- To visit schools and advise on how best to provide education to marginalized communities.
- To visit Community Empowerment Programs that seek to provide economic growth and build Women's leadership skills.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala
In the DALIT communities, also known as Untouchables, the illiteracy level is at 63%. Most of the population are seasonal day laborers in the agri-fields of rich landlords. When not working in the fields, they migrate to towns to earn money. The monthly average earning is $3 for women and $4 for men. Members of these communities often live in the outskirts of villages because of their history and social status as outcasts and untouchables.
The Women Empowerment program has women doing various trades with loans that they have to pay back, kind of like the "NJANGI" system. Women organize themselves into groups, which explains the "uniforms" they are wearing in the pictures. (See Above Left and Photo Album.) At the end of the visit, the women convened in one big hall to meet with Dr. FIELDING-KAMBOU and share how their lives have been impacted.
ABOUT SCHOOLS VISITED:
They were all One-room schools. All grades, 1 through 5, receive instruction in one room with one teacher. The teacher takes turns teaching the students of each grade. The grades that are not receiving instruction, have to sit idly and quietly and wait for their turn.
(Note, however, that there is a graduate of the one-room school who is now an engineering student!!!!)
Says Class of 1984's Dr. PATIENCE FIELDING KAMBOU to sum it all up:
"It is also worth noting that India has a rich upper class and caste system; …a highly developed system especially in Technology…(Google's CEO is a first generation Indian…go figure!) But the caste system is still so ingrained in the society so much so that the DALITS are still heavily discriminated against. Their yoke is indeed heavy. The work I do focuses mostly on these marginalized groups."
If that isn't putting a "DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN EDUCATION, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT"to FORMIDABLE use, then pray, tell me what is!!!!
THANK HEAVEN FOR YOU, DOC & FOR ALL OTHERS WHO CARE ENOUGH TO GO WAY OUT OF THEIR WAY AND COMFORT ZONE TO HELP THE UNDERPRIVILEGED!!! Even PROUDER of you now, "DODOKIDO" Extraordinaire!!!
Back in 2013 when she graduated from the renowned and prestigious UCLA, this was the statement/caption I posted to go along with the picture ABOVE, LEFT:
"INTRODUCING Dr. PATIENCE FIELDING!!! (Class of '84)
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN EDUCATION, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT,
Being hooded by her Advisor, Prof. Claire Kramsch. on Sunday May 19 2013!
Now, here's the kind of HOOD that will take anyone out of that other "HOOD"!!
CONGRATULATIONS OHHHHHHHHH, MA PATIENCE, My very own "DODOKIE"!!!!!
(I can tell you are doing a "semi-squat" to enable this quite-tall-herself Prof get that hood over your head and around your neck!!)"
I still stand by what I wrote 5 years ago, BUT not ALL of it!!!! After her trip last March to the MARGINALIZED and HIGHLY UNDERPRIVILEGED people of INDIA's DALIT COMMUNITY, I would have to admit that the HOOD she got from UCLA, did actually take her to "THAT OTHER HOOD", not to get lost or sucked into it, but to LEND A HELPING HAND!!!
passed away on Sunday, May 1st 2016 and was laid to rest on Saturday, May 21st 2016.
Featuring first on the list of those she was survived by on the program, was her husband, Mr. Chris Emeka Okafor, who, as this Obituary above right from THE STAR LEDGER shows, also passed away less than 2 years after, on January 29 2018, and was laid to rest on Saturday, February 17 2018.
On hand to lend her their moral and physical support were S.T.A. Representatives - CLASS OF 1988's Pam Tah Nyambi and CLASS OF 1974's Dr. Nessie Ndive.
May God rest Mr. Okafor's soul and comfort the bereaved family.
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW ALBUM
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW
A FEW MORE PICTURES
CLASS OF '85 SOLIDARITY HANGING OUT ACROSS 3 CONTINENTS ...
Class of '85 in LIMBE, Cameroon
Class of '85 in GEORGIA, U.S.A.
Class of '85 in London, U.K.
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW ALBUM
In the very polarized world we live in nowadays where there is so much, (both REAL and IMAGINED), that could and does DIVIDE and SEPARATE any 2 individuals or groups of people, it is pretty heartwarming to see a SET of women be able to find common ground and choose to "HANG OUT" and just HAVE FUN - as CLASSMATES!
WAY TO GO, CLASS OF '85!!! This GRAND DULONG is mighty proud of you!!
