YALA AFRICA YOUNG LEADERS COMMUNITY 2nd NEWSLETTER | AUGUST 2013 www.facebook.com/YalaAfrica
Yala Africa is a Facebook-based movement dedicated to the empowerment of the youth in the African continent. Africa has the fastest growing and
most youthful population in the world. With over forty percent of its citizens under the age of 15, and twenty percent between the ages of 15 and 24 - the prospects for advancement in the region are abound with promise. The stage is set for a new generation of empowered, young Africans to lead the way to a better future for the continent; a vision of the future created by those who stand to profit most from it’s success: Africans. Our goals and values are stated in our Document of Principles:
1 We believe that the young generation will lead the way to a better future for the continent
2 We aim to cooperate with young leaders through social networking. and be guided by them
3 A right picture of africa needs to be drawn and expressed to the world by africans
4 We want to encourage cooperation between people from similar
professional background. in favour of economic development, social care and cultural expression
5 Sharing of knowledge and education through online systems is extremely significant. the same is true for the Promotion of online health services
6 Foster african culture in its diversity 7 Increase the awareness of women›s rights and equality 8 Enhance the international relations within africa 9 We demand and will work for fair trade, fair investments and fair relations between the world and africa
Yala Africa believes that by capitalizing on the advancements social networking has brought to world of communication—the potential to connect millions of people across physical borders. We can fashion a Pan-African movement dedicated to regional solidarity, prosperity, and peace. Through intra- regional collaboration, Africans will be better equipped to deal with the focal issues currently facing the continent. A new class of African social entrepreneurs will emerge, made up of people whose attitudes, shaped by their drive, education and knowledge, converge into a common vision for the future. We want to impact these young leaders by empowering them with the open tools provided by social media. Among the critical success factors for Yala Africa is a proven working model currently in it’s 3rd year: YaLa-Young Leaders. Drawing on our experiences in the Middle East-North African region, where we have garnered the support of over 350,000 people, a dedicated consortium of young activists whose enthusiasm for imparting change in the region has been steadfastly increasing with each year.
YaLa Young Leaders method has harnessed the catalyzing power of Facebook to affect change and build a community of leaders around the world who are unwilling to blindly accept the status quo, and whose vision for a better tomorrow inspire them to make change a reality. Working upon this already proven method, and partnered with some of the worldâ€™s leading institutions of education and innovation, Yala Africa can count on an extensive network of international partners who can be mobilized to provide opportunities and critical support for the movement and its members. Among Yalaâ€™s network of supporters are Facebook, Microsoft, HP, Harvard University, Princeton University, MIT, The Clinton Global Initiative, and the Governments of the United States, Italy, and Norway. Realizing the impact increased Internet penetration has on the success of Africa, we aim for the creation of an online management and technology school. The development of an educated and effective African leadership begins first and foremost with practical edification. Online education has the power to link the best professors, experts and professionals from all corners of the globe, with the mere click of a mouse. Through collaborative regional study and training, Yala Africa aims to create a lasting foundation for positive young leader cooperation, and to strengthen the young generationâ€™s ability to utilize modern-world technologies and networks to their advantage. The promising trends of increased Internet penetration in Africa compound on our propitious circumstances; in the past decade, internet use has increased ten-fold, from only 4.5 million in 2000, to 140 million in 2011, with over 40 million connecting to social media sites such as Facebook. In January 2013, we established a Facebook page with a current following of over 50,000 people from around the continent. It is a forum where ideas are exchanged on a daily basis, on issues ranging from education, health care, gender-equality, politics, culture and art. Along with the daily flow of ideas, we have organized several theme-based discussions on specific issues through the lenses of African culture: education, poetry, a successful photography contest, and an HIV awereness campain. These events aim to mobilize the membership base and provide tangible benefits to the young leaders, rousing in them the confidence to believe that change is within their grasp.
Local culture, exposure, opinion, cooperation, photo contest , voting, sharing, information, awareness campaign, prominent events ,Politics, health, education, notes, comments and rebuttels, special projects, community activities, interesting people, future plans, development, youth, women empowerment, equality and peace, an opportunity for dialogue, new leadership, optimism, together, African proverbs, poetry and writing, anger and compassion, creativity and future, children and parents, invitation, will, and passion.
