Day 3: 2015 Advice Project Summit (Welcome to the Jungle)

'Sacred Ceiba (kapok) tree], ©AdviceProject, photo by Courtney Webster

‘Sacred Ceiba (kapok) tree], ©AdviceProject, photo by Courtney Webster

JULY 7 ~ WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE 

~ Introduction to Rainforest Issues: Gold Mining, Sex Trafficking, Sacred Trees and Conservation, and “The Advice Project Summit Challenge” ~

Waking up at the crack of dawn with a group of twelve teens and women isn’t an easy task, but we had a flight to catch from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, so it couldn’t be helped. Advice Project filmmaker, Courtney Webster, whipped up some breakfast sandwiches for the group at 4:30AM, and we miraculously, albeit with foggy eyes, left our hostel for the airport by 5:15. Continue reading

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Day 2: 2015 Advice Project Summit (Lima, Peru)

'Beach in Lima', ©SaskiaLayden

‘Beach in Lima’, ©SaskiaLayden

July 6 — WELCOME TO PERU

This morning many of our summit fellows met in person for the first time. As most of the group relaxed at the hostel or took walks tours through Lima, Melissa went with Blessing, Shneider, and Gaelle for their appointment with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to *finally* obtain their official visas. The process involved shuffling between three different government buildings, visiting a bank, and taking a taxi ride with a driver who listened to loud salsa music. The less said about all of this, the better, but needless to say, at the end of the day the visas were finally procured, and we were treated very well by the kind, patient Peruvian officials who worked at the Ministry… Success! Continue reading

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Day 1: 2015 Advice Project Summit (Lima, Peru)

'Jennifer Miller, Fomuso Blessing Nabila' ©TheAdviceProject, photo by Courtney Webster

‘Jennifer Miller, Fomuso Blessing Nabila’ ©TheAdviceProject, photo by Courtney Webster

JULY 5 – TRAVEL AND PRIVILEGE

Today the twelve fellows of the 2015 Advice Project Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit arrived in Lima. Peru doesn’t require Canadian and United States of America nationals to obtain visas, so the most difficult issues most of us dealt with while in transit was being forced to dump the water out of our water bottles as we walked through security, and needing to munch on less than savory airplane snack options.

It was a different story entirely for the summit participants flying from Cameroon.

Advice Project Cameroon Program Manager, Fomuso Blessing Nabila, and two teens from our class in Bamenda, Cameroon (Gaelle and Shneider), spent over 30 hours traveling due to a myriad of visa complications and problems with airline and airport officials. Continue reading

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Sneak Peek – Guadeloupe

This spring, Melissa Banigan (Advice Project Founder/Managing Editor) Anevay Darlington (Online Teen Content Manager) were invited by a budding teen adventure organization to spend three weeks exploring Guadeloupe. During our stay we also spent a week teaching a group of teens and also did a lot of research about some of the conservation and gender issues affecting the people and coastal regions of this small French territory (located in the Lower Antilles). Most importantly, we started to put the wheels in motion for a future Advice Project trip… We want you to join us!

Check out the brief video about our recent trip to Guadeloupe. We’ll be ready to share information with you soon about our next trip to this beautiful territory as well as news about our newest partner-organization. Make sure to drop us a line and we’ll make sure to add you to our mailing list so that you can be the first one to hear details about future trips.

 

In addition to the trip to Guadeloupe, we’re less than a month away from embarking on our first Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit in Peru, and we’re also busy finishing the planning for our 2016 leadership summit… In Ireland!

Thanks for checking out this sneak peek about some of The Advice Project’s future international adventures, and again, make sure to get on our mailing list.

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Letters from the Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self anthology

From top left: Ponheary Ly, Dese’Rae L. Stage, Felicity Aston, Noura Al Noman, Chi Yvonne Leina, and Pamela Angwech.

Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self is an anthology containing letters of advice written by women from around the world to their thirteen-year-old selves. We are excited to share the first six letters from the book with you, and we invite you to share them with the young people in your lives!

The letters were written by powerful women from Cambodia, the United States of America, England, Uganda, Cameroon, and the United Arab Emirates. The experiences the authors write about is varied – difficult topics include war and genocide, suicide, fear of the unknown, insecurities, and gender violence – but every problem is balanced with a set of solutions and the positive advice each letter contains is invaluable.

We think you’ll be inspired, and look forward to sharing more letters with you! Read the letters, here.

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Filmmaker Courtney Webster Joins The Advice Project

The Advice Project is pleased to announce that filmmaker Courtney Webster will be joining us this summer at our Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit for teen girls and women in Peru. Courtney is dedicated to making filmmaking more accessible to women, young people, and people of color, and she is concerned with the intersections between these identities. This summer, she’ll assist some of our teen fellows in scripting, directing, and making short films, and after the summit, she will remain in South America to work with Advice Project founder, Melissa Banigan, on video projects involving gender equality, conservation, and the rainforest. Continue reading

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Class Snapshots – Spring Term

As we prepare for our first Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit this summer in the Peruvian rainforest, we’ve been moving ahead with our spring session of classes. Below is information about our brand new Uppity Witches class in New York City and our continuing Media, Writing, and Empowerment class in Bamenda, Cameroon…

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.03.59 PM

Continue reading

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Victim-Blaming of Teen Rape Survivors in Cameroon

Photo by Anil Kumar

Photo by Anil Kumar

By: NJI SCHNEIDER REMI ADAMS

In 1993, the United Nations general assembly defined violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that causes physical or psychological harm to women. Rape, for example, which is by definition the attempted or completed vaginal, oral, or anal penetration of someone against his or her will, is one example of gender-based violence that overwhelmingly affects women.

According to a United Nations’ survey of crime trends in 2008, the rape rate in my country, Cameroon, was 2.4 women per 100,000 citizens. Sadly, these numbers don’t reflect the reality of how many women and girls actually get raped in Cameroon. There’s a stigma against talking about this issue, and according to Beatrice Ndoping, a researcher at the Bamenda Women’s Empowerment Center, underreporting is an enormous problem. Continue reading

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An interview with our Cameroon Program Director on Radio France Internationale

Listen to an interview about the upcoming 2015 Advice Project Global Leadership and Empowerment Summit with our Cameroon Program Director, Fomuso Blessing Nabila, on Radio France Internationale with Laura Angela Bagnetto.

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Class Snapshots – Winter Sessions

We’re already midway through the winter session of The Advice Project classes – Time flies when you’re changing the world! Below is an update about each of our current classes, including our first ever international class in Bamenda, Cameroon!

Media, Writing, and Empowerment — Cameroon

Fomuso (center/back) and teen students in Bamenda, Cameroon

Fomuso (center/back) and teen students in Bamenda, Cameroon

We’re entering our fifth week of classes in our first ever international class, and couldn’t be happier to report that our Cameroon Program Director, Fomuso Blessing Nabila, is not only meeting weekly with nine girls to teach them how to craft bylines and strong opinion editorial articles, but she is starting to submit drafts of their work for review! Student work includes articles by Gaelle Mambo, who is in the process of writing about how teen girls can communicate better with their parents, and Nji Schneider, who is tackling the difficult topic of the victimization of rape victims in Cameroon.  Continue reading

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