- THE CLASS OF '85 GEORGIA RENDEZVOUS had them coming in from DALLAS, D.C., BOSTON, MINNESOTA, VIRGINIA, etc. to celebrate their friendship and their first CARAT's 30th Birthday. Since none of them looks a day older than 22, I dare not say what I heard through the BANGA SCHOOL VINE, which is that there were some 50th Birthdays to celebrate. (It ain't from my mop that you heard any such fallacy!!)
-THE CLASS OF '85 LIMBE HANGOUT was, in fact, the CLASS OF '85 February meeting in which the members exchanged GIFTS to mark VALENTINE'S DAY!!!
- As for THE CLASS OF '85 LONDON MEET, I would have to say the CARATS and GRAND CARAT present practically stole the show from the 2 CLASS OF '85-ers present!
HOME BASE CLASS OF '87 "OWELE DIVAS" COMPLETE THE CONTINENTAL CIRCLE ...
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW ALBUM
As the collage above indicates, the whole OWELE DIVA 30 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP Celebration kicked-off in NORTH AMERICA with the August 2017 Celebration in BOSTON, MA.
It then moved across the GREAT BIG POND to EUROPE with the OCTOBER 2017 Celebration in the UNITED KINGDOM.
Anyone who thought that the close of 2017 marked the end of the "OWELE-ITY" was grossly mistaken, because the CLASS OF 1987 DIVAS based in CAMEROON decided the celebration was far better done late, than not at all!
They, therefore, went all out - as in CUSTOMIZED CAKE, HAWAIIAN LEIS around their necks, CHILLING in DOWN BEACH, some serious RED, BLACK & WHITE SEKELE in a location that is yet to be disclosed and a whole set of "ONE KINDS": Customized Orange T-Shirts, White T-Shirts and ANKARA FABRIC with styles that must have caused the tailors and seamstresses who made them to take at least 2 weeks leave to REST!!!
WELL DONE oh, Little Sisters!
LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, my dears!!!
SAKERETTES OF DALLAS (S.O.D.)
The SAKERETTES OF DALLAS meeting which took place on Sunday, February 25th 2018 was an ALL RED meeting in celebration of Valentines Day and Secret Sister/Bonding Sister Gift Exchange.
In addition, SOD is doing a 90 day body makeover which Started December 26th 2017 and so, 2 months into the challenge, members came and showed their new, slimmer figures and received gifts from The Coach, Dr. Aba Takusi Makia. AIN'T THAT COOL??!!!
PLEASE CLICK TO VIEW ALBUM
WOMEN'S DAY 2018 TIDBITS
Dr. ESTELLA NKWATE ATEKWANA ('78)
DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE
COLLEGE OF EARTH, OCEAN & ENVIRONMENT
(FELLOW of the GSA (Geological Society of America) and recipient of the SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS (SEG)'s OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD)
Ms KATE LIFANDA ('75)
Expert in International Development, Girls and Women's Rights, Social Entrepreneur and Leadership Development
Nonprofit Organization Management
Greater New York City Area
International Women’s Day: How To Bring Meaning And Effect Real Change In The Lives Of Women
Ms KATE LIFANDA
I like the fact that we have an International Women’s Day which is globally recognized as a day to focus on women’s rights. On this day we have conferences, speeches, discussions etc. mostly at the international level and by women with a certain level of prominence or visibility. As I watch these events, I have often wondered how it impacts the lives of ordinary women. How do the women in developing countries celebrate this day?
Take Mariam for example, she was married to a man with three other wives who recently left her and replaced her with a younger woman. She has five children and under the current family law neither Mariam nor her children are adequately provided for. Her children have dropped out of school because she cannot afford the basic school supplies and her oldest daughter who just turned thirteen has been betrothed to an older man by her father. To make ends meet Mariam gets up at the crack of dawn, goes to her farm, harvests a few vegetables and takes them to the market. She is lucky if she makes enough to buy food for the children on that day. Mariam has heard of International Women's’ Day. For her it means putting on a uniform and marching joyously with other women. It means a day free from her daily routine. It means a day to eat, drink and be merry. It means the one day when she can take to the streets. But for Mariam this is not the day when she can hold the government, her husband, children, family and herself accountable for improving her well-being.
I don’t object to merry making but I believe a day set aside to focus on women’s rights should be used to showcase women’s achievements and challenges. Many women in developing countries are still deprived of their fundamental human rights. Certainly, speeches and discussions are important. But where are Mariam and women like her in these discussions? Why are we speaking for her when we hardly know her story? Why can’t we help Mariam understand what her rights are and stand shoulder to shoulder with her to advocate for those rights? If Mariam knew how to make her life better and had someone to help her advocate for them, I am sure she would rather be handing a petition for equal rights to the President of the Republic as opposed to dancing in the streets on March 8th.
