What my father told me was exactly what Mandela said when he got out of jail. He asked the South African people to rewrite their songs, to resist their first impulse. He said: Please do not to be defined by the prejudices of your enemies.
If an African girl wanted FGM we would be outraged, and rightly so. Why would we cut girls to control their sexuality and satisfy men? We can all agree on this. Yet when a girl from a non-FGM practicing community wants to be cut, trimmed or tucked we're told it's her choice. Aren't both examples of cultural coercion? Are we saying one happens to adults and the other to children? To some extend, that's true. But there are nine-year old girls, accompanied by their mothers, asking for cosmetic surgery on the NHS. Girls with normal genitals. Confused? Me too.
I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Mandela in 1994 in my homeland of South Africa, days before the historic elections. The journey leading to that meeting was a long one, a circle, a return to my childhood.
We are part of a wider movement that is changing the tide of the conversation away from blame and shame toward practical healing with quantifiable value.
They have lifted millions of poor families and children out of poverty but now are under assault by political extremists. We must stand up and refuse to let them turn the clock of progress backwards.
"This gentleman bought your drink." He looks supremely confused. The wiring that had allowed him to throw mental daggers at me just a moment prior is short-circuiting.
Teenage girls are some of the most active users of mobile phones. But they don't see themselves as inventors of technology. They do not interact with mobile technology and think "I can build something better".
Let us hope the media continues to spread such positive, moving messages and displays of great leadership, and hope it will inspire all 193 leaders of the United Nations' General Assembly to follow in Mandela's footsteps to build peace and uphold human rights for all.
New technologies can play a critical role in dramatically improving education quality in Latin America and in turn help catalyze economic growth.
Non-communicable and chronic diseases traditionally associated with higher-income countries have skyrocketed. Rates of childhood obesity have dramatically increased and diabetes moved into the top five causes of mortality.
The day had gone from being a routine December Friday in a historic and ornamented slice of CT, to a frenzy of standstill traffic, hovering helicopters palatable anxiety, and a swarm of media lining the narrow Sandy Hook sidewalks; the glow of holiday decorations all but obliterated by the harsh glare of their television lights.
It's all about coming together. If that happens, hunger can be defeated.
Many of the children Ms. Montanti and GMRF have helped, are amputees from natural disasters and war zones in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, the United States and around the world.
Through the study of epigenetics, scientists have identified a clear difference in the genetic expression of individuals who had been abused, and in doing so they are helping to illuminate the process by which childhood trauma can alter an individual's development.
My first piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their career in the non-profit world or switch from the private to non-profit sector is to ask yourself the right questions.
The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge 2013/14 has begun! We're now 48 hours into the race and we're lying in third place so far. Its early days but we've had a good start and above all, it's an amazing feeling to finally be out in the Atlantic after two years of preparation and training.
The holiday season is a time to connect with family and friends; a time to create and honor traditions. But what about the approximate 4 million women who suffer physical abuse by an intimate partner -- how do they balance holiday traditions with keeping the peace?