WOMEN OF THE THIRD WORLD

WOMEN OF THE THIRD WORLD

This first week of March we are celebrating International Women’s Dayaround the world. Thousands of messages, tweets, posts, videos, and chats are flooding the social networks with messages of support for women. Being a woman in the so-called first world is complex, especially because of stereotypes and family reconciliation. In many places, women must follow the beliefs of what has always been said about what a woman can, must, and should do. News such as the first female lieutenant colonel or pilot in the armed forces is highlighted in the media. Having to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to work, take care of the children, be in shape, look beautiful, cook, iron, and do the shopping is very complicated if you do not have a high economic status or a partner who shares 50% of all these household chores. And we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

However, being a woman in the third world is infinitely more complex. On the one hand, in many countries, being a woman means being a zero to the left in politics, education and even healthcare. You are just another ornament in a man’s world. That is why the UN in its 2030 agenda establishes “gender equality” in SDG number 5, with the objective of “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls”. Progress has been made such as getting girls into school, preventing early marriages, and allowing women into positions of responsibility. However, globally, we still have many goals to achieve. These include 100% schooling for girls, preventing genital mutilation or arranged marriages of underage girls, abolishing child rape or the trafficking of girls as sex slaves, and eradicating domestic violence.

On the other hand, women are generally relegated to the home, although at the family level, they are the economic and social support of society. Women are in charge of managing the few resources the family has, raising their children, organizing the household, or even undertaking small microcredits. In initiatives such as the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, housing is only given to women who have land, not to men, and they are the only recipients of microcredits since they are more responsible and make better use of the financial resources obtained.

In the case of Zambia, there are empowered women in urban areas, with high positions in the administration. For example, there are 25 ministers in the National Council of Government, 4 of whom are women. There are also women in senior positions in universities, hospitals, and general administration. However, the situation of women in rural areas is very different. They live subjugated to men, being a very macho society. Even women give themselves to men in exchange for a dowry and it is not uncommon to see men married several times. In fact, it is a crime to marry underage girls nowadays, a common situation a few decades ago. The national authorities are making great efforts to reverse the situation and empower women in rural areas as well. On the road to achieving SDG 5 in Zambia, education is key. Many women in rural areas do not speak English, hence they have limited access to resources. SOGOLO will work to achieve real equality between boys and girls in schools, promoting the training of trainers and facilitating discussions and teaching materials for Zambian girls. In the meantime, we will continue to celebrate the fact that, at least for a day or a week, we will be talking about women.

WHEN THE I IS REPLACED BY THE WE

WHEN THE "I" IS REPLACED BY THE "WE", ILLNESS IS TRANSFORMED INTO WELLNESS

There are many reasons to support an NGO. Some organizations support the values of an NGO because they consider them to be fair. Others contribute out of pity in the face of illness or catastrophes, on a one-off or ongoing basis. Others give their time or money because they feel grateful to the life for everything they have and so share it with others.

To be honest, I believe that the main reason for me to collaborate with the NGO “SOGOLO” is selfishness. Many of you will not understand it, but I think that giving my time and my small monthly financial contribution to SOGOLO makes me feel better. I am shifting the “I” towards the “WE”, as the phrase that gives title to this post says, one finds wellbeing in one’s life. In English when we replace”we” by “I”,the word “Illness” changesto “Wellness” which means well-being. This play on words is as real as life itself, or at least it seems so to me. When I stop thinking about my things, my work, my family, my problems, I look at us, at our things, our work, our world, our problems…  personal problems are less of a problem because they are relativised. We gain distance, we stop thinking about our navel and we think better.

Being empathic predisposes us to collaborate for the good of others, but if you are not, there are no excuses. Empathy can also be worked on, looking for a goal that gives meaning to our daily lives. This is how Victor Frankl puts it in his book “Man’s search for meaning”: “Man does not really need to live without tension, but to strive and struggle for a goal or a mission that is worthwhile for him”. This is in line with Nietzsche’s famous words: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. And what is this worthwhile mission or goal? There are many. One might be to think of others, to empathise with those who need it most, to collaborate in building a better world… it will help us to live better. Beltran Russel confessed in his autobiography: “Love and knowledge, insofar as both were possible, transported me to heaven. But always solidarity brought me back to earth. The cries of pain echo in my heart. Starving children, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people, hateful burdens on their children, and a whole world of loneliness, poverty and pain make a mockery of what human existence should be. I ardently desire to alleviate evil”. In this way, helping others will make one happy. Hence my selfishness in collaborating with SOGOLO. Do you dare to be selfish yourself? It’s up toyou – help SOGOLO!

