Why Foreign Aid is Important for the Children of Africa

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Africa is geographically the second most populous continent in the world with a population of 1.2 billion people. For a long period now, Africa has been a center of global humanitarian efforts, with aid being channeled into the elevation of human suffering from various adversities. No doubt Africa needs foreign to help its citizens live modest and suffering-free lives. Of all the possible reasons why Africa needs foreign aid, two, in particular, stand out.

Poor economic profile

African countries have for long been struggling to maintain a sound economic profile that can support its citizens to maintain modest lives. The countries, however, pelted by adverse economic profiles and severely impaired production of goods and services, are unable to achieve this objective. Little is produced in African countries that can be exported into other countries of the world to support a balance of trade. Being unable to produce goods and services, therefore, implies that most countries in the continent have their citizens live below as a single dollar per day in terms of income and expenditure.

African countries’ economies are therefore significantly impaired to support incomes for the 1.2 billion residents. Most African countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Mozambique heavily rely on foreign financial aid. These countries have their annual budgets financed up to 50% by foreign aid. Failure to locate foreign aid to such developing countries would imply a major economic downturn that would plunge millions of citizens into abject poverty.

Alleviation of suffering

African countries are faced with other adversities of various dimensions ranging from diseases to natural calamities. Disease is a major issue that affects African countries, prompting the need for humanitarian intervention. Conditions such as measles and polio that are regarded eradicated from other parts of the world are still considered prominent in Africa.

With such a poor economic profile, African countries are unable to inject the necessary resources required to combat such diseases effectively. Aid in the form of vaccines, medication, healthcare infrastructure, and healthcare aid workforce has to be channeled to African countries for the governments to keep up with the rising demand for expenditure in healthcare service provision. Without such foreign aid, African citizens would continue dying of mild and curable conditions such as malaria.

Also, more than half of African landscape is covered by desert and semi-desert conditions which cannot support agricultural production. Food is therefore scarce, leaving millions exposed to hunger while thousands die of the same annually. The continent, therefore, needs attention in the form of foreign aid.

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With this in mind, please consider giving to the Ebenezer Foundation. A donation of $85 can feed and educate a child for an entire month. The foundation feeds a total of 452 children a day. All 100% of the donations go directly to the children. To donate today, click here!

from Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Website https://ift.tt/2PGHYkg

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How Attorneys Can Give Back This Holiday Season

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

Who knows what exactly it is, but we can all agree that there is a particular type of magic in the air during the holidays. People gain patience, offer compassion, and smiles can be seen in all directions. So naturally, the holidays are a time when people want to give back to their community and to those who are less fortunate.

The feeling of giving back is so widespread that many states have created different coalitions, programs, and opportunities for attorneys to give back through pro-bono work. For example, just last December, over 50 lawyers came together to learn about becoming pro bono volunteers in Baltimore at the American Bar Association’s Homeless Youth Legal Network Pro Bono. Equipping attorneys of different types of law with cultural competency training on youth issues, such as trauma, homelessness, and more, the Homeless Youth Initiative (HYI) provides ongoing support to lawyer-client relationships in efforts of creating sustainable change.

In Chicago, the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) coordinates several volunteer programs for lawyers to give back to the community and gain pro bono experience. Current programs include the Dear Santa Letter Campaign, Law Week, Wills for Heroes, Serving Our Seniors, and more.

The DC Pro Bono Center has a volunteer interest form where attorneys can sign up to receive monthly emails announcing pro bono training and opportunities in D.C. The website also offers pro bono programs for individuals, firms, non-bar members, and more.

The Massachusetts Bar Association boasts the importance of volunteering to Massachusetts attorneys. On the MassBar website, there are currently 15 programs listed for attorneys to give back and increase connections within the attorney volunteer community. MassProBono.org is another website designed to help lawyers efficiently find pro bono work that fits their schedule.

The avenues for giving back are endless. Outside of enrolling in state and company programs, here are a few more ways to get involved and share the holiday spirit:

  • Sponsor a cause. This could mean donating money or time to a foundation or charity or recruiting the whole firm to do some meaningful work for a worthwhile cause.
  • Get On Board. A great way to give back to the community is by volunteering to serve as the legal professional for a non-profit organization. It is a fundamental role that every nonprofit need.
  • Immigrants. Nothing reminds you of the importance of family like the holidays. Use those fuzzy-good feelings to help get a detained immigrant home to their family. The American Immigrant Lawyers Association is seeking volunteers to represent undocumented citizens in immigration court.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton | Lawyer & Volunteer https://ift.tt/2QqLqnz

Volunteerism in Action: Ashley Hrenak

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Post

The Ebenezer Foundation is a United States-based 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization which provides support to the Ebenezer Child Care Trust in Zambia, Africa. This organization serves impoverished and orphaned children living in Livingstone through the assistance of donor contributions. Its mission not only carries out the work of saving, raising, and educating children, but also works to provide the children the opportunity to live a better and more productive life. The foundation serves the community by supporting and operating an orphanage, primary school, and farm.