HIV Awareness From July 15th to 28th, Yala Africa organized a highly successful HIV/AIDS awareness campaign “FIGHTING AIDS TOGETHER” - reaching out to and engaging thousands of young people across the African continent. Background: Africa suffers more than %24 of the global burden of HIV but has access to only %3 of health workers, with an average of only two doctors per 10,000 people– which is by far the lowest physician density in the world. With 6,000 Africans dying every day from AIDS, and 11,000 being infected, Yala Africa couldn›t be silent about this topic. At the same time, mobile technology is on the rise. Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. And from our experience on the Yala Africa page we see that most people access the internet, and therefore Facebook, via their cell phones. (On our page at least %60 of our likes come from cell phones).»Mobile is fast becoming the PC of Africa,» says Osibo Imhoitsike, market coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa at Norwegian firm Opera. Therefore the Yala Africa Facebook page is a powerful tool that can reach thousands of young Africans at the click of a button - already over 50,000 are members of the page, a membership base that is growing by more than 500 people per day. Vision: Awareness about HIV and AIDS is crucial. Too many people do not yet realize that their behavior can be risky; too many people do not realize yet that getting tested and knowing your status is not a danger, whereas not knowing is. The Yala Africa HIV/AIDS awareness campaign gave a major role to awareness. Our members were free to ask any question they wanted on the page. Shame should not be a barrier to information, so our campaign sought to make our members feel as safe as possible. The importance of responsible behavior and is also part of our vision for this campaign. As we say on our HIV Declaration of Principles: Sex means responsibility, faithfulness and the use of condoms are part of this responsibility. The “Fighting AIDS Together” campaign also addressed the importance of voluntary testing and counseling as getting tested is the only way to protect oneself and to act in a responsible way toward others. Goals of the Campaign: Increasing the awareness about AIDS and HIV. Creating a safe platform where people could ask questions, exchange, and share. Encouraging people to get tested. Encouraging people to have a responsible behavior and to use condoms.
challenges: The campaign was informed by the latest research on AIDS and HIV prevention in Africa, which outline the main issues and challenges to overcome. A study conducted in Cape Town between 2007 and 2011 showed that people would only change their behavior or attitudes when they actually feel that they have a tangible and absolute interest in change. Therefore, people, and in our case young people, must believe that their lives will improve as a result of knowing and being able to manage their HIV status. Successful interventions show that a peer educator approach is most appropriate to convey the AIDS message to the target group. During research in Rwanda, scientists and activists noticed that only %7 of the women reported ever trying condoms before the intervention on an NGO in their community, but %22 reported condom use with good compliance 1 year later. Women who were HIV-positive were more likely to adopt condom use than HIV-negative women (%36 vs %16; P<.05). Another important finding was that counseling separately the male and the female proved to be efficient. Furthermore, many pre-existing negative ideas about condoms had to be erased. Another issue that appeared was that many young Africans would not get tested. The reasons are mainly that they do not feel concerned because they know their partners, or because they prefer not to know. It appears that there is no central website or organization that lists the places where people can get tested. There are clinics, and mobile clinics, but there is no centralized list of them and whether or not they provide HIV testing services. Action: During the “Fighting AIDS Together” Campaign, videos, commercials, quizzes and personal stories about AIDS were posted daily on the Yala Africa page. Members could also answer daily questions about HIV/AIDS and talk about their personal thoughts and experiences. In order to address more accurately the possible needs of our group members, the Yala Africa Core Leadership Group was highly involved in the choice of topics and posts: Hategeka Moses : “Hey African youth, to those who are in a stable relationship, be faithful and forever remain so to your partner/s, to those who are not yet in relationship, keep Abstaining from sex until when you get the right person, and let us all be kind and compassionate in helping those who are already infected with HIV/AIDS, to fully utilize their potential and lead positive lives, and never discriminate against them. We are tomorrow›s leaders; our continent needs our energy, charisma, fearless character, skills, and our critical and revolutionary thinking. It needs this more than ever, we must therefore stay healthy and physically fit to take our continent forward.” Akuyo Patric Pato Gift: “We should fight HIV and ensure a happy living for those who are positive. ABCDT-Abstinence/awareness Be faithful Condoms Discussion and to go and get tested. This is my suggestion.” Doreen Herman: “The campaign against aids should involve creating awareness, preventions and all that we can do to fight against AIDS at family level, community, nation and world wide.”
