Blog

New Visualization On Sporting Activities With Buea Prison Inmates 


New Visualization inspiring social inclusion within sedentary populations by organising socio-cultural and recreational sporting activities for inmates in the Buea Central Prison.

We also encouraged a social and friendly lifestyle among them while awarding the winners with some medals.

Pic: NV CEO and some dignitaries at the event awarding medals to players of various teams

New Visualization At Bonacanda; Empowering Youths For Sustainable Development

New Visualization once again strengthened the mindsets of Youths in Bonacanda village towards sustainable development through education, vocational skills development and basic business management training.

We believe that Providing the special needs of under privileged youths through awareness generation and capacity development is an invaluable investment for posterity.

New Visualization has and will always care for every class of people

New Visualization On Violent Fight Against Sexual And Gender Based Violence

New Visualization in a bid to curb sexual and gender based violence tendencies prior to vocational skills and entrepreneurship trainings, organised a capacity building workshop in Maumu village.

It featured a sensitization on women rights and the need for them to engage in income earning activities and be independent.

The picture above is a cross section of participants at this training.

New Visualisation believes that it is our moral obligation to state categorically clear that women and girls deserve to be treated with dignity in our communities and deserve to be empowered to empower others .

Gender equality in West Africa? The key role of social norms

Despite some progress, gender equality remains unfinished business worldwide, including in West Africa and particularly in the Sahel1. Such West African countries as Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone have closed the gender gap in primary school enrolment. However, youth (aged 15-24) illiteracy rate in Chad is still twice as high for women than for men. In Liberia, only one-third of girls were enrolled in secondary school in 2015. Women are increasingly represented in the Senegalese parliament, and the proportion of female MPs almost doubled in the last five years, from 23% in 2012 to 42% in 2017. Nevertheless, women’s equal political participation remains a major challenge throughout the region. Women in parliaments increased only marginally from 13% in 2007 to almost 16% in 2017, with wide disparities across countries ranging from 6% in Nigeria to 42% in Senegal.


Similarly, the basic rights of women and girls are denied.2 According to a new report published by the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat in collaboration with the Development Centre, one in four women lack reproductive autonomy or “the power to decide when, if at all, to have children.” This is due to unmet family planning needs along with low contraceptive use — 17% compared to 64% globally. Lack of basic infrastructure and public services exacerbates the burden of domestic and care work traditionally viewed as a female prerogative. On average, women spend six times more time than men on unpaid care work — cooking, cleaning, collecting water and firewood, and caring for children, the ill and the elderly. Again, ratios vary considerably across countries, ranging from 2 times more in Nigeria to 17 times more in Mali.

Confronted with these realities, one way West African governments are working to address gender inequality is by adopting national gender strategies and implementing legislative reforms. This is evident, for example, in the case of child marriage. All West African countries are signatories of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the African Youth Charter, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. These commitments match the political will behind national campaigns and action plans to end child marriage. Gambia’s Children’s Amendment Bill (2016) criminalises child marriage and betrothal and sentences those convicted of such offenses to 20 years in prison. Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Women, National Solidarity and the Family created a road map to fight child marriage through co-ordination, follow-up and monitoring, social mobilisation and advocacy, capacity-building and multi-sectoral responses.

However, passing laws and devising national strategies are not enough. Legal loopholes and customary practices often weaken women’s rights. Girls can still marry under the age of 18 in 11 West African countries. Even when legislation condemns this practice, these laws are usually weakened by customary legal systems, as seen in Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania and Nigeria. The prevalence of this practice remains a major concern in West Africa, since the rate of child marriage is more than double the world average of 13%. Indeed, 30% of girls aged 15-19 are either married, divorced, widowed or in a religious/customary  union. In Niger alone in 2016, this percentage reached 76%. When women marry early, they don’t go to school anymore, start having children and cannot engage in productive activities.

The situation of denying women their fundamental rights is thus costly for all. Ending child marriage in Niger could save the country more than USD 25 billion by 2030. Delaying marriage would have a large positive effect on the educational attainment of girls and their children, contribute to lower population growth, and increase women’s expected earnings and household welfare. Moreover, closing gender gaps in labour force participation would have significant macroeconomic consequences, with substantial income increases ranging from 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) in Ghana and Liberia to 31% of GDP in Nigeria.

So what can policy makers and citizens do? They must embrace the challenge of transforming social norms and allow West African women and men to benefit equally from development opportunities and economic growth. Discriminatory social norms weaken the implementation and efficiency of gender-sensitive policies, exposing women and girls to ongoing discrimination. For example, despite huge investments to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Burkina Faso, the rates remain notably high due to the practice’s social acceptance. Two-thirds of women have been victims of FGM, and while the majority of the population believes that this practice should be eradicated, 50% of men prefer marrying a circumcised woman.

