A day of service

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

—Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service in America.

I like the great symbol behind the idea of a day of service, where people are invited to volunteer and help others.  Since its inception, people have volunteered and delivered meals, built home, tutored, and mentored children and engaged in various projects. They have also reflected on the life of Dr King. The idea is to engage volunteers beyond the holidays and have them dedicate time to year-round volunteering.

Service is a noble and lofty idea

Service is a noble and lofty idea, and each of us can find time to help others. Volunteering in any not-for-profit is a great source of joy. Whether it is serving food to the poorest, mentoring young children, serving at the local church, or writing for an NGO advocating for women and children rights, there are many possibilities to help others.

Any one of us can serve; all we need is a willing heart filled with love for others.

Service as a way to greatness

Some of the most generous and most extraordinary people in this world are public servants; they work tirelessly for others’ welfare. Well-known philanthropists have devoted time and money to great causes. Others have created institutions where they serve wholeheartedly and give their life in the service of others.

Artists have sung for free for decades raising money for charities and changing the world

Together we are strong.

The U.S.A. for Africa changed our perception in 1985. The music industry and the world came together in an extraordinary outpouring of generosity in response to the tragic famine wreaking havoc in Africa. The greatest artists created a worldwide performance.  We Are the World, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie; with Quincy Jones, the artistic director made a sensation. Mega artists volunteered their time and put their wonderful music and voices to raise funds for Africa. This is a perfect example of selfless service and the results are as follow:

  • More than 7 million records sold
  • $100,000,000 raised to improve lives
  • Hundreds of humanitarian initiatives supported
  • Supporting programs in the U.S. and Africa

Citizens everywhere joined the call for services and volunteered for Not-for-Profits to serve the poorest, wherever they are in the world. Some for one day, some for years. Without volunteers, these charitable organisations could not function.

In 2012, I enjoyed volunteering at a local church in Newark—I had just lost my Mum, and I was grieving. In October 2012, the Hurricane caused severe damage in New Jersey, and the population sought help in a Newark Church with a beautiful team and a great Senior Pastor.  The church was a Heaven on Earth and serving along these beautiful people in a loving community made a real difference in my life. More than one thousand people volunteered throughout the years. Service healed my broken my heart. These months of volunteering mended my heart. 

Volunteers are a great source of assistance to the organisation. They give their time and energy. Some receive refugees in their communities, home and make sure the refugees feel loved and welcomed. Some feed the hungry or visit cancer patients—All such initiatives bring comfort to those who are served and to also those who volunteer. All the volunteers make a difference in this world because of their commitment to service.

 Service dissolves all the barriers of classes, castes, and religions. Through volunteering and service, we meet people we would never have met and discover that we all belong to the beautiful human family. We may be different men and women in body but we share the same esprit de corps. Service teaches us solidarity, kindness, empathy. It makes us better human beings.

Service is a way to happiness

Some of my greatest joys have come from volunteering, especially with people with learning disabilities at Mencap. I was always so happy, serving tea and joining in the Thursday evening Café and do a Karaoke jig at one of the London Mencap. Volunteering with women organisation has also been great and I have ironed my leadership skills sitting on the board of a women Not-for-Profit board. I love serving and volunteering. It is a source of great happiness.

What do you reckon? Here’s my concluding thoughts

Through service, we soften our hearts. By helping others, by making sure that others are provided, we reach a state of happiness beyond all understandings and are filled to the brim with it.

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

—Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

Plan for your 2021 Goals

Goals are like the light in the darkness. At the beginning of the year, it seems essential to have goals. Words like vision boards, life goals, yearly goals, weekly goals and daily goals are thrilling. It is incredibly inspiring to set time aside to write goals.

Find a Quiet Time at the Beginning of the Year

When the year begins, take two or three days to think and then write down your main goals in one afternoon or a day. A Sunday afternoon could be sufficient for some. I have found the weekend is the best time for me, as I am less busy and Sunday is a special day, as filled with God’s presence after the morning service.

