Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dear Young Nigerian Professionals,
NiPRO, Paradigm Initiative of Nigeria (PIN) and Korean Internet Volunteers (KIVs) hosted the International Youth Networking Day again at The Triangle, facilitating networking on International Youth day (August 12, 200. The three organisations were introduced by their representatives.
The event brought together young professionals from various walks of life. We had three countries represented at the meeting, namely, North Korea, United States of America and Nigeria. The national anthems of the three countries were sung. It was truly inspirational hearing again the North Koreans and the American singing their national anthems.
Participants were thrilled with a short video of the project put together by PIN while Mr. Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of PIN gave an overview of the project and a short talk on the theme of the event : Young and Enterprising.  It was another opportunity for business cards to be exchanged and participants wished one another a happy international youth day. Shortly after, Mr. V. Gotevbe, compere of the event shared his experience about USA and their strict visa requirements, and also how the KIVs can take the message back to their government on the way that some of the companies owned by Asians (with North Korea inclusive) treat Nigerian employees as slaves in Nigeria.
In responding to the strict measures meted out to Nigerians on visa procurement,  Mr. Russ Richards of AFRINVEST, said he also experienced such from the Nigerian Embassy and that Nigerians get more visas from the US consulate than any other country in Africa. There after he spoke about what his company do in Nigeria and answered queries from participants.
The KIVs were given a thank you song and received handshakes from participants since they leave this week for their country. The event eventually came to an end with participants networking.
We say thank you to Mr. Kayode Johnson for helping us with the logistics and to the Management of Triangle for making the event a huge success.

Victor Gotevbe
General Manager

Nigeria - journey of the team travelling from Lagos to Abuja.

Nigeria - journey of the team travelling from Lagos to Abuja.

Belarus July/August 2007

All visits to Belarus are special, some are great but this visit defied description regarding being with my friends, learning so much and building foundations for future projects and programmes. All of the discussed projects fall into the categories education, science and culture.

In this small report I will attempt to paint a picture of my experiences but more importantly to educate those who may not know where Belarus is and are under a blanket of misconception.

A Ray of Hope attempts to celebrate the positive as does this report.

Unusually my stay began with visits to the dachas of my friends - there experiencing the exceptional company, relating past experiences and eating the most tasty of food. Also enjoying  banya and been "well beaten" by oak branches in the interests of health. 

At the dacha, the letter from Prof. Alec Boksenberg, chairman of the UK's National Commission for UNESCO, to Anna Nikoliev the Director of the Art and Music School No 2 was translated and well received. The children and teachers  of Mozyr will continue to provide the paintings for the presentations for our National Commission conference and thank Prof. Boskenberg for his kind sentiments. In 2006 and 2007 the children's paintings from Mozyr were used as presentations from the UK's National Commission for UNESCO  to our visiting dignitaries.

Dacha listen  (Russian: да́ча) is a Russian word for seasonal or year-round second homes located in the exurbs of Soviet and Russian cities. It is usually occupied part of the year by its owner or rented out to urban residents as a summer retreat. Dachas are very common in Russia, and are also widespread in some former republics of the Soviet Union.

Banya (Russian: баня) is a traditional Russian steam bath. The banya is not as hot as the Finnish sauna, but what it lacks in temperature is compensated by pouring more water over the stones of the stove, creating steam and higher humidity. Studies have shown that the high-heat and method of producing steam in a Russian banya vaporises the water to a smaller particles, implying a more effective vaporisation, which is meant to impart a more pervasive heating than can be achieved with other saunas, and feels dryer than Finnish saunas

My last visit to the Mozyr Region had initiated discussions with the Ecological Centre and we were able to progress our projects for the forthcoming year. The Ecological centre is affiliated to A Ray of Hope and already involved with other global friends in a water project which will be part of our celebrations of World Peace Day in September. Children in Belarus,  Pakistan, Nepal, Brazil, United Kingdom and Nigeria ( and others) will participate in this joint project. Thanks to Pictorial Charts Educational Trust and Craigavon Discovery Centre we were able to furnish the centre  with educational resources on water, rivers, pollution and related topics. To the rear of the Ecological Centre they had developed the open air exhibits area and it had taken on a magical and  very calming aura. The Ecological Centre intend over the coming months to continue with the water project, develop a programme of study on flowers, commence forestry education and promote awareness of the dangers of HIV/Aids. Time at the centre made me ponder on the relevance of many of the ASP Net projects and now believe that a bank of more concrete and appropriate  topics should be considered to operate in tandem with those topic areas already nominated.

Nestled in the southern part of Belarus, in the Gomel Region, close to the border with Ukraine, is the jewel of a town called Narowlya, (pronounced similar to Narovlya). Several visits and excursions with the Mayor (Chairman) of the town, his deputy and other directors were both exciting and productive. Their desire to promote the UNESCO ethos, become involved with international issues, and in general develop friendships for the benefit of their inhabitants was both interesting and inspiring. In the months to follow there will be many more developments and news from Narowlya. Many aspects of these excursions will stay with me including the tour of the cultural museum,  the wonderfully dedicated curator Toya, of the Military Exhibits and the visit to the "forest of the partisans". I must proffer my thanks to all those who made by days in Narovlya so memorable.

The people of Belarus, are talented and enthusiastic and always proud of their achievements. They, as I have mentioned in previous reports, probably do not realise how good they actually are in global terms. 

The photograph galleries of  the Dance School, Kindergarten School 21 and Home for Little Children cannot adequately show the level of achievement but they do paint a common picture of much caring and endeavour.

Many new friends with much work now to complete.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dear Young Professionals,
Young Professionals for Integrity (YoPIN) is four days away in the Federal Capital territory. This is an event you cannot afford to miss. It is however exclusively for only thirty (30) people.
Please all registered participants coming by road to Abuja should please drop off at Sabon Lugbe bus stop along Airport Road but if by air, from the Airport the taxi will just take you to Ultimate Guest House reserved for NiPRO members. You pay for your room at the hotel. Please call Ella for directions (08068334020). Please if you are leaving from Lagos please ensure you get to us on or before Wednesday, August 8, 2007.
The primary aim is to develop attitudes that will help young Nigerians in building integrity, transparency and accountability both in private and public life through civic education and mentorship.

DATE:  Saturday, August 11, 2007
            11, NIAFOUNKE STREET,
            NEAR ACCESS BANK,
            WUSE II, ABUJA.
Speakers  include:

Professor Emeka Okoli, Ph. D.
Managing Partner/CEO
Raybourne & Dean Consulting Ltd, Abuja
Topic: Be the 'You' that you are.
Sam Archibong
Head, Corporate Communications
National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA)
Topic: Integrity : The ladder to the top

Facilitator from Fix Nigeria Initiative, Abuja
Topic: Young Professionals for integrity in Nigeria

Event Coordinators: Ella Offiong and Dayo Olugboye

Moderator: Victor Gotevbe
Victor Gotevbe
General Manager
Nigerian Professionals International network

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