Transforming discriminatory social norms requires a solid understanding of the political economy and territorial realities. These efforts must be endogenous: what we can do as outsiders is rather limited. Interventions are needed at regional, national and grassroots levels and require the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, including men and boys, to change attitudes on gender roles. For example, nationwide awareness-raising campaigns to address social stigma, condemn victim shaming and support survivors of gender-based violence have proven efficient. Benin’s Ministry of Family and National Solidarity coordinated 1 600 awareness-raising actions throughout the country. These have helped decrease the acceptance of domestic violence amongst the population: in 2001, 60% of women and 31% of men agreed that domestic violence is justified on certain grounds, compared to 16% of women and 15% of men in 2012. Legal reforms to protect women’s land rights can also be backed by legal literacy programmes to help women, families and communities understand their legal rights to property. In Ghana, spousal transfer agreement templates were piloted to reduce intra-family conflicts regarding land transfers after the death of a husband and included training to improve women’s legal literacy. This has helped to clarify women’s inheritance rights and establish community dialogues around land tenure and spousal rights. Ultimately, women and girls play a crucial part in the ongoing transformation and should no longer be perceived stereotypically as “victims” but rather as powerful agents of change.

How the Fight for Gender Equality Is Changing in 2018

In 2006, TIME magazine named “You” as the Person of the Year, recognizing the shift that had taken place on the internet. Users had become the drivers of the World Wide Web. YouTube made users producers, Wikipedia made users experts and MySpace made people stars. Users were tired of being passive so they stopped being the audience, and TIME’s cover headline read, “You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.” Nothing has been more true.

The same shift is happening now in the women’s movement.

Women have been fighting for equal rights for generations, for the right to vote, the right to control our bodies and the right to equality in the workplace. And these battles have been hard fought, but we still have a long way to go, and our victories are under threat. Equality in the workplace — women in a range of fields from domestic work to the entertainment industry can tell you — it’s still just a dream.

January 2017 marked a new moment for women as millions gathered around the country and the world, and launched our Web 2.0 of the women’s movement. We knew President Trump’s administration wasn’t going to listen to us. But we marched to be heard not by the president or a political party, but by one another.

While previous marches focused on specific issues, this time we wanted to raise them all. Years of activism by women organizers leading the Black Lives Mattermovement, the Dreamer immigrant youth movement and leaders like Tarana Burke, founder of “Me Too,” created a new foundation for how we understood and made connections between our different experiences with violence and inequality.

And we began to listen to our own stories, and respond, at scale. We heard women with disabilities share their health care stories at Town Hall meetings and we called Congress in unprecedented numbers to protect our care. We heard Susan Fowler’s year at Uber, and we called for accountability in Silicon Valley. We heard our sisters speak about harassment in the workplace and we named names and even got some out. We heard actresses tell of their casting couch experiences and we made The Weinstein Company toxic. Farmworkerwomen listened to women in Hollywood, and recognized their own stories in the courageous truth-telling they heard. Our capacity to listen exploded with the number of voices speaking until the cultural momentum of #MeToo became unstoppable.

And that’s when it happened. We stopped looking up, to those in power, and started looking around at the women standing beside us — from different backgrounds, working in different sectors, of different ethnicities, with different stories — and realized our strength is in our diversity not our singularity, and the power that we need to claim is our own.

We shifted from focusing on protesting laws to lifting each other up to become the lawmakers. Danica Roem is now the first transgender person to serve as a state legislator in the country. In fact, more women than ever have decided to throw their hats in the ring and run for public office. We grew tired of reporting sexual predators, so we, following the leadership of black women, went to the polls and voted for Roy Moore’s opponent.

We’re writing a new playbook for power. We are growing our organizations, taking over others and forming new ones. We’re working together, refusing to be isolated and doing what it takes to get the job done. Because that’s what women have always done.

We have seen the effects of this shift already in 2018. When yet another mass school shooting took place in Parkland, Florida we saw the rise of Emma Gonzalez, an 18 year-old student tired of the lack of action on gun control by the powers that be. At the Oscars last weekend, Frances McDormand invited producers to meet with all of the other female nominees because “we all have stories to tell and projects we need to be financed,” and called for “inclusion riders” to make sure storytelling is inclusive both in front of and behind the camera. Farmworkers and domestic workers, the two groups of women workers who have been the most systematically excluded from protections at work, are mobilizing to Washington, D.C. to demand new protections from sexual harassment for all women.

The message is loud and clear: We’ll take over from here, thanks. The rate things have been going, we’re certain we’ll do a better job. When Lev Grossman wrote the feature for TIME’s Person of the Year in 2006, he said, “It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.” The same is true of the power shift we are witnessing with women.

