a genuine interest in people around me to show them that l care. To the broken-hearted, l share my unique story with them and encourage them. It’s funny how at times one can find my room full of people who just come to open-up and ask for advice, some crying and in need of comfort. l sometimes pause and think, “was l meant to be a therapist”? But l really enjoy uplifting others and l don’t require them to uplift me back. l just strive to make and see others happy.
I share my stories of failures as well as successes.

Venny Thembi Dlamini, the Rainbow Queen.
Venny Thembi Dlamini, the Rainbow Queen.

Why do you believe in OneAfricanChild?
I believe in OneAfricanChild because of its mission, aims and its objectives as read ~ (Ps:/1AfricanChild.WordPress.com)

There is something you can do for the future. What is that?
Learn to balance and manage my time. Understand my social obligations. Love my family and pursue passion and not fame and money.

Africa needs your country for the peace building process. Are you ready to be your country?

Absolutely. I am eager to do the best l can to build peace, eradicate poverty and rise above political, religious, and ethnic divides and take a tough choice in order to consolidate peace.

What has changed in your life since you joined OneAfricanChild?

Since l joined OneAfricanChild, nothing much has changed. However positive things from uplifting conversations that l have with the OAC leaders stimulate and challenge me to stand up and selflessly serve humanity. I am realizing how more of each other we are, as people and more, as Africans. OAC propels me to be an active community member and to regard myself as a Global citizen.

My goal in life is to be filthy rich: rich in adventure, in health, in knowledge, in laughter, in family, and in love.
Venny Thembi Dlamini

Thank you.

Interview with Constant Odounfa #OneAfricanChild #Benin #oneafricanleader

Constant Odounfa, promising Leader.
Constant Odounfa, promising Leader.
Thanks to the dynamism and the will of each member, OneAfricanChild Foundation has spread wings and crossed more boundaries.
Today we are in Benin with CONSTANT ODOUNFA whose simplicity touches the hearts and souls of each one who approaches him. His Passion and Love for children are the key points of his peace and happiness. His answers to the following questions, as the Representative of Benin, are the proof of unconditional commitment:
  1. How did you come to be involve with OAC?
  2. What is your personal drive?
  3. What is your vision for Benin?
  4. What is your vision for Africa?
  5. What do we need to care for young people/children?
  • I met OAC Founder at a meeting in Accra: the Tech Camp. By connecting to her Facebook profile, I saw that she was involved in an organization named One African Child. I was interested in the actions and the target-people of that non-profit initiative. Victoria Ibiwoye added me to the OAC group, and that’s how all started.
  • Become better in each aspect of my life, today than the day before. The growth of my heart and that of children keeps me going on.
  • I want my country, Benin, to become a nation that counts in the world even if we are small by area. We don’t have some particular natural resources, but we have many people who become successful intellectual leaders out of the country and don’t come back home. We then need to: i) empower people in the country and make them feel more concerned by the development of their community and ii) bring home our brains outside to work for the country. To achieve those two objectives, we have to aim at only one and same point : increase the performance of our educational system. I believe that once we developed our schools, our colleges and our universities we would more easily reach a sustainable development because the best resources any nation has is its human resources. So, I see Benin become a powerful country with a developed educational system and its children working in agriculture, health, industry, commerce, and others to make those sectors reach the top-level in the world.
  • I want to see my continent become a continent of great economic and social achievements, a powerful developed continent where children are leaving in peace. To make it happen, we need to change the whole system. Africa, today, is in jeopardy owing to corruption and bad governance. I am convinced that when Africans change their minds and start conceiving better plans and strategies with concrete objectives and defined actions, the continent will grow in a better way. I would like to work for that, and make my brothers and sisters know that our home continent needs all of us today more than ever. And we need to forget about taking rest, but rather work fully to give our best to the continent. We need to create more enterprises in every field, to develop agriculture by modernising it, to fix the energy issue that all our countries are facing now by promoting solar and wind energies, to create industries to transform our raw materials, to improve our educational system to be able to teach and train our children at home, and more. Africa needs to be built and only us, Africans, can do that.
  • We must make sure that they grow in peace, with a good education in every fields and a great self-esteem. Our children need to be looked after and empowered, in order to become leaders of the Africa of tomorrow.
The land in which we live does not belong to us, we borrow it from our children.
We are global citizens, and we work towards the achievement of wellbeing for our community.

Interview with Ray Ndebi #OneAfricanChild #Cameroon #Africa #oneafricanleader

“The pride of a son is his mother’s smile. It is not everyday that one has the opportunity to see the face of Harmony, but it is every second that one has the chance to make it real.” Ray Ndebi, OneAfricanChild.