Choose the best time when you feel connected to your highest intuition and capable of making the right decisions.  

Get a Vision Board

First, buy or create a big enough board to contain your vision of what your life could be. Mine is about one 90 cm long and about 60 cm large. I purchased it on Amazon. I also have a virtual board that I have found on Google Play Store. Download an application from the Play Store to write down your goals. Have a board that is large enough to contain all your life goals and yearly goals. Get an annual planner for your monthly goals, weekly and daily goals. There are some great planners out there; and some with a definite spiritual focus, etc.

Your vision board is a snapshot of the things you wish to accomplish in your life. These are the dreams you want to make real. It is a visual board with images or words or both, with all the things you wish for in your life. In spiritual terms, it is about visualisation and clarity.

Be patient; you are trying to make your dreams come true, which require talent, handwork, and grace. It is not wishful thinking, but rather a combination of serendipity and work to bring one’s goals to a successful conclusion.

Planning from Unmanifest to Manifest

Your goals will cover the main areas of your life: work, marriage, family, spirituality, travel, business, and whatever you dream of. It can be as powerful as you wish and as you exercise your thoughts and mind, you can attract the things you wish for and work hard to manifest them. You can make your dream and visions come true.

Remember the whole universe will conspire to help you.

Segregate your goals into Yearly, Monthly, and Daily

Your goals are all about what you want to achieve during the year. And everyone has got their own. But look at what you wish to stop, start, and continue for the year. Then, work on yourself and accomplish your goals. Develop the right habits to reach your goals. Make sure your goals are SMART.

S=SpecificM: MeasurableA: AchievableR: RealisticT: Time-bound

Your goals can concern any areas of your life:

  • Health goals (lose weight, have nutritious and healthy meals, walk 10,000 steps a day, sleep well, exercise 3 or 4 times a week, practice daily yoga and meditation)
  • Financial goals (Create an emergency basket, a saving basket and an investment basket, and save for retirement, regularly check your credit score and plan for it so that you are able to clear all debts and have a coherent monthly or weekly budget)
  • Family Goals (Get quality time with family members, keep a good connection with those who are close and far, love all, call parents at least once a week, spent time with kids or parents)
  • Relationship goals (Bring attention to your relationships, show appreciation and affection, allow your partner to be his/her best self, accept your beloved as they are—be generous and altruistic to love and be loved)
  • Career Goals (get a promotion, get a pay increase, get a better job, or change the environment in your job, create time for continuous learning and further enhanced skills, create a side business, volunteer for not for profits, connect and network with inspiring people)
  • Personal growth goals (Have a personal development plan, implement it; have an excellent self-improvement plan, read x number of books per month, spend quality time with yourself)
  • Travel plan (Organise regular time off to unwind, take great vacation in your own home or your favourite places in the world)
  • Spiritual goals (Pray more, love more, forgive more, be regular in your daily spiritual practice)

In conclusion, take some days to think and write down the goals you wish to achieve in 2021. Afterwards, during the year, keep the board somewhere you can see regularly and check from time to time how well you are doing. By the end of the year, you will be seeing that the clarity of writing down a vision board and setting up your goals have been an amazing factor in your success.

Keep on updating your monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Write down your priorities and accomplishment. It is one of the surest ways to success. Plan your day, week, month and stick to the plan. Have rooms for change, as nothing is more certain than change. Have room for alternatives and allow 40% of free time in your daily and weekly planning to cope with alternatives, changes and ad-hoc tasks.

At the end of 2021, many goals will be achieved. It will be thanks to a combination of self-effort and grace. Trust the process and start writing your goals.

Panel on Building trust, at the Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2020.

