Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Secret of the Alabaster Box

In the days Jesus was on earth, when a young woman reached the age of availability for marriage, her family would purchase an alabaster box for her and fill it with precious ointment. The size of the box and the value of the ointment would parallel her family’s wealth. This alabaster box would be part of her dowry. When a young man came to ask for her in marriage, she would respond by taking the alabaster box and breaking it at his feet. This gesture of anointing his feet showed him honor.

One day, when Jesus was eating in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came in and broke an alabaster box and poured the valuable ointment on Jesus’ head (see Mk. 14:3-9). The passage in Luke 7 that refers to this event harshly describes the woman as “a woman in the city who was a sinner” (Lk. 7:37). This woman found Jesus worthy of such sacrifice and honor. In fact, Jesus memorialized her gesture in Matthew 26:13 (see also Mk. 14:9). This gesture had such meaning, for not only did she anoint Jesus for burial, she also gave her all to a heavenly Bridegroom. Yes, she was a sinner (who isn't according to Romans 3:23?), but this sinner had dreams and wisely broke her alabaster box in the presence of the only One who can make a woman’s dreams come true.

Credit : The Profound Brunette

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Mid term evaluation of ICF - DFID Global Evaluation call

Dear All

Through the DFID Global Evaluation Framework DFID have issued a call for a midterm evaluation of the International Climate Fund. 

The contract runs from January 2013 to Sept 2013.    The bid submission date is 15th November.

TORs are attached – they provide detail on what DFID are wanting from this MTE
The Evaluation Team should cover the following essential competencies and experiences between team-members:
·         Strong experience in leading, designing and conducting a range of reviews and evaluations,  including process, theory-based and impact evaluations, beneficiary monitoring, desk reviews, interviews and field work;
·         Strong knowledge of climate change issues and climate-related development programmes, including mitigation and energy access, adaptation, and forestry issues. In particular, expertise in ICF focus areas including resilience, transformational change, private finance, innovation;
·         Strong knowledge and experience in economic assessments of low carbon, adaptation and REDD+ development programmes;
·         Demonstrated ability to take a strategic view across a multi-billion pounds programme of work in a highly politicised context;
·         Strong record in stimulating lesson-learning and use of evidence from reviews or other evaluative exercises;
·         Excellent skills in stakeholder management, negotiation, communication, report-writing and delivering quality products on time.

If anyone is interested in being involved in this please could you let me know.  PLEASE READ THE TORs.  If you are interested I need to know where you think you could play a significant part, or feel you skills lie.  DEV would be supplying experts to join a team, we are not leading on this.  There would probably be a need to input into the proposal, but I can discuss that with you in terms of time etc if you are interested in this work.

Please could you get back to me ASAP – with a CV and availability and expected daily fee rate.

Many thanks, Katharine
 Katharine Trott (DEV)
Katharine Trott
Programme Development Coordinator
International Development UEA

Monday, 23 July 2012

Call for Submissions: Kwani? Manuscript Project

To celebrate the African novel and its adaptability and resilience, Kwani Trust announces a one-off new literary prize for African writing. The Kwani? Manuscript Project calls for the submission of unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora. The prize seeks fresh, original work that explores and challenges the possibilities of the novel.

The top 3 manuscripts will be awarded cash prizes:
1st Prize: 300,000 KShs (equivalent to $3500)
2nd Prize: 150,000 KShs
3rd Prize: 75,000 KShs

In addition Kwani? will publish manuscripts from across the shortlist and longlist, including the three winning manuscripts, as well as partnering with regional and global agents and publishing houses to create high profile international publication opportunities.

Winners will be announced in December 2012 at the Kwani? Litfest.

For more information go to:

Submission Guidelines:
•       Extended deadline for submissions: 17th September 2012.
•       Word count 45,000-120,000 words
•       Submissions should be adult literary or genre fiction (in the sense of not being ‘children’s fiction’)
•       The work should be in English or ‘Englishes’
•       The manuscript must be ‘new’ in the sense that it is ‘unpublished in book form’ (we will accept previously published submissions if circulation has been under 500 copies and limited to one national territory)
•       Eligible participants should have at least one parent born in an African country who holds citizenship of the same
•       Please send submissions by email, attached as a WORD doc to

This Kwani? Manuscript Project is made possible by the generous support of Lambent Foundation and Ford Foundation.

The Kwani? Manuscript Project was initially conceptualised after Kwani Trust received the Prince Claus Award in December 2010 for “establishing a dynamic platform for new voices in African Literature.” The award has provided seed money for this prize.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Welcome! We embrace her! We celebrate her!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Scholarships! Scholarships!