SOGOLO AND THE SDGs

Education – United Nations Sustainable Development

Many of you will have heard the term SDGs in the media lately. It is not an easy term to understand: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS. In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The aim is to provide “an opportunity for countries and their societies to embark on a new path to improve the lives of all, leaving no one behind“. The UN Agenda has 17 SDGs, ranging from the elimination of poverty to combating climate change, education, women’s equality, improving education, protecting the environment and designing our cities.

A first impression, when looking for their meaning, is whether there is really a will, on the part of the institutions, to pursue sustainable and global development for all. Whether or not there is, we believe it is a mistake to sit back and wait for governments to deliver on the SDGs. It is everyone’s responsibility and obligation to do our bit. Together we all add up, together we are much better.

That is why we at SOGOLO want to contribute our vision:

The first idea is that it is possible, that achiving the SDGs is possible, and it is fair! Because we are born in an economically viable part of the world, we cannot stop being jointly responsible for the poverty and misery in which other people live. No one chooses to be born on a particular continent or in a particular country.

The second idea is that our reference SDG is in SOGOLO’s DNA, in its slogan: EDUCATION TO BUILD A FUTURE. This is SDG No. 4: QUALITY EDUCATION. And it is developed with the following sentence: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all“. And why education? Because according to the UN “education enables upward socio-economic mobility and it is key to escaping poverty”. Much progress has been made in recent years, expanding access to education and school enrolment rates at all levels, especially for girls. But much remains to be done…

According to UN data, in 2018, “around 260 million children were still out of school” and “more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not reaching minimum standards of proficiency in reading and mathematics“. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the education problem has multiplied exponentially, as the temporary closure of schools “affected more than 91% of students worldwide. In April 2020, nearly 1.6 billion children and youth were out of school. Similarly, some 369 million children who depend on school canteens had to seek other sources of daily nutrition. The plight of many children is highlighted, noting that “never before have so many children been out of school at the same time, disrupting their learning and drastically changing their lives, especially those of the most vulnerable and marginalised children. The global pandemic has serious consequences that could jeopardise hard-won gains in improving education globally“.

At SOGOLO we want to commit 100% of our energy, our enthusiasm and our resources so that the children of the Luangwa Valley in Zambia have a better SOGOLO, with education being the driving force of that future. Together we can all help to train trainers with materials in English, to donate old computers, to send notebooks and pens, to contribute money to the open projects …. Indeed, we have a new project in ihelp:

https://www.ihelp.org.es/en/node/2231

Can you help us to achieve SDG No. 4 in Zambia?

Today the caterpillar becomes a butterfly

For all Sogoleños, who believe in the value of unity and solidarity to work for the common good, a precious story:

TODAY, THE CATERPILLAR BECOMES A BUTTERFLY

🦋✨🦋✨🦋✨

Biologists have discovered that within the cells of the caterpillar tissue there are cells called imaginative cells. They resonate at a different frequency. Also, they are so different from other worm cells that the caterpillar’s immune system thinks they are enemies and tries to destroy them. But new imaginative cells keep appearing, and more and more…

Suddenly, the caterpillar’s immune system cannot destroy them fast enough and they become stronger by connecting to each other to form a critical mass that recognizes their mission to achieve the incredible birth of a butterfly.

In 1969 Margaret Mead said: “We must never doubt that a small group of motivated and determined citizens can change the world. Certainly that is how we have found ourselves”.

I firmly believe, along with many others, that there is an evolutionary effervescence within the fabric of today’s society. Despite the clamor of fear, greed, overconsumption, and violence expressed through the fabric of society, there is a union of men and women, which we can call imaginative cells, that are revealing a different world, a transformation, a metamorphosis.

The Uruguayan poet Mario Benedetti wrote: “What would happen if one day, when we wake up, we realize that we are the majority? I affirm that the imaginative cells would dominate and bring the butterfly out of a world of worms”.

This is the time to wake up. Groups of imaginative cells are gathering everywhere; they are beginning to recognize each other; they are developing the tools of organization to increase the level of consciousness, so that the next Stage of our human society will manifest, to create a new society that, ceasing to be a caterpillar, will become a butterfly…

A new dimension of Life, a more compassionate and just society, a humanity rooted in happiness and mutual understanding…

Be enthusiastic cells; connect with others, meet, reunite… and all together let us build an Alliance for a New Humanity”.

🦋✨🦋✨🦋✨

Deepak Chopra

SWEETY, SWITI, SHITI, SITI….EN

Once upon a time, there was a family that was loaded with candy at a school in Zambia. A girl came to ask for one. She turned around and put her hand back to ask for another one. When she asked for the third one again, she was told that it had been given to her before. She smiled. And she showed her mouth the two previous candies with paper included. Innocence. Picardy.