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In the beginning

When Kay and I (Qubammish) decided to practice the law of attraction and daily confess positive things, we had no idea the effect it would have on our lives. The results have been astounding. Every new day is an opportunity to call new things into existence, and it has tremendously increased our faith in God.

It all started on Tuesday, November 25th, when Kay asked me to watch ‘The Secret Law Of Attraction’ – a documentary detailing the secret to success and happiness. She so eagerly wanted me to watch and grasp the power of positive thinking but was nervous I’d be too skeptical to believe it or watch till the end. I watched it, all of it. Mainly because I promised…

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There have been so many thoughts running through my mind that, getting the sanity to sit and write this article have been proving a difficult task to accomplish. Since last week, June 3; my perspective on life as a Ghanaian citizen living in Accra has changed drastically. Why? Maybe, I was severely affected by the floods, maybe the scenes and stories of people who lost their lives in the twin disaster has been so horrifying, maybe I have been so disappointed at the institutions and systems in Ghana, maybe; just maybe…..

Today marks exactly a week since, Ghana and specifically Accra, was shaken out of it’s normalcy to a twin disaster of flood and an inferno. Over 150 lives were perished, several properties amounting to millions of cedis were destroyed and thousands of citizens have been rendered homeless and traumatized. I can count my own family to the latter. However, as we count our lost as a country, with a memorial service being held for the victims who lost their lives; this is the perfect time to reflect on our actions/in-actions that resulted in the disaster that was preventable.

Some flooded streets in Accra

Some flooded streets in Accra

 

Another unfortunate situation that must be addressed, is the indiscriminate way most citizens in Accra have taken advantage of the open- drainage system in the city and turned it into a refuse dump. Most gutters and drainage system in Accra before the floods, were choked with plastic waste and sand; blocking the free flow of liquid waste and water that it is suppose to carry. I once had an encounter with one grown man, who took advantage of the fact that it was raining to dump a whole sack of refuse into a gutter in front of a shop where I with a group of other people were seeking shelter from the rains. I was surprised when no one, took the right step to prevent the man from his indiscriminate act . I then volunteered to do so and the man who had no iota of shame, got the impetus to insult me; with no one coming to my defend.  Too sad, most of Ghana’s laws especially on sanitation have been reduced to a toothless written document in a book.

some horrifying aftermath of the disaster

some horrifying aftermath of the disaster

One other issue that needs mentioning, is the way filling stations have been erected just anywhere in the city. A 15 minutes walk on some major roads in the city, and one will count not less than two filling stations on that particular stretch. Most residences, have now been pulled down to construct filling stations, which seems to be the popular business in the country in these recent times. The inferno that accompanied last Wednesday’s floods, razed down a filling station killing more than 150 people who were seeking shelter in and around the filling station located in a busy area in Accra. The floods led to the leaking of petrol on the surface of the water which caught fire somewhere and exploded the filling station. Just a day or two after this regrettable disaster, the country is now witnessing the closing down of some filling stations that were apparently operating without permit and/or are in bad shape and are a disaster in waiting. Should  laws like this be drastically enforced after havoc has been caused?

The explosion of the filling station

The explosion of the filling station

Ghana should be up and doing. Wednesday, June 3, 2015; should be a wake- up call. Lot of havoc have been caused, lives that can never be ever again, properties that can not be retrieved and the trauma that will take a long time to leave. Despite all these, we as a people have great lessons to learn and the best tribute we can pay to the lives lost due to our collective negligence; is to repent and plan effectively for the future.  Government, institutions and departments tasked with the duties to make and enforce laws in order to protect lives and properties as well as to make citizens located everywhere in the country to live in peace and dignity; must do their work well. They must be made accountable to the mandate they serve. Citizens must be gate- keepers at the grass-root, to live by the laws and to keep authorities on their toes. Natural disasters are natural yet we as humans, play our parts to ensure the extent to which we are affected by natural occurrences such as heavy rainfalls.

Dorcas Tiwaa Addai

Dorcas Tiwaa Addai

Dorcas Tiwaa Addai, BA, is a writer, blogger, volunteer, MUNer and a youth activist. I am passionate about women empowerment, youth development, other human rights issues and International relations and Diplomacy. Currently, I ‘m a volunteer with African Rights Initiative International (ARII) and an intern with UN Refugee Agency.