Deadline is March 16, 2012: Applications are out for the 2012 United States Student Achievers Program (USAP).  USAP works with highly-talented, economically-disadvantaged Upper Sixth students on the application process for admission and scholarship to top US colleges and universities.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dear Zimbabwean Friends:
The surgical team of Operation of Hope, partnering with the Ellen
Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation, is planning to bring prosthetic
hands to children and adults in need of this help at NO COST to the
recipient and their families in Zimbabwe.
I am writing to you to ask if you know of children and/or adults in
need of this device, or if you could help us get the word out to see
if people are in need of this device, so we could plan accordingly.
Please feel free to contact me at with any
Thank you for your support!
Warmest regards,
Jennifer Trubenbach, President

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Worse than animals...well most animals

Yes, African leadership is

Political, Religious, Financial, Spiritual, Traditional the whole damn lot

Watching animal channel you learn a lot about animals. You learn how the lioness goes out and hunts for the pack. The hyenas hunt as a group, birds go to the extent of chewing the food swallowing and then regurgitating the food directly into the digestive system of their young. A bitch (female dog...just in case) will take the life out of you should you in anyway threaten her puppies. No one dare threaten the eagle’s young that just plain suicidal.
We have the exception of animals like the snake they don’t care much about their young and the pig that cares about its young only when food is available. Food runs out that young one is the main meal.
The natural cycle of life is that the parent looks after and tends to the young. Parent goes out and fends for the family. Our continent has parents true but because of disease, war and strife you will find that the parent to child ratio has changed significantly and you find more and more children without parents. These children tend to fend for themselves, whilst living in traditional, communal, religious yes and political communities. Now whose responsibility are they? I am Bantu living in Bantu land and we in this region boast of our Ubuntu (umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu :: I am because you are) now get this, this region boasting of all that has the highest number of orphans due to disease and then we go Central and Western Africa war and strife made those orphans.
To put it politically, spiritually or whatever lly you choose, these children are state property. Because their parents are gone that does not mean no one has the responsibility to look after them. They sure as anything belong to the state when the state wants to tax them and demand of anything from them but surprisingly they have no one listening to them when they need a parent. When it is time for tithes and offerings the church demands that of all its members but does it go out and minister true Christianity which is love thy neighbour?
A dog knows how to tear down a threat to its young; our community knows how to prey on its young we have grown men sexually satisfying themselves at the expense of a poor girls’/boys’ only asset that poverty will never take away from them, their body. The sentences these people get should they be prosecuted at all are all slaps in the face of these children. They do not deter these perpetrators at all. And before the religious zealots out there get all holy on me, there is nothing spiritual or morally wrong with a hungry child watching their siblings stave and the whole world has abandoned them. Walk 10 steps in the shoes of those children before you condemn them to one hell or another. They are just hungry children.
Come rain come shine animals do not rest until their young are fed. Dear leaders what species are you that you ignore the young of your land. Half of you are treating one condition or another borne of your selfishness; you eat too much you are obese and have a heart condition or recovering from your second heart attack. There are children who stand by the road and wave at your motorcade and they are malnourished they have not had a decent meal in days.
You have high blood pressure or treating one form on disease or another plainly because your stress levels are ridiculously high and this is because you have stole too much. That child by the way side needs a fraction of your daily overpriced lunch money to survive for the month.
You drive the latest car? Ordering another? Just bought a jet? One child walks a minimum of 7 km to get to the nearest health facility.
I do not begrudge anyone their success but I do think you are all very selfish and plainly put stupid. Morally you have failed the people who need you the most. Being a leader means being a servant. Without those people you call your parish, constituency or community what are you? And shame on you Christian leaders this is something you do not even need to be reminded of as followers of Christ He did show you the epitome of leadership servitude up to the point of serving up His life and how are you living yours?
Political leaders should you be honest enough to take audit of the people who have died well let’s just say of hunger during your tenure in office, how does that reflect on your obese self?
Do we just give up on him?
One of the most lucrative business lines in sub Saharan Africa is nongovernmental organisations/ non profit organisations/ charities. Organisations that mainly exist outside the structure of the main government to do the work the government is failing to do. I will break it down further it is having a Dutch/ German/French/ British man come into my household and buy bread for my siblings and I  because my father has refused to share with his children the bread he is feasting on.
We as a people are responsible for the many things that are wrong in our communities. Those children are our responsibility. I am sounding like a broken record? Wait till they break into your house because they are hungry does that not bring the problem to your door step? We might not be able to help them all, feed them all, educate them all but what we cannot do we can push the people who can. We can talk about this. We can come up with initiatives no matter how small and task those that can do more to do.
Let us do something anything so that 15 years from now we do not wake up with the worst legacy ever.