I was invited to be a panellist at the Humanitarian Congress Berlin 2020: Exposing Power & Privilege in Times of Crisis.
The Humanitarian congress welcomed the following panellists:
Babita Alick, Operations Manager, Caritas India
Florine Clomegah, Director of Operations, AIRD
Leela Ramdhani, Associate Director of Confederation Development, Oxfam
Chair: Hugo Slim, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford

The conversation was centred around the theme and questions below.

To ‘commit to as local as possible and as international as necessary’ and to ‘put people at the center’ is nowadays considered part and parcel of good humanitarian action. But have ‘local ownership’ and ‘localization’ become nothing more than buzzwords in the sector? Local, national and regional actors have been at the forefront of any humanitarian response for decades. However, the ‘formalized humanitarian system’ seems to be failing to connect meaningfully with national and local institutions. In the current status quo, incentives for such engagement do not exist: the sector’s power dynamics, culture and financing, accountability and control measures create compelling reasons to remain closed and centralised. Organisational mandates and missions, public perceptions, donor interests and internal targets often drive institutional structures and operational decision-making, at times limiting innovation, inclusion and efficiency. The emphasis on institutional and organisational priorities all too often occurs at the expense of local actors and affected populations. However, the imperative for increased local, national and regional leadership of aid, and the necessity for strengthened international response capacity, are not mutually exclusive. Questions: In the light of imbalanced power structures in the sector, how do we go about better partnerships and a more trustful, more mutual way of working? How can actors engage with one another across their comparative advantages (local, national, regional and international) and complement one another around mandates, technical expertise and/or funds? And what’s the role of major donors in facilitating and driving this agenda (looking at reporting etc.)? Within a centralised humanitarian structure, is localization unlikely to result in the empowerment of local actors?

Homage to all the humanitarians.

Imagine (UNICEF: World Version)

You may say I am a dreamer; I will say that I am a different drum.

You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. There are thousands around the world ready to respond to the Covid-19 crisis. When I was thinking of writing this homage to all the humanitarians, who stayed and delivered, these words of Martin Luther King came to my mind. MLK speech from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church was about the Drum Major instincts, ‘a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade. This could lead to problems if wrongly used, but it could also lead to greatness. The greatness comes from humility in serving. As King put it, the priorities are reordered, and people can ‘keep feeling the need for being first but I want you to be first in love.’

I feel humanitarians are front liners, real life heroes. They are the first in emergency responses worldwide with health-workers. Where there is war, conflict, flooding, bombing, massive explosion, the UN agencies, and international and national NGOs are ready to bring food, water, shelters, peace-keeping missions, etc. Humanitarians put the Love of other humans at the centre of their work.

The heightened crisis of Covid-19 has brought new challenges for humanitarian workers, while they deliver emergencies services to the people of concerns. The Humanitarians are working hard in low-income or middle-income countries serving the populations during the Covid-19 pandemic. At times, they are risking their lives; their work is invaluable. Without their emergency services, many will go without food, proper health care, water, housing, medicines, livelihood, cash grants, educations, etc.

It is essential to be grateful to the humanitarians working hard to deliver good quality services in hard to reach areas. Among the millions who contracted Covid-19, some were humanitarians. Some colleagues, in the call of service and duties, are ill, were ill or have given their lives while saving the lives of others; for all those who provide humanitarian aids in this time of the pandemic, I wish to empathise and express my most profound solidarity and recognise the brotherhood of all nations, men and women in the fight against this pandemic.

King asked to be remembered as one who “tried to give his life serving others. King concluded “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice,” King intoned. “Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter”. Many humanitarians are pursuing the dreams of King and carrying on the fight for justice, peace, equality everywhere in the world by giving lifesaving assistance to fellow humans.

I wish to imagine a world where all people live in harmony, peace and put Love first. The greatness of Humanitarian is in their service to others.

In conclusion, on a personal note, I wish to say Goodbye to a fellow humanitarian. Michael died due to Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian assistance, in Africa. May his soul rest in peace. A colleague and brother, he was a great Country director. He has not lived in vain. He stayed and delivered until the end of his life. The greatest among us are those who serve. As in the words of MLK I will remember Michael as one who gave his life serving others. (Rest in Peace, Brother)

For all others, please follow WHO guidelines on Covid-19 while delivering humanitarian aids.