On our way to meet our various Country Representatives, we are passing through Cameroon where we shall have a talk with RAY NDEBI. His commitment is an example of faith and hard work.

Five questions, we ask him, reveal the depth of his conscience.

  • How did you come to be involved with OAC?
  • What is your personal drive?
  • What is your vision for Cameroon?
  • What is your vision for Africa?
  • What do we need to care for young people/children?

1- December 2013, I met Victoria Ibiwoye on Twitter. The same vision of children dancing in the heart of a rainbow made us hold each other’s hand. Victoria then told me about OneAfricanChild as an Initiative promoting Peace, Love, Happiness, and she requested my presence in the building of a wonderful world for children. There was not a choice to be made, for the call of a child is the call of God.

2- I Love Children. They are the only plain on earth where roses are always red and leaves eternally green. As a child, I used to tell my mother: “I’d give my soul to make a poor child smile.” I grew up in a poor area, where I encountered numerous issues as a teenager (poor/no education, drug addiction, violence, abuses of many sorts, crimes…). Poor children always being involved. I witnessed children’s struggle on a daily basis, I saw them dying in the “battlefield”. And most importantly, I saw families being destroyed because of children not being educated. I told myself:”In the future, rich or poor, I shall dedicate my life to children.”

3- Cameroon is beautiful piece of Earth and wonderful land. History call it “the world in miniature”. But it has also topped corruption lists for years, turning the lives of citizens into a one way dead end. My vision is to see my country, Cameroon, as a happy home and a garden where children will‎ enjoy wealth and security.

4- I see Africa as the mother of humanity. As such, the continent deserves Respect and ‎Love. I see Africa as home from which populations will no longer run. Misery is gaining ground, and it becomes vital to stand and build a happy future with their own hands. I see an Africa where Children can have the opportunity to lead and make their soil fruitful. Children should have their word, for they are the future. My vision of Africa is place for the youth to be listened and understood.

5- Young people and children are an open book. All we need is to follow the way they show, and how they show it. The most important thing in success is How we get there rather than just getting there. We need to praise their importance by making them the core of all our actions; effectively involving them in the building process grants us the success of each enterprise. Children need Peace, and wherever they feel it they long to stay. If our children and our young people are dissatisfied with any of our steps, the best way to take care of them is to change our way and follow theirs. One thing is certain: whoever follows a child is never misled.

Ray Ndebi, man of faith.

Interview with Mlondi Praise Gabhisa #OneAfricanChild #SouthAfrica #oneafricanleader

OneAfricanChild has evolved to become a very large and strong Family worldwide, and in the process of building a wonderful world for our children, the Foundation relies on committed ambassadors whose permanent and passionate task is to make sure that the Dream comes true.

Today, we are in South Africa with MLONDI PRAISE GABHISA whose undying smile is a pure heavenly breath. Having been asked five questions about OAC and personal interest:

  • How you came to be involved with OAC?
  • What is your personal drive?
  • What is your vision for South Africa?
  • What is your vision for Africa?
  • What do we need to care for young people/children?

he responded with heart and soul. Let us have a moment with the words from the depths of an African Child. “Before I go further let me start by passing my gratitude for letting me become one of the OneAfricanChild ambassadors, which is something I adore. I really appreciate the way every member welcomed me with warm hands.

1. First I saw OAC page on facebook, then I read what it was all about. I got touched, because it was always in my heart; so I saw it as an opportunity. I had to do an assessment that took two weeks, if I’m not mistaken, whereby every single day had a task. Then after finishing those tasks, I was given a certificate that said I was a full member of OAC.

2. What drives me to do this or to be part of this amazing continual thing, it’s the fact that we are doing it for the up growing kids, so it is a good feeling because I get a chance to interact with kids. No one did it for us, and it helps me to be a bigger or responsible man in future (know how to keep my kids happy when I’m around them). Beside it’s amazing experience working with other members from other African countries united.

3. My vision for SA is to see OAC getting recognized as one of the “top or successful NGO’s” in the country, so that’s one thing that pushes me or that keeps me focused. I always remember this quote from one famous leader Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done”, that quote is one other thing that pushes me I will only rest the day I see this happening.

4. “It takes one person to change the world” that’s Myles Munroe quote. My vision for Africa is to see all African countries being united, not this thing we experience in today’s generation; but it takes one person to do that, then everyone will follow in that vision if its a legit one.

5. Children are the future of the world, so for the whole world to have good people who have great plans, we need to make sure we look after kids nd show them a right path to take. Things will go accordingly. It’s a matter of looking at the outcome on the way forward, or thinking ahead of the whole process.”

Mlondi Praise Gabhisa, a man for the Family.
Mlondi Praise Gabhisa, a man for the Family.