Yala Africa members responded very enthusiastically to the campaign, as was visible from their extensive participation. The Yala Africa AIDS awareness campaign gave thousands of young Africans the opportunity to learn, talk and inform each other about HIV/AIDS issues. Looking Forward: The success of this first awareness campaign revealed the urgent need for a new and innovative HIV/AIDS information and awareness initiative involving new media and technologies. In particular, cell phones are essential tools as they are widespread all over the continent and are the only internet outlet for most people. Yala Africa thus proposes the development of a cell phone application on HIV/AIDS that would ensure the privacy and confidentiality of the education or/and awareness process, and would allow the user to access a library of information about sexually transmitted diseases and general health information. As we know, gender can be a barrier to an efficient awareness campaign, but one that can be overcome by developing two parallel applications, one for men, and one for women. On the pink application for women, and the blue application for men, users would feel free to discuss any concerns they have, and find out where they can get the appropriate and targeted answers they need. Moreover, doctors, public health specialists and leading medical centers would be engaged to contribute knowledge and expertise to the application and its development. This application would also show the locations of the closest medical facilities in the area and give their contact details.
Sources: Users Without A Subscription Are Not Able To See The Full Content. A Decade of HAART: The Development and Global Impact of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, JosĂŠ M. Zuniga, Alan Whiteside, Amin Ghaziani, and John G. Bartlett. Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009 Is peer education an effective method for HIV prevention in low- and middle-income countries? SUPPORT summaries, 2010, http://supportsummaries.org/support-summaries/show/is-peer-education-an-effective-method-for-hivprevention-in-low--and-middle-income-countriesa Seven ways mobile phones have changed lives in Africa, By Tolu Ogunlesi, Special to CNN and Stephanie Busari, CNN, September 2012 ,14 Young peopleâ€™s sexual health in South Africa: HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors from a nationally representative household survey, Audrey E. Pettifora,b, Helen V. Reesa et al. 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Impact of National HIV and AIDS Communication Campaigns in South Africa to Reduce HIV Risk Behaviour, Karl Peltzer, Warren Parker, et al. 2012, The Scientific World Journal
THE YALA AFRICA FORWARD PHOTO CONTEST Hategeka Moses | Kampala, Uganda “The future of Africa lies in its youth and therefore there need to be collaborative efforts from different national and international civil society actors and stake holders designed to turn the African youth into fearless, scientific, progressive and revolutionary thinkers, to make them attain relevant skills and knowledge that they will use to cause positive changes in their communities and make the continent attain sustainable development” says Hategeka Moses, Yala Africa core group member. The Yala Africa community, which currently has over 50,000 online members who regularly discuss and share pertinent issues happening in their communities, has since its establishment proven to be a fundamental online platform which provides African youth an opportunity to fundamentally interact and deeply discuss how best to overcome their societal problems and guide the continent to a sustainable move forward. As clearly stated in its document of principles, the Yala Africa community movement strongly believes that “A right picture of Africa needs to be drawn and expressed to the world by Africans”. In line with this principle Yala Africa organized an open photo competition titled FORWARD which encouraged amateur photographers to submit photos portraying Africa as a continent moving forward, even though Africa is grumbling with so many problems like corruption, land and water grabs, civil wars, dictatorship, youth unemployment and others. At Yala Africa we strongly believe that, with good leadership which is ready for transformation, Africa has got the potential to move forward. This is also what our organized photo competition is all about. We received amazing photos which can be seen on our facebook page and it was a great challenge to choose the ten photographs you can admire in this edition of ANOTHER AFRICA. “TOGETHER WE CAN”
Spiruli Yala Africa and the Spirulina Algae One of Yala Africa’s goals is to help fight hunger and malnutrition, two of Africa’s main burdens. Malnutrition is defined “as a pathological state arising from the prolonged use of food that does not supply all the elements necessary for health. In developing countries, malnutrition is the cause of many harmful consequences for young children: increased risk of mortality, weakened immune system, delayed motor development, diminished cognitive capacity and school performance” (Antenna, 2011, p. 3). This is why we would like to draw more attention to the spirulina algae in order to increase the consumption of this food supplement with incredible health benefits, including the potential to fight malnutrition which affects around 239 Million people on the African continent