 

 

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“There is this beautiful town with a very neat and clean environment, abundance and readily available nutritious food for all its people as well as clean water that runs through the taps at every corner of the town. This not withstanding, all young people in the town have access to primary and secondary education, and are gainfully employed after schooling. In addition, the health needs of these town folks are well catered for. From infants to old people; good quality healthcare services are at the disposal of everybody. The justice and security system in this town is fair and transparent, as people in this town are always able to move about in their daily routines with limited fear of insecurity , and where people are aggrieved, they always have access to a fair and transparent justice system that operates without fear nor favor, dealing with everyone on an equal platform . ”

The above is the exact if not more, of the world; most Ghanaians and others around the world would love to live in. The safe haven, we would all appreciate to inhabit and live our lives to the fullest. However, and unfortunately there is no vacant place around the planet earth; with this world we want waiting for Ghanaians to come and live in. We would need to make our home, the territorial boundaries of Ghana, the world we want. Ghana should be the place, where all it’s citizens and non-citizens alike who come into the country, feel a sense of homeliness, calmness, peacefulness, and progressiveness.

In as much as the governance of a country is a shared responsibility of each and every individual in the country; people at the helm of affairs at the various government agencies take the lead in making and implementing various decisions that affects the lives of people as well as the development of the country. Political and civil leaders with the mandate to lead the people, by representing their views and implementing them, most of the time do the opposite. Rather than serving the very people who put them in office by making laws and implementing projects that reflect the collective voice of the masses, most government officials pursue projects that serve their selfish interest and that of a selected few.

The United Nations (UN) have however taken the positive lead to get as many people as possible to be involved in charting the post-2015 development agenda.  The UN has launched the MY World survey that allows people across the world to tell the United Nations, and in particular the Secretary General’s High Level Panel, the most important issues they would like the post-2015 agenda to address.

This survey has allowed about 7 million people around the world to be active participants in the post-2015 development process voting and emphasizing on changes that would make the most difference to their lives.

60,668 Ghanaians have participated in the MY World survey, with 34, 899 of the total number being the youth between the ages of 16-30 years. They have added their voice to the world they would like to live in, the kind of changes they would like to see in Ghana to make positive impact upon their lives and help them live their lives well. The top six priorities Ghanaians who have participated in this survey voted on are as follows;

  • A good education
  • Better job opportunities
  • Better healthcare
  • Affordable and nutritious food
  • Protection against crime and violence
  • Access to clean water and sanitation

It is the hope of most Ghanaians to see the above changes effected in the country and the world at large. Government officials must be willing and ready to help implement these changes in order to make 2015 and beyond a period of accelerated development and inclusive governance that will bring growth and prosperity in all aspect of our lives. This is the world we want, what about you?

 

 

DSCF0499Dorcas Tiwaa Addai, BA, is a writer, blogger, volunteer, MUNer and a youth activist. I am passionate about women empowerment, youth development, other human rights issues and International relations and Diplomacy. Currently, I ‘m a volunteer with African Rights Initiative International (ARII) and an intern with UN Refugee Agency.

 

 

I have constantly being fascinated by the history of my people and the outstanding contributions of some individuals to change the face of events. As a young African woman, growing up in Africa and being exposed to Black African studies at the University; I got to know some individuals such as Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Kwame Nkrumah, Martin Luther King Jr and Malcom X. This  changed my perception about who I am. I immediately fell in love with Africa, its history and these individuals who sacrificed for what I freely enjoy today.
So when I chanced upon, Cry Freedom; a Hollywood movie depicting the life of Steve Biko and his struggle for Black South African freedom in apartheid South Africa, I watched it over and over again. And each time, I found a new me, a new hope for Africa, a new hope for humanity.
I am educated, enjoy my basic human rights and sit on the same drawing table with my fellow human beings, some who once perceived my kind as inferior.  All of this, now is, because there were once some advocates like Steve Biko, who raised the idea of Black consciousness and the fact that we could all live peacefully as one human face.