PS. I love the UNICEF rendition of the song: Imagine. Among the guest-singers, one my life heroes, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, a real humanitarian and a man who did his best to make this world safer. For me, Ban Ki-moon is a diplomat, humanitarian who dedicated his life to better the lives of fellow human being, a real-life hero. It is beautiful to imagine a world where all the people are living in peace and harmony.

Workplace by Facebook

Workplace by Facebook

The outbreak of COVID 19 Pandemic that intensified worldwide in February 2020 COVID-19 changed the way; we are working. I have been managing ten country programs in the Africa Region. Therefore I have been working remotely with nine countries out of 10, using WhatsApp, emails and phone; and with the up and downs of modern technologies. After the deadly toll of the pandemic on humanity, I knew we had to adapt and knew of Facebook Workplace and decided to connect with employees on the platform. With the pandemic, I had to find a way to connect the employees in our Humanitarian organisation. I chose the Workplace created in 2015 by Facebook. For years, the social Network Giant has been using internally and then shared it with employees and organisations worldwide. Workplace empowers and transforms the complete business management, and the application has familiar features such as groups, chat and video calls. I can post the latest news on the general pages, operational updates, UN agencies information, the latest updates on the pandemic and humanitarian news and resources. The group pages are dedicated to each team. All my staff are available one click away. The Workplace also has the advantage of robust and secure servers of Facebook and excellent connectivity.

Workplace empowers and transforms the complete business management, and the application has familiar features such as groups, chat and video calls. I can post the latest news on the general pages, operational updates, UN agencies information, the latest updates on the pandemic and humanitarian news and resources. The group pages are dedicated to each team. All my staff are available one click away.

Here are some of the added benefits:

•Guarantee people see important organisational updates: like with the Facebook News Feed, but about it is all about work. Staff can view updates in a scrolling stream of posts.

•The News Feed is a personalised guide to what’s going on in our organisation, and for AIRD, it is about humanitarian operations, UNHCR, WHO, WFP, UNICEF and other International NGOs work. With this, I can keep my staff up to date with the information that matters.

•Video conferencing and Video Chat are available, and so staff can hold virtual live meetings as if they were in the same workspace. Video calling is a great way to manage remote employees. Workplace Chat is straightforward, on the laptop, desktop and mobile.

•The live video function available, helps me to use it as my office to reach all the staff. Managers broadcast to everyone in the team or company from your phone, laptop, tablet and desktop. And employees can take part in real-time, have the feeling to belong.

•Management of Workplace is straightforward, and it is open to all employees with a companies email address.

•Improve staff engagement in the remote environment. Workplace brings people together and deepens engagement at a time when it’s vitally important that all employees have access to the latest information and advice.

•A secure e-workplace for staff.

• Workplace has three pricing options, Essential, Advanced and Enterprise. Workplace Essential is free, while Workplace Advanced is $4 per active user, per month and Enterprise is $8 per month per user. However, Workplace Advanced is also offered free to registered non-profits and staff of educational institutions. 

Finally, as the Director of Operations for our AIRD operations, I have chosen to lead my team with Workplace as it is one of the best instrument for remote working. Others leading organisation have also selected the Facebook Workplace. To name of a few: Starbuck, Walmart, Virgin Atlantic. For the Humanitarian organisations: World Vision International, Concern World Wide, World Wide Fund (WWF), Save the Children, UNICEF, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Comic Relief, Australian Catholic University and Norwegian Refugee Council among other are the organisation already using this exciting platform.

In conclusion, I would advise using Workplace and contacting the customer service for a free advance option for a registered humanitarian organisation.