of which the majority are children. At least half of the 9 ,10 million child deaths each year are due to hunger and malnutrition (FAO, 2012). Yala Africa, like several other non-governmental organizations such as Antenna have recognized the importance of increasing the cultivation of spirulina in order to help fight malnutrition. “The Antenna Technologies Foundation is an international organization whose goals are to identify, develop and favor the diffusion of efficient technologies that are suitable for populations with limited resources. In order to fight against malnutrition, Antenna Technologies has developed tools and trainings especially adapted to the local production of spirulina in a sustainable way.Today, Antenna Technologies is involved in spirulina programs in about twenty African and Asian countries” (Antenna, 2012, p. 15). Historical background: The Spirulina Algae is a blue-green algae that exists as a single-celled organism turning sunlight into life energy. It is one of the first life forms designed by nature more than 3.6 billion years ago. Spirulina has been singled out for its nutritional benefits and has been first discovered by the Aztecs who made cake from it. The Spanish invaders who conquered Mexico observed local fishermen collecting the algae with fine nets. Also North Africans consumed the blue-green algae centuries ago, collecting it from natural waters, drying it and using it as an addition to sauces. Health Benefits: The spirulina algae is known for its incredible health benefits, including its potential to fight chronic malnutrition by providing the consumer with high amounts of: • Proteins, which amount between 70-60 % of its dry weight • Amino acids • Vitamins A, B12, C, E • Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc
According to the FAO, “Clinical trials have shown that spirulina can serve as a supplementary cure for many diseases. Spirulina capsules have proved effective in lowering blood lipid level, and in decreasing white blood corpuscles after radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as improving immunological function” (FAO, 2008, p. 18). Also test studies on malnourished children, such as the study on a child nutrition center in Bangui (Central African Republic) have shown significant improvement in the health conditions of patients aged from 0 to 5 years old. According to the center’s manager Dr. Picard, “These first results reveal the benefits of spirulina to tackle malnutrition problems, even in severe cases. This product is easy to use and well accepted by mothers when it is properly explained” (Antenna, 2012, p. 6). Another study done on 60 schoolgirls in India found that a daily intake of 1 gram of spirulina can even improve their intellectual performance. In Burkina Faso, a study on 170 children of whom 84 are tested HIV-positive, concluded that the treatment with locally produced spirulina led to a “particularly positive impact on the nutritional rehabilitation of HIV-infected children” (Antenna, 2012, p. 7).
Yala Africa aims to set up spirulina micro-farms. Supporting the creation of small-scale local businesses decreases dependence on existing expensive products, creates jobs and encourages self-sufficiency. Thus, communities who have their own spirulina production compounds can distribute it to the local community and therefore fight malnutrition independently and without high cots. At the same time products could be exported. The demand for spirulina in the West is growing rapidly due to its nutritional benefits, which is why local production in Africa could increase trade revenues. The fact that the building of a spirulina micro-farm is relatively easy is another factor which makes us believe that we need to support its spread. Spirulina grows best in hot, even desert countries and needs a lot less water than any other agricultural crop. After setting up the infrastructure for a farm which includes training, premises, water supplies, electricity, fences and computer hardware, the local population is able to maintain the facilities independently. Currently, there are around 50 spirulina farms in developing countries and Africa provides perfect conditions for spirulina farming which is why Yala Africa would like to actively increase spirulina production and consumption in order to fight malnutrition. Yala Africa strongly believes that besides raising awareness and creating a platform of dialogue through social networks, it is of great importance to initiate ground projects which can benefit local African communities. The creation of a spirulina micro-farm appears to be a project which encourages local production and therefore creates employment and trade incentives. At the same time, spirulina offers invaluable health benefits which can help fight malnutrition. This will positively affect the immune system, intellectual development and overall well-being. Too much time has passed since the discovery of the algae and its cultivation on the African continent. Yala Africa aims to take a step towards the future.
Sources: Habib, M.A.B., Hasan, M.R., Huntington, T.C. & Parvin, M. (2008). A review on culture, production and use of spirulina as food for humans and feeds for domestic animals and fish. FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED STATES. Hug, C. & V.D. Weid, D. (2011). Assessment and prospects. Spirulina in the fight against malnutrition. FONDATION ANTENNA TECHNOLOGIES.