We are watching women create the world we want to live in — not only changing the world, but also changing the way the world works. This year Golden Globe attendees who are part of #TIMESUP invited activists, myself included, as their “plus ones” because they know this movement will only be successful when all women are successful.

This International Women’s Day is about every single woman. It’s about every LGBTQ woman and every woman of color, every Hollywood actress and every domestic worker, every woman who loses a job to an under-qualified man, every woman who has been assaulted because of her gender whether she works in the spotlight or in the shadows. Every last one of us.

We’re done with asking for things to change; we’re making change ourselves. And so far it looks pretty good. It’s only March, but every single woman is the Person of the Year. Welcome to our world.

Treating children with love

Children need our love. We have discovered that children understand well when they are being thought by a teachers that show them love and same thing applies to parents. So if we can treat them with love we will be sure of having a generation of potential leaders and a good tomorrow. so this program is to go about schools and gathering of parents to encourage and teach them the importance of treating their children with love, care and respect.

Acceptance on nonperformance basis

Acceptance on nonperformance basis is very essential for children because when they perceive that acceptance comes with performance, the whole contract changes.
Encourage your children and let them know that you love them and would not let anything come between you and them.
If your child fails an Exam and you go about shouting and showing how bad your child is, He/she will feel rejected. Look at that child as you and imagine you are the one standing on the school assembly grown waiting for your name to be called as one of the successful candidates and at the end you don’t hear your name how will you feel? And what will you expect of your parents? Love or rejection
instead of love when children fail parents get angry and reject their children.
Yes you will want to encourage, and go e your child all sort of good things but because of failure you punish and even disassociate from them.  Those are our natural inclinations but as parents you have to bulk them and apply the principle of unconditional love and bonding.
you have to sacrifice everything you love to override your emotions and disassociate your feelings about failure and consider your child separate as a person.
Always tell your children that you are proud of their perseverance and boldness in the face of defeat. You are a real champion to endure the frustration to keep trying and not giving up.
Parents/child relationship is far more important than the failure of your children.
Successful loving occurs only when people practice a policy of “Total acceptance towards one another”
Do whatever it takes to make children feel like you accept their total person.  If you deny this they will feel rejected.

Muutos for kids parenting team.
www.muutusforkids.com

 

Higher Math in Lower Grades: Hurting or Helping Kids?

Every parent wants to see her child keep up with peers, and these days that means taking algebra in the eighth grade. But sometimes we forget that algebra is a very demanding course, full of sophisticated and abstract ideas. Do students really need to take this higher math course in lower grades, or can it do them more harm than good?

There are two sides to the issue. Politicians like the idea of offering algebra in middle school. They argue that the world has sped up over the past generation; technology has gotten more complicated, ideas more complex. Why not introduce harder concepts at younger ages? In 2008, California lawmakers began a campaign to make algebra mandatory for eighth-graders, a shift that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger compared to President John F. Kennedy’s pledge to put a man on the moon.

Meanwhile, many researchers believe that middle school students aren’t ready for algebra. In a 2008 letter to the editor of The Ventura County Star, Professor of Education Dr. Bruce Mitchell argued against California’s proposal. His letter referenced the studies of Dr. Herman Epstein, who believed that the human brain has rapid growth periods and plateau periods where no growth seems to take place. For most students, the middle school years occur during a plateau stage, and Epstein argued that “the plateau stages were not optimal times for the introduction of new higher-level thought processes, particularly algebra, which eighth-grade students fail more than any other subject. Historically, algebra has been most often offered in grades 10 though 12. That occurs during the age 14-17 growth-spurt stage, when it’s OK to teach abstract reasoning concepts.”

After listening to these two sides, parents are forced to make a choice: trust the politicians who claim that our children need to take algebra at younger ages, or the researchers who think that our children need to wait. It can be hard to figure out the right path for your child.

 

To get some answers from a hands-on expert, I spoke with award-winning high school math teacher, Jerry Brodkey. Dr. Brodkey has a PhD from Stanford in Mathematics and Curriculum Education, and has taught math for thirty-one years. He had some definite opinions about the move to teach algebra at younger and younger ages.

The “normal” track for math classes has shifted down in the past ten years.

When Dr. Brodkey began teaching, the normal track was for students to take Algebra I in ninth grade, followed by three years of college-prep math. This worked well for most students, and there was always a way for a select group of students to get ahead by taking algebra in eighth grade and advance to Calculus by their senior year. But in the past ten years, Dr. Brodkey has seen “an explosion of students taking algebra in the eighth grade. In the past five years, I’d call it a super-explosion.” The normal track in many schools now has students taking algebra in the eighth grade.

The pressure to stay on the new “normal” track pushes students into math classes for which they are not ready.