Volunteers all over the world comprise the Ebenezer Foundation; they provide funding and also volunteer their time. While some volunteers are already based in Africa, many travel to Zambia to provide service and to cultivate relationships with the volunteers and children in Livingstone.

Texas A&M University student, Ashley Hrenak, recently joined the organization’s cause and traveled to Zambia to volunteer with the Ebenezer Child Care Trust.

When describing her visit Ashley shared the impact of her experience: “This past July, I traveled over 24 hours to a small school called Ebenezer. I didn’t have the slightest clue what to expect upon arrival, though there would have been no way to prepare my heart for all of the love, joy, singing, dancing, beauty, and smiles that would greet me with open arms. Ebenezer has completely changed my life. I came to Livingstone, Zambia knowing no one and somehow left with over 400 beautiful, compassionate, smart, humble, God loving friends.”

“These kids have given me far more than I could have ever given them. They have touched my heart and taught me more than 14 years of school could have ever taught me. God has blessed me in the most beautiful way possible and I thank Him, with all my heart, for showing me this oasis of love. I am in love with Ebenezer and cannot wait to return.” She concludes fondly, “Zikomo Ebenezer.”

Foundation volunteers support all of the U.S-based Ebenezer Foundation’s administrative costs. As a result, the organization takes pride in its ability to pledge all of its donations to the Ebenezer Child Care Trust.

from Marilyn Gardner Milton | Volunteering https://ift.tt/2Nrw9Ba

Everyone Can Benefit from Going to Law School

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

Some may argue that going to law school isn’t for everyone. I would disagree. No matter what you wish to do with your career, attending law school is something that can benefit every American both personally and professionally. Here are just a few of the benefits that come from the three years of law school studies.

Knowing your rights
This may be the biggest benefit of attending law school. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you thought “is this legal?” or “what are my rights on this situation?” By attending a law school, you can answer these questions for yourself instead of having to seek out and pay for a lawyer. There are many circumstances where knowing your rights can play out in your favor. As an American citizen, a tenet, an employee, or any other facet of life, knowing the law can help you from making a quick assumption that might end in consequential results.

Ability to stand up for injustice
The pursuit of becoming a lawyer can help you in knowing what is legal and what isn’t. For example, many people who receive a parking ticket will grumble about the ticket (who doesn’t when they see those pesky white slips tucked under the windshield wiper) but then give in to paying the fee. By attending law school, you will know the read the small print on everything, even things like parking tickets. By no means are you above the law because you have your J.D., but you will know how to interpret the law and use it to your advantage.

Negotiation skills
The three years of prep for becoming a lawyer will surely prepare you for any argument or negotiation for the rest of your life. Everything in life is negotiable. In your professional career, this could mean knowing how to ask for a raise and what counter-argument you can give if you’re denied. Personally, it helps you understand both sides of situations which can aid in strengthening all of your relationships.

Effective communication
If you’ve known anyone who’s been to law school, you’ll know how much their courses require communication in the form or writing and speaking. These classes are designed to help future lawyers be purposeful in the way they communicate with others. Things like strategy and alternative outcomes are things most people don’t always consider, but spend a few years in law school and you’ll begin to think about these each time you’re connecting with a friend or colleague.

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Inspirational Commencement Speeches: Former President Obama

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Former President Obama spoke at the Barnard College 2012 commencement ceremony. He began his speech by comparing the class that sat in front of him to his graduating class of 1983 from Barnard’s sister school, Columbia University.

Much like those of 1983, these young graduates were about to set out into a world where the United States was still recovering from a severe economic recession. A recession which claimed more than five million jobs. They saw their parents putting off their retirement; watched friends who had already graduated struggling to find employment. The picture of their future is concerning and unsure, especially as women in a world that has yet to fully offer equal pay for equal work. Even with the plethora of growth of opportunities for women in the past three decades, there are still so many struggles women have to endure.

Obama goes on to encourage the class of 2012 to have a can-do spirit which is the lifeblood of American history. Not all Americans are fortunate enough to receive the skills and training this class of graduates had received at Barnard, but with their help, one day that will no longer be the case.

The challenges we face will always be solvable, but the question is whether we can bring forth the changes that we need. That will to bring about change in our own lives, in institutions, and politics lives inside each of us. Women are no longer just half of the population; they’re now half of the workforce. Thanks to the long strides of women before them, female graduates are now shaping not only their destiny but the destinies of all those across the globe.

