Ramadan 2017 Series-Day 1

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Happy Ramadan to my fellow brother and sister who are celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.

Months prior to Ramadan, I was convinced that I would not fast this Ramadan because of being pregnant. I was fatigue and tired; being pregnant with two toddlers was hard enough and I was not going to add another obstacle on top of that.

However, as time grew closer to Ramadan my mind began to swift and I started making some research online about women who fasted during their pregnancy. To my surprise many women can fast while pregnant and although I have the green pass from my Creator for not fasting if I feel physically overwhelmed, it is still encouraged to give it a try and fast.

I must confess, I was very nervous to fast. I’ve fasted while breastfeeding and I know how much harder it is on the body than someone who is neither nursing or pregnant. I can imagine being hard on older people too, who do not have the same strength of the young.

I tried to find online if there were any pregnant woman sharing their experience of fasting during Ramadan. I didn’t find much but the one I did find gave the final push to try and that was an youtuber that I admire dearly, Chealsehijablove.

Therefore, I resorted to write my experience here on the blog so that I can motivate someone else in the same situation, who is on the fence of fasting.

My night prior to the first day of Ramadan could not have gone worst. My youngest daughter kept waking up crying from a stomachache and my oldest had vomit all her dinner in the bed and on herself. I mean, she had vomit everything out! I had to clean her up, clean the bed and the floor and tuck her in bed. Before I knew it, there was only one hour left until I would have to get up and make my breakfast before the call of the first prayer.

I had slept one hour in the night and went to bed around 4:30 AM after I had my breakfast. Luckily, since the girls were fidgety during the night they woke up pretty late in the morning a little after 9:30, so I was able to get enough hours of sleep to keep me insane through the day.

I tried to keep my mind as far away from food as possible, even though I still had to cook for the kids. I was surprised how I still had the strength to do my house chores but I concentrated mainly on homeschooling my oldest.

I went down to my mother in laws apartment for a change of scenery and realized I needed to nap if I was going to survive the day. So we all nap and surely enough woke up less than two hours away from breaking my fast. I couldn’t believe at this moment that I did it! A pregnant woman can actually fast, I was shocked!

Towards the end of fasting, I was feeling a little shaky but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I must confess what had helped me the most was not having to cook dinner as I ate at my in laws.

The first day is always the hardest so keeping it low key was the best thing for me while fasting. I know I will have to cook dinner some days and go out side and my kids will give me the biggest test during my fast. But it should get easier with time as your body gets used to it.

Advice for women who want to fast while pregnant are;

  • take your prenatals every day
  • drink loads of water
  • eat a balance meal
  • skip junk food your body will need as much nutrition as possible
  • try to sleep, most people are sleep deprived during Ramadan so if you can squeeze in a nap that would help a tones.
  • listen to your body and your baby
  • don’t do too much, try to spread your errands throughout the week
  • pray for a safe delivery

The Youth is our Future…

This is a very interesting article from Intenationa Development Journal, I went ahead and copied the article with highlighted factors that I thought were most important aspects of this read.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think…


Why young people are key to achieving the SDG

Young people today face considerable challenges in creating a bright future for themselves.

In high-income economies, young people’s prospects have plummeted, and there are significant concerns for their positon in the labour market and the future of their financial security. The situation is worse for young people in low-income countries, where many workers are involved in informal employment – something the ILO describes as sporadic, poorly paid and falling outside the protection of law.

Many of the global challenges to development are especially salient for children and youth. September marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, where world leaders established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The goals established that young people are a driving force for development – but only if they are provided with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential, support development and contribute to peace and security.

One way of doing this would be by implementing an economic citizenship strategy for children and youth. It would help national policy-makers and leading youth-serving organizations achieve many of the SDGs and sub-targets in the drive to create a viable economic and social system for the future.

What is economic citizenship?

An emerging concept in the field of development, economic citizenship refers to “economic and civic engagement to promote sustainable livelihoods, sustainable economic and financial well-being, a reduction in poverty and rights for self and others”. Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, defines economic citizenship as existing inan environment where every citizen has the opportunity and the capacity to exercise his or her economic, social and cultural rights”.

Economic citizenship consists of four components: financial inclusion, financial education and social and livelihoods education.

  • Financial inclusion is access to safe, appropriate and affordable financial services.
  • Financial education includes instruction and/or materials designed to increase financial knowledge and skills.
  • Social education is the provision of knowledge and skills that improve an individual’s understanding and awareness of their rights and the rights of others. It also involves the development of life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
  • Livelihoods education builds one’s ability to secure a sustainable livelihood through skills assessment and a balance between developing entrepreneurial and employability skills.