As a man whose Faith in God is unbreakable, he shared this profound and relevant thought on January 24, 2015:

God is the only Master we know, the only Creator of the universe, and the only One who can heal our heart.

For Africa to be Free and Happy, it only takes a smile. A smile to a child. A smile to the next dawn. #lamAfrica #IamOneAfricanChild #GlobalCitizen

Introducing Praveen Kumar Yadav from Nepal

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We are so delighted to receive support from young people across Africa and beyond! This week, we are featuring our newest volunteer, Praveen Kumar Yadav from Nepal. He is volunteering with our media team. Find below a breif story on how he got engaged with us:

Dear OneAfricanChild,

I was born in an island like a village surrounded by the Koshi River in eastern part of Nepal. Thanks to the heavy flood that displaced my family when I was five, and they moved to another place where I was able to get education.
Born and brought up in a poor family in remote rural village, I could sense my parents struggling to send me to school as early as middle school. As pragmatic and simple village folks, they decided not to send me for further studies when I somehow finished high school. They wanted me to support my younger siblings to get a high school education.
Fortunately, there was teaching! I could teach in a private school and earn my way into college. The only obstacle was that it was not easy to physically move to a place where I could receive my own further education.
But somehow, my parents allowed me to let me move ahead, even though they did not see why I needed education beyond high school. I started at the primary level and moved up to high school as I advanced in my own education.

 

For some time during and after master’s degree, I switched to working for development agencies, serving organizations like Plan International, a child centered development INGO.

I traveled to the US and Thailand for conferences and professional development programs, and I could see making progress in that direction.

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I myself have been the witness and victim both of social problems since my childhood. I grew my interest and passion to serve the marginalized community.

But such interests drove me further research into different opportunities that can enable, capacitate me and fulfill my desire to contribute to larger benefit of the society. During such search, I came cross Victoria’s message (founder of OneAfricanChild) featured on the web portal of Opportunity Desk (www.opportunitydesk.org). I could learn about her, and her initiative to bring change in lives of African Children.
Coincidentally, I want to develop myself as a global citizen through my involvement in various sectors such as information technology, universal human rights and different causes and campaigns that not only help children and youths identify their potentials, but also empower them to realize their capacities.

I am not an African, but what I believe is, we are human first, then we belong to a race and region.

As I possess like-minded passion and eagerness to contribute to the marginalized community, I will support this initiative through effective communication, especially social media and blogging.  I shall also contribute through idea-pitching, documentation and project management.

In my opinion, young people are change agents of a society. But they can only become effective change agents when they are given proper care and their skills are built on. What young people are in dire need today is, soft skills development, and capacity building, leadership and their meaningful participation in community development.  If we are able to fulfill their needs, we can help them become better.
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Would you like to support us? Send us an e-mail signifying your interest: 1africanchild@gmail.com. Together, we achieve more.

OAC Lagos visits Makoko Anglican Nursery and Primary School #Africa #Children #Volunteering

MrT, The Mind beyond the time...
MrT, The Mind beyond the time…

OneAfricanChild Lagos conducted by Tobi “MrT” Bamuyiwa initiated a visit to Makoko Nursery and Primary School in Lagos, Nigeria.

Getting to know Makoko:

Makoko Informal Settlement Makoko, Coordinates: 6°29′44″N 3°23′39″E Country: Nigeria, State: Lagos State LGA Lagos Mainland, Location: Makoko, Settled 18th century, Population  • Total 85,840

Makoko is a slum neighborhood located in Lagos, Nigeria. At present its population is considered to be 85,840; however, the area was not officially counted as part of the 2007 census and the population today is estimated to be much higher. Established in the 18th century primarily as a fishing village, much of Makoko rests in structures constructed on stilts above Lagos Lagoon. Today the area is essentially self-governing with a very limited government presence in the community and local security being provided by area boys. In July 2012, Nigerian government officials destroyed dozens of residences after giving residents 72 hours notice of eviction. One resident was killed in the action. Lagos may continue the destruction of this historic community in order to redevelop what is now seen as prime waterfront.

Makoko Nursery and Primary School:

Welcome to Makoko School
Welcome to Makoko School

It is located at 25, Makoko Road, Yaba Lagos. State Owned School Strength Boys:329 Girls:330 Total: 659

THE VISIT ITSELF: wpid-IMG-20141211-WA003.jpg It is an easy task to reach Makoko when we read the instructions dropped by Tobi MrT.