Perhaps what we should do is support a grassroots movement for women’s rights and empowerment, assessing their situation and identifying their needs from the local to the national levels with every women’s group or association. These needs would be summarized and presented to the national authorities who are able to enact policies with respect to the needs identified. Suppose that on March 8th, these women organize a program at the different levels of government to outline their findings and advocate for their rights. Imagine the impact of such a coordinated, well planned approach with a follow-up action plan to ensure that any changes that are promised are enacted.
We cannot, nor should we speak for Mariam and other women in developing countries. Empowerment or change is long lasting if it originates from the beneficiary herself. We can help women enjoy their human rights by creating a conducive environment where laws protect women as much as they do men, where women have access to quality education, timely and quality healthcare, and can obtain justice where there is injustice as well as speak for themselves. Yes, each woman speaking for herself. On this day we need to mobilize men and women, families and communities to advocate for those rights that are still denied to women. We need the ordinary woman to take the podium and shine a light into her life for the world to see. Then the rest of us will realize how much still needs to be done. Hopefully, we will join her to make a better world for her and her family.
Ms Kate Lifanda
Grand Dulong, Ms Kate Lifanda (right), her Petite, Ms Eirene Tamajong (center), and her grand petite, Ms Kidi Ntuba Makia (left)
(New York ~ 2013)
Ms Kate Lifanda welcomed by our SAKERETTE/Cameroonian Sisters in Windhoek, NAMIBIA.
L to R: Esther Kaapanda, (Namibian Sister who was in Cameroon but not at SBC), Marie Owino Junias Ameya ('87?) Ndeshi Hangula Shikwambi ('84), LATE Eunice Mayumbelo ('82), Sis Kate Lifanda ('76), Beatrice Mbatangtang, (Cameroonian living in Namibia with her Dr husband)
Brightening the very significant ACADEMIC corner where she is on INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!!!
The TWEETS say it all ...
SAKERETTES AROUND THE WORLD ON IWD 2018
PUTTING THE "INTERNATIONAL" in "INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY"!
MA'A "INDIRA" SAKERPRIDE, gives the day a "PIYA, PIYA, PIYA" flavor, with heartfelt THANKS to CLASS OF 1966 PIONEER,
MA MONIQUE AKOACHERE FOCHO
who,in the midst of her intensive, life-changing medical trip to INDIA back in 2015, still found time to think of BLESSING SOMEONE ELSE!! WHAT A LESSON!!
CLASS OF 2003's AKAM ANYANGWE MEJAME ON IWD 2018
The very first time Class of 2003's STUDENT #4385, AKAM ANYANGWE MEJAME was featured on SakerPride, it was because she had just gotten married, back in December of 2015 to Mr. Derrick MEJAME, in Limbe.
The second time, it was to report and celebrate the TRIPLE BLESSING that was bestowed on the Young Couple on January 3rd 2017, and the INCREDIBLE, SCIENCE-DEFYING, GOD-EXALTING circumstances surrounding the event. ( See http://www.sakerpride.com/KUDOS.html ;Testimony Video re-posted below)
All along, I had never thought to ask what THE TRIPLE MANYI did for a living oh! You can then imagine how DELIGHTED and PROUD I was when I discovered, upon going to send her a message to check on the TRIPLETS, I noticed the following, simple descriptive phrase regarding her position and occupation that says more than enough : Senior IT Technical Support Engineer at ORACLE. (No less!!!)
GRAND as all of that is, the GLEE I felt instantly went up a trillion notches, when I saw the TOTALLY CUTE PICTURES of the babies' First Birthday that I have posted here, (below), and the others she sent me which were taken just last week! (Posted Above).
With regard to IWD 2018, here's the OH-SO-TRUE statement she made, which I know rings true for MANY Women, especially for those who work outside the home, and who occupy positions "traditionally" held by MEN
"We really are up against tremendous battles. We are held to different standards by a lot of people. We are considered cute instead of serious. And when we are serious, we’re considered scary. And so, you know, you’re too serious. You’re too professional. You become a threat. And so it’s at this point where you really just have to be You.
Happy International Women's Day to all of my #FemaleHustlers
Read that and thought to myself: Samida, Samara & Haven are 3 "WOMEN-IN-THE-MAKING" who are blessed to have a role model for a MOM! Wouldn't you agree? GODSPEED & GOD BLESS, MOM, DAD & TRIPLETS!!!
Samida, Samara & Haven the day they finally made it home from the hospital! (March, 2017)