The YLO@ Institute for
Peace and Good Governance Yala Young Leaders Online Academy
The initiative builds on the success of our YaLa-Young Leaders Online Academy (YLO@), which opened last January, and is the worldâ€şs first classroom that spans the entire Middle East and North Africa region, the only of its kind to bring together Arabs and Israelis. The 2013 pilot program of YLO@ is providing 300 specially-selected students hailing from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, Tunisia, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria and Yemen with online courses and mentorship. YLO@ Pilot students are participating in collaborative online discussion and activities in partnership with some of the worldâ€şs top universities and companies including: Princeton, Harvard, Vanderbilt, University of Virginia, University of Massachusetts, Sabanci University, Coursera, Microsoft, Facebook, HP, Shaker and others. Working upon this success, we seek to create a one-of-a-kind online institute, the goal of which is to supply youth across Africa and the Middle East with the tools needed to create a future of self-sustaining and durable peace and good governance. Young leaders will learn online directly from the men and women who pioneered, implemented and sustained the processes of peace negotiation, truth, forgiveness, justice, reconciliation and good governance that worked successfully in transformed postconflict areas such as South Africa, Rwanda, Ireland the Balkans and the Middle East. With the creation of the Institute for Peace and Good Governance, YaLa seeks to leverage the know-how and experience of these practitioners for the benefit of the young generation. By recording video lectures and delivering them online to the students, the Institute will provide valuable and practical knowledge of successes in conflict transformation and good governance to the burgeoning youth populations of these regions. Students will not only watch the video lectures but will also discuss the issues in an online forum and put into practice their new knowledge through online simulations and the development of a final group project.
AIn particular, the Institute will focus on the areas of: 1. Peace Negotiations: With a focus on practitioner experiences and the role of women and civil society in negotiation, mediation and peacemaking processes. By learning from practitioners about their experiences, challenges and successes in negotiations in Ireland, the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East, students will gain unique knowledge about effectively managing peace processes. 2. Human Rights, Truth and Transitional Justice: With a focus on the approaches, including those led by civil society, that have been successful in addressing the legacies of conflict in careful balance with the need to rebuild trust and a shared sense of community rather than new vengeance and grievances which can result from harsh retributive justice processes. Indeed, truth-telling and memorialization processes have shown in some cases to be effective in providing «justice as recognition» which has allowed postconflict countries to acknowledge the past, while at the same time building a shared aspiration to live peacefully together under a common national vision. Successes from South Africa and Rwanda in particular will be highlighted. 3. Forgiveness and Reconciliation - with a focus on the approaches, experiences and successes of reconciliation commissions and grassroots peacebuilding efforts, in particular those led by men and women who have lost loved ones in conflict, yet who have found the strength to forgive and reconcile with their former enemies. With virtually no one left untouched by the 1994 genocide but today among Africa›s most peaceful and thriving countries, Rwanda is a leading example of the success of such processes and has the world›s only permanent reconciliation commission. Successes also abound from Ireland and from across Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. 4. Good Governance - with a focus on building and managing the institutions that form the foundation of a stable and peaceful society and the economic development which sustains it. Strengthening legitimate institutions and governance to provide citizen security, rule of law and jobs is crucial in order to break cycles of violence. At the earliest stages after conflict, countries need to restore public confidence in basic collective action and to generate tangible results in the areas of good governance and economic development, otherwise conflict can quickly re-erupt as the people do not feel the dividends of peace or institutional confidence.
Y.L.O.@ YALA - YOUNG LEADERS ONLINE ACADENY
Board of Directors of Yala Africa: Uri Savir, President Dani Benaim, Vice President Megan Hallahan, Secretary General Revital Shoan-Pinkas, Treasurer Dr. Jean Baptiste Habyalimana , President of the Board›s Conflict Resolution Organ Jean-Paul Samputu, Vice President of the Board›s Conflict Resolution Organ Hassan Nsengiyumva, Secretary of the Board›s Conflict Resolution Organ and Director of Yala Africa Staff Members: Sarah Benazera, Ori Cohen, Lea Ledwon, Yael Mizrahi