MrT, The Mind beyond the time...
MrT, The Mind beyond the time…

« The event is scheduled to hold at Makoko community in Lagos. It’s located in yaba and one can easily get there on bike. Once you drop at yaba, board a bike to Makoko. The school is not too far from the junction as you can walk to the place. It’s Makoko Anglican nursery and primary school.» Olowu “Highness” Fola

Fola with an angel smile
Fola with an angel smile

and Seun Yusuf

Dynamic Seun
Dynamic Seun

both joined Tobi for that noble achievement. With such great souls and happy hearts, only a success could be their end partner. wpid-IMG-20141211-WA004.jpgwpid-IMG-20141211-WA008.jpg Children were very happy and welcoming. Our three friends MrT, Highness, and Seun brightened the day of those children and eased the issues of their teachers and coaches, with the school materials they bought and offered. They succeeded raising enough funds.

MrT and school officials
MrT and school officials
Seun and officials
Seun and officials
Fola and officials
Fola and officials
The reward after a noble task: an angel smile.
The reward after a noble task: an angel smile.

It is always a delight to make a child smile, and once more OAC through the dynamism of the Lagos Branch, has proven to be ready for our children to have a wonderful future. We thank all of you who directly and indirectly took part to that event and made it successful. OneAfricanChild is One big Family and each Branch has a vital importance; however small your contribution to a child’s daily happiness can be, be sure that it is the greatest of all gifts. Thank you Tobi, Fola, Seun! Thank you OneAfricanChild Lagos! Thank you OAC Nigeria! Thank you OAC International! Thank you Victoria Ibiwoye!

Victoria Ibiwoye, The Rainbow Heart.
Victoria Ibiwoye, The Rainbow Heart.
The banner of Hope.
The banner of Hope.

LET’S TALK ABOUT #LOVE

If there is one thing which should be considered as the root of Happiness, the basis of true and innocent smile, it is LOVE!
Love… Each time I think of it, my heart becomes heavy. Normally it should be light just like a petal flying over and over again by a blooming season. My heart is heavy, because LOVE is still a luxury in this world of ours. Love is still a categorised notion.
Earlier today, I went out in the street to get people’s advice on Love. It is very sad to realise that Love is reserved for some occasions.

– Have you ever said I LOVE YOU to your mother? I asked a man randomly chosen in a restaurant.
– No, he answered. I know that I love her and she knows it as well.
– Have you ever said it? I asked again. I had to insist on that.
– No. I’m too old for that and I feel ashamed just thinking of saying I LOVE YOU to my mother. I am not used to that.
– Well. Thank you sir.

I went out and I saw a beautiful lady chatting on the phone. before closing the call, she said “I Love You”. When I heard that, I decided to ask her a simple question.
– Hi! Excuse me Lady! I am a bit lost! Could you help me please?
– Hi! Sure! But hurry up please. I have to rush to… How can I help you?
– Have you ever said I LOVE YOU to your father and to your brother?
She was not expecting that one.
– What? Excuse me. I have no time for that.
She turned round and got into her car. A few seconds later she called me in.
– Why are you asking?
– Because I need an answer. I need your answer.
– No. I have never said it.
– But you just said it on the phone.
– It was my boyfriend. And it is different.
– How?
– It is just different.
– Ok. I can understand. Well, have a nice day.
– One minute please. And you? Has your sister ever heard from lips I LOVE YOU?

LOVE… the most beautiful gift humans ever received. What are we doing of it? Here is what we are doing of it.
We have reserved I LOVE YOU to people we believe “special” (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, suitor, fan). Because we believe that we are having something “different and special” with them. And to a certain extent, which is the reason we hide behind “shame” or “habit”, we place I LOVE YOU and physical pleasure in the same basket. That bad use of Love makes us deprive our parents and relatives with a unique pride no gift will ever replace. Even with our own children, we have the same behaviour; when they are still babies, they are covered with all our I LOVE YOU each and every minute. Once they grow older, we think they are old enough to understand that we love them. We can offer all the things they want, but we reserve our I LOVE YOU to our partner or to please a suitor… Our children only do what we teach them.

People tend to say “Love hurts”. I cannot go along with that, because they make Love a weapon, a means to achieve selfish goals. Love is pure and cannot harm. The key to Happiness is FREEDOM! A Heart is like a bird. If you let it spread wings and fly, you will never suffer; but if you give it a direction, a way to follow, you will suffer many wounds and you will never meet enough beauty to make you smile like a child.
Other people think Love has many faces, but they are wrong. Love has only one face. And it is a SMILING FACE. Saying I LOVE YOU means the same thing whoever is there to receive it. We have to say it to anybody without discrimination or perspective of interest of any kind.

Say I LOVE YOU to your neighbour, to your friend, to your family members. Do not think they already know. Let them hear it. Do not say “You know that I love you”, only those three words are enough: I LOVE YOU.

If we want tomorrow to be a better world, let us start by teaching our children how to let their hearts fly.

To all those who know me and those who have never heard of me, to everybody I LOVE YOU.