Every year, Dr. Brodkey meets with parents whose freshmen have been appropriately placed in algebra. But want to know how they can accelerate their children onto the new “normal” track so they will reach AP Calculus by their senior year. In turn, Dr. Brodkey asks the parents whether the student wants to make this jump, or if it’s a parent-driven decision. He asks them to be careful: “When a student is pushed to take a class for which he is not ready, he rarely acquires a lifelong affinity for math. Instead, he develops a desire to get out of math classes as fast as possible.” He has found that when these students get to Calculus, they can struggle. They can do the first step in the problem, but not the next nine that require solid algebra skills.

Parents push their children onto this track because they think it’s necessary for college admissions.

Parents are feeling tremendous pressure about getting their children into college. They are seeing students with a 4.3 GPA get turned away from top universities, and they are desperate to find an advantage for their child. But from Dr. Brodkey’s perspective, pushing a child onto the Calculus track doesn’t always help: “I think that college admissions officers like to see a student with a solid foundation, effective communication skills, and a record of working well with others, not someone who has struggled to fit in an extra AP class.”

The move to introduce algebra in lower grades comes from politicians, not teachers.

Like many teachers, Dr. Brodkey questions the motives for California’s campaign for eighth grade algebra: “I think that this push is part of a political agenda to show rigor in the schools. I can’t see how it’s a positive; it’s not a student-centered decision. Any student can learn algebra, but the timing is critical.” Algebra is an extremely challenging course, even more so than Calculus. Teachers introduce a brand-new topic every three or four weeks, and expect complete mastery. Thirteen and fourteen-year-old students are still developing their emotional and organizational skills, and algebra is a course that punishes any immaturity a student may have.

Algebra can be taught at lower ages, if it’s introduced slowly.

Dr. Brodkey approves of the movement to layer algebraic concepts into early education. He asks his eight-year-old daughter questions like, “What number plus eight will make twelve?” He talks to his ten-year-old son about inequalities. But he feels that the traditional way algebra is taught now, with its demanding pace, is not appropriate for all middle school students. “Eighth grade algebra is fine for some students,” he says, “and there may even be one or two students per school who benefit from the increasing hyper-acceleration of algebra into the seventh grade. But to make it an expectation for all students is not doing them any good.”

The age at which a student takes algebra must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The age at which a student takes algebra is an important and individual decision, not one that should be made by blanket policies. Parents and teachers must work closely together to determine a student’s placement. If you’re a parent wondering whether to accelerate your student, there are some clues to look for. Algebra-ready kids are:

If you think your child is struggling in any one of these three areas, you can do him a favor by waiting another year before enrolling him in algebra. Placing your child in the right math class will teach him to feel successful and confident about his math skills. But pushing him up when he’s not yet ready can bring on a case of math anxiety that will last for a lifetime.

Inclusive Education

A year ago, Igliassu could not even walk because one of his legs was much shorter than the other. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD helped him enrol in an inclusive school together with his peers.

Igliassu is playing with his school friends

Inclusive education is schooling for the vast majority of children within a mainstream system, where all children – including those with disabilities – are given the opportunity and support to learn together in the same classroom.

Education for everyone

Nine out of ten children with disabilities are out of school, and 80 percent of all children with disabilities live in developing countries. They are often excluded from education and society due to physical, ideological, systemic, or communication barriers.

LIGHT FOR THE WORLD strives for a school system that leaves no-one behind. We want to provide an improved quality of education for everyone. We support 20 inclusive education programmes in partner countries such as Burkina FasoEthiopiaSouth SudanNorth East India and Papua New Guinea.

Why does the world need inclusive education?

Because it is outrageous that more than 32 million children with disabilities in developing countries are out of school. That’s more than three times the entire population of Sweden!  Being out of education denies this group the ability to make friends, to learn how to read and write, and to master the skills that are crucial for future employment.

If we do not fight this injustice, we will remain light-years away from the Sustainable Development Goals target to ensure a quality education for all by 2030.

What we do

  • We help children with disabilities enrol in school
  • We assist in making school buildings and infrastructure accessible
  • We train teachers in special needs education, and provide adequate learning and teaching materials
  • We promote inclusive education on national and international levels

Isn’t inclusive education very expensive?

Contrary to what many believe, inclusive education is less costly than ‘special’ or ‘segregated’ education. In Pakistan, for instance, UNESCO found that special schools were 15 times more expensive per pupil than mainstream schools which include children with disabilities. Evidence from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal and the Philippines also suggests that the returns on investing in education for people with disabilities are two to three times higher than for those without disabilities.

How can it work on a larger scale?

Our pilot project in Garango, Burkina Faso, achieved an increase in the number of children with disabilities attending school from 4% in 2009 to more than 60% just five years later. The pilot showed that even in challenging environments with extremely limited resources, children with disabilities can take part in a quality education system which helps everyone achieve their full potential.

In 2016, we helped more than 9,000 children with disabilities to attend school in Burkina Faso and other countries.