Social Media Management

We are experts in creating cost-effective social media pages and campaigns that will deliver a strong returns for your business or non-profit. We work across all social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInsocial-media-1795578_640 and Instagram, catering for all your targets audiences. We formulate a powerful and effective message and build a strong social marketing strategy. Management Integral Ltd will:

  • drive leads & increase views to your social media platforms
  • raise your brand awareness
  • engage successfully with new & existing customers
  • build a strong community of internal and external e-customer
  • design and manage your website
  • deliver cost effective advertising campaign
  • publish e-news, e-blast, online newsletters
  • drive email campaigns
  • create your logo
  • design and brand your posts

Please contact us and we will deliver cost effective social media strategies and campaigns. Click on the link to visit our online shop and website.

An effective communication strategy

A communication strategy is designed to help organizations communicate effectively and meet key objectives. To start, it is useful to highlight the context. The following steps will help you write a compelling communication strategy.

  1. Set the communication goals and objectives.
  2. Identify key stakeholders including the target audiences.
  3. Develop effective messages which will speak to the audiences. The messages should be relevant and appropriate to the different audiences.
  4. 4.Identify key communication channels, techniques, and tools.
  5. Create a timeline of activities. The timetable indicates the key communications activities, budget, and resources allocated to delivering the strategy.
  6. The communications strategy should conclude with a section on evaluation.

You can also include a PR and Press strategy to raise organizational profile in the media; or a digital strategy to build an online presence using social media, a website, online campaign and web marketing.

Click on the link to see how to deliver an effective communication strategy.

Self-actualization: the state of optimum happiness.

Cheerful businesspeople looking at the report.“The loss of illusions and the discovery of identity, though painful at first, can be ultimately exhilarating and strengthening.”        Maslow.

Maslow describes self-actualization as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.” The self-actualizer shares merits and similarities and have the qualities below in common. According to Maslow and fellow psychologists, they share the following qualities:

An effective perception of reality

They have an effective perception of reality. To become a self-actualized: “gets real!”. It is important to be genuine and authentic and see things as they are.

Self-acceptance and Gratitude

They are comfortable with themselves, others, acceptance of self, others, and nature. Not only do they have self-acceptance, they are also appreciative of life basic goods. They are not cynics but have spontaneity and freshness of appreciation. They are unconditionally grateful.

Goal and task oriented

They are goal and task-centered, humanitarians, autonomous, resourceful and independent. Even though they have clear objectives, they enjoy the journey toward achieving the goal.

Spontaneous, independent with great interpersonal skills

Although comfortable with solitude, they have developed fellowship with humanity and sustained profound interpersonal relationships. They are the master of the own destiny, and they do not hesitate to be unconventional. They are broad-minded and kind. They have great people skills.

A great sense of humor

They enjoy a great sense of humor; as they say if “you cannot take a laugh, you should not have joined!”

Self- actualization is the attainment of all the highest goals.

Self-actualization peak experiences are like moments of insights, enlightenment or clarity as in meditation. They experience ecstasy, harmony, and understanding of the deep meaning of life and work. According to Maslow “Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beautiful and good, and so forth.” These states are comparable to the state of self-realization attained via meditation. It is the reaching of Samadhi, or enlightened when peace follows deep and abiding meditation. The Self-realization of the yogi has great similarity with the self-actualization of Maslow and the psychologists. It is a state of optimum happiness. And it is attained through work and working on oneself.

See my business website and shop: https://www.managementintegral.com/shop

Practice relaxation to alleviate stress

relax-1183533_640When stressed out, the best way to deal effectively with stress is to work on the body, mind, and emotions by using physical exercises and meditation techniques. Another wonderful technique is the use of relaxation, known as Yoga Nidra. It is a technique that allows the body and mind to enjoy the benefits of deep sleep while being fully awake.  Keep on working on professional skills like communication, conflict, and time management which are also great ways of dealing with stress. However, it is primordial to learn to relax. I have recorded a relaxation. Listen and practice Yoga Nidra, deep relaxation.