Economic citizenship has the potential to improve economic and social well-being, increase economic and social engagement, enhance understanding of and respect for basic rights, reduce income and asset poverty, and lead to sustainable livelihoods for children and youth.

The link between the SDGs and economic citizenship

There are seven specific SDGs that demonstrate the clear link between economic citizenship for children and youth and the attainability of the SDGs.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Granting access to quality, affordable and convenient financial services can contribute to eradicating extreme poverty (people living on less than $1.25 a day) and reducing the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty (SDG 1.1 and 1.2). Financial inclusion should be supported by and integrated with financial, social and livelihood education to help children and youth accumulate savings and develop responsible financial behaviours, qualities that are useful to reducing the impact of economic shocks (SDG 1.5).

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

Economic condition, income, working position, education and culture are all distal determinants of health and well-being, while social education provides more understanding of rights, empathy and respect. The combination of financial inclusion and social education is also useful to ensure universal access to information and education regarding sexual health (SDG 3.7).

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education

Financial and livelihoods education can increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and soft skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (SDG 4.3, 4.4, 4.6). Social and financial education can help ensure all young people, both male and female, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG 4.6).

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls

Providing financial access and developing financial capabilities for young women and girls builds social and economic empowerment, allowing them to take advantage of greater economic opportunities alongside their male counterparts.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth

The current employment situation is very critical, especially for youth, as they represent the category with the highest unemployment rate in the labour market. A lack of relevant skills and the absence of access to appropriate financial services for entrepreneurs are two common barriers to youth employment. Through livelihoods education, youth can enhance their employability, obtain sustainable livelihoods and stimulate entrepreneurial activity (SDG 8.3, 8.5, 8.6).

SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

In order to create safe, resilient and sustainable settlements and cities, it is essential to include children and youth in urban development strategies. Engaging youth through financial inclusion, financial education and livelihood education makes the goal of creating sustainable and safe cities more achievable (SDG 11.3).

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

Financial education should not be limited to simply teaching children and youth how to manage finances, but also be grounded in ethical and ecologically responsible behaviour. Social education plays an important role in steering children away from financial behaviours and attitudes that may negatively affect not only personal well-being, but also that of the wider community.

Leave no one behind

Economic citizenship is a crucial factor in the fight to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities globally.

Each of the core components represented in the conceptual model for economic citizenship support various aspects of poverty eradication efforts individually, but in combination they offer a viable force to affect systemic change and break enduring cycles of poverty.

Achieving the 2030 agenda relies not only on setting goals, but also on a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth. By equipping young people with skills, knowledge and confidence in their abilities, there is a real chance that global leaders can harness the potential of young people to reach the SDGs over the next 14 years. Together we can work towards creating a generation of empowered youth and support long-term sustainable development.

Written by Jeroo Billimoria, Founder, Child and Youth Finance International

Jeroo Billimoria is a pioneering social entrepreneur and the founder of several award-winning international NGOs. Her innovative approach to managing social ventures and bringing them to global scale has earned her fellowships with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the Skoll Foundation and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Billimoria founded Child and Youth Finance International in 2011.

Simplicity at its Best

In 2012 the California based company Ryan’s Recycling was established. While it is not unusual for a new recycling business to be established what was very unusual about this business was the fact the Founder and CEO, Ryan Hickman, was just three years old at the time. Ryan was inspired to recycle and help the […]

via 7-year-old starts his own recycling business and earns over $10,000 — International Development Journal

I encourage you to read the full post, it will inspire and motivate to change towards a simple of step of preserving nature.

When I read this post, several things came to mind;

  1. I am so jealous of what a 7 years old boy accomplished at the age of 3.
  2. There is hope for raising good kids in this world. Education exceeds beyond the four walls of school or home.
  3. I immediately think of Egypt, particularly Cairo and its pollution. I’ve been wanting to create a sustainable project similar to what this talented boy has accomplished but have been too shy to put it into practice. Egypt is going  through a major waste and pollution crisis and too little people are doing anything about it. When I think how polluted Cairo is, I can’t fathom this crisis getting worse.
  4. I think of my little country that depends so much of the marine life for their common survival. Fisherman will encounter major economic problems with the extinction of common and popular fish.

We really need to act now, this is getting too serious too fast!

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