Do more than just getting involved. We are a nation that is more than static; we are dynamic. Our focus is faced forwards, not back. New doors are opening every day, and you must seize these opportunities. Not everyone has been given the opportunities that lie ahead for the recent college graduates, so it’s imperative that these opportunities are acted upon when presented.

Lead by example and never underestimate the power that this holds. Earning a degree opens so many new possibilities. A great way to give back is by encouraging another young girl to earn her degree as well. Become a role model, be someone’s mentor. Until you’re able to imagine yourself as what you wish to become, you won’t be able to achieve it.

What the last piece of advice Obama offers is to persevere because nothing worthwhile will ever come easily. Failure is inevitable but what sets apart those who eventually succeed is the ability to learn from failure and refusal to quit.

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Inspirational Commencement Speeches: Joyce DiDonato

Marilyn Gardner Milton’s Latest Blog Entry

I stumbled upon a list of the greatest graduation speeches of all time the other day. I spent the next few hours listening to all of these inspiring speakings and reflecting on the inspiration it provided to me. I couldn’t keep all of this inspiration to myself, so I’m going to write about it for all of you to read.

The first speech I listened to was by Joyce DiDonato, a great American opera singer. She spoke at Juilliard School’s graduation in 2014 to a class she named ambitious, adventurous, courageous, and talented. Her speech settled around the fact that no one truly ever knows where their journey will lead them, but if they rely on the four truths she’s learned throughout her career, one will always be able to find their center and reset themselves. These are the four truths.

1. You will never make it.
Her blunt delivery of this first, brutal truth took back the audience; however, she goes on to explain that this shouldn’t be interpreted as bad news, but instead fabulous, outstanding news. You’ll never make it because there is no “it.” If you’re always searching for the destination, you will miss out on the journey, and that is what life is all about. You hold an expectation so high in your mind that you will almost always fall short.

2. The work will never end.
Imagine being a student and hearing this dreadfully daunting truth at your commencement, after years and years of hard work. It’s intimidating. DiDonato reveals this truth to inform graduates that the work they plan to do after graduation can become overwhelming, whether it’s unexpected rapid success or heart-wrenching devastating failure. To find their center again, they must go back to the only thing that makes sense, their talent in their work. This is what will bring them solace and truth.

3. It’s not all about you.
This is a lesson many must learn the hard way, and it can be very humbling. Once you’ve learned to accept this truth, it’s empowering and freeing. DiDonato says “glory will always be transitory and will disappear as fleetingly and as arbitrarily as it arrived.

4. The world needs you.
Every individual in this world matters; no one is invisible. DiDonato reminds us to laugh, to play, to fly, and to stop taking everything so seriously. We’re all in this together, and we need to recapture the hope of living in peace with each other so we can thrive together in a vibrant way where each of us grows in wonder and joy.

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Volunteering in Boston, Massachusetts

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The magic of this time of year often leads us to feel a personal responsibility to help others in need. Whether you’re volunteering your time or donating your hard earned money, the feeling of helping others is a feeling like no other. If you’re looking for ways to volunteer this holiday season in the Boston area, consider these local charities.

Christmas in the City (CITC)
This non-profit organization has been bringing smiles to the children of Boston since 1989. For the thousands of kids and their families who are experiencing the stress of poverty and homelessness, the volunteers of Christmas in the City, along with Santa, throw an annual holiday party to bring the holiday magic back and give the kids the “best day of their lives.” If you can’t fit this volunteering opportunity into your busy holiday schedule, the CITC hold fundraising events throughout the year for the next holiday season.

Boston Children’s Hospital
The vision of the Boston Children’s Hospital is simple: “Dream, Dare, Deliver.” With over 275,000 patients each year, this hospital dreams of curing each child, dares to ask the hard questions that don’t have an easy answer, and delivers with new ways of healing. There are many ways to give to help make a world of difference.

The Greater Boston Food Bank
As a member of Feeding America, the Greater Boston Food Bank has fed over 142,000 people on a monthly basis across 190 cities and towns throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Sign up to volunteer as a group or an individual to help work in the warehouses to inspect, sort and package foods for the hungry.

Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons is another non-profit organization looking to help the 400,000 children in the state of Massachusetts who live in poverty. They sponsor local drop-offs where people can donate their lightly used clothing, shoes, toys, and books. If you’re looking to volunteer your time, you can make a difference at The Giving Factory, where volunteers inspect, sort, and package the donated goods.

The Ebenezer Foundation
As one of the board members, this organization holds a place near and dear to my heart. The Ebenezer Foundation is a not-for-profit U.S.-based organization that provides aid to the orphaned children living in the city of Livingstone in Zambia, Africa. The foundation operates an orphanage, a school, a farm, and a community food program. If you wish to donate to this cause, you can visit the website here.

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