Looking back, humanity should be grateful for how far we have come, that people of all race can  co-exist in peace and dignity. Tolerance and respect for other people from diverse cultural and religious background must be uphold. What happened years ago; the injustices, discrimination and slavery, must never be allowed to happen ever again.

The younger generation must know their history, about what happened some years ago; so that we could better appreciate and uphold what we have now. The culture of tolerance and respect for other people must be handed down to young people around the world to help cement the respect for the human rights of others.

Below is a poem I wrote in memory of Steve Biko

Across the dark clouds of inhumanity

Appeared the hope of peace

Biko, the resounding voice of freedom

Your vision of a much better world

Brought a fierce shake in the dark clouds of insanity

Though, abruptly were you cut down

The echo of your cry for freedom

Tingles in our ears still

Today, thoughts of you bring smiles on our faces

Because your vision is here!

As a youth, a woman, gender advocate and an aspiring Human Rights Lawyer; I add my voice to the ongoing international campaign against gender-based violence dubbed “16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence”.
The campaign which started on 25th November is running through to 10th December. These dates are not mere coincidental dates, but are significant dates that shows the link between gender base violence and human rights issues. The 25th of November is set aside by the international body as the United Nations International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women and the 10th of December has also been set aside as the Human Rights Day.
Women everywhere in the world, face discrimination or violence in one form or the other based on their gender. There are startling statistics that reveal the extent to which women are abused each day around the globe. In fact, one out of every three women worldwide, face abuse, violence and rape everyday.
In my country Ghana, there is never a single day without the news of rape, defilement and domestic violence being reported by the media in the country. From the defilement of months-old babies, the rape of adolescent to the abuse of married women; are just a few of instances of gender-based violence that happens around me almost everyday of my life. Some of these victims, lose their lives in the process. An instance, was a news item on our national television station one evening where it was reported that a man had severed off the head of his girlfriend in the cause of an argument.
This automatically got me down and thinking, this could be me or my sister or my mother!
What at all could be the sustainable solution to gender based violence?
To me, purnishing perpetrators of this heinous crime, is not enough. We need to sensitize everyone in the society, including children that discriminating and abusing women is against their inherent human rights. The education should start from schools, since perpetrators grow up from innocent children to be perpetrators of violence against women.
Let us be up and doing. Gender based violence has a lot of negative consequencies on the victims, perpetrators, the society and the world as a whole. Say no to violence against women and any vulnerable people in the society.

Like the giddy sensation

A sunny day blossom our souls,

Lightening across the face

Forms an eternal footprints in our memory

Even a strangers own creates a welcoming scenery,

 

As mortals we be

Nature granted us the gift to foretell,

To foret Read the rest of this entry »

We all have dreams we are feverishly working towards. Academic degrees we want to attain, projects we want finished, a business idea we want established, the ideal family we want started, and the list goes on and on.

As insatiable beings, we are always on the move to attain at least one thing we deem appropriate in making our lives worthwhile. Personally, there are some five(5) key objectives, I am bent on achieving before I am 25. From attaining high proficiency in French to learning how to drive to going to Law school and  to getting one of my creative works published. Oh yea! I have got my hands full. Yet despite the will in us to achieve, there are thousand and one stumbling blocks that are always acting as heavy loads tied around our feet, preventing us to run the race and get to our destinations.

Sadly enough, the number 1, destractor is our very self.

We act as enemies within and we keep on dragging,  procrastinating and at worse give up entirely on things we can and could have achieve with just an ounce of determination.

There is this one famous quote by Marriane Williamson, “Our deepest Fear”that pricks my soul and conscience, whenever the enemy within me, threatens to overpower me. Since “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure”; I will continue to dream and live my dreams.  I will step out and “make manifest the glory of God that is within” me.

Indeed, “we are all meant to shine, as children do” so even if we have failed, It now time to pick our self up, rub the disappointment from our minds and keep moving forward, even whiless on our knees. And just as, Martin Luther King Jr, commented,

                                           If I can’t fly, I will run,

                                          If I can’t Run, then I will walk,

                                          If I can’t walk, I will crawl,

                                          In whatever I do,

                                          I will keep moving forward.