Good Deed: #HelpChuksWin

  Last month, I got a jolt. I wished an old friend “Happy Birthday” two days before activity on her Facebook wall indicated that she was dead. Not only dead, Ada had been dead for two years. I was numb. Then I checked instagram, to try to buzz another old friend and be the first to wish him a Happy Birthday at midnight, only to see that he has cancer and was in need of funds for his second chemotherapy session. I wept. I have since reached out to tried to create awareness verbally, as well as donate a small token myself. I am happy to report that he has finished his chemotherapy session and is clear. We hope he remains a cancer survivor and never goes into remission. Please join us in prayers that Chuks will continue to win over this situation. Moral of this story: Reach out to your friends once in a while, especially old ones that you hardly hear from. Say hello and actually solicit a response. You never know what they may be going through. And I hope its not too late, like it was for Ada.

Good Deed: Girls4ICT Day 2018 Abuja

Once again, the Girls4ICT Day has come and gone. It was a lovely day, and we were able to host more girls from more schools this year. Last year, we hosted less than 200 girls, but this year we had double that number. Hassan Abdul, of Media Range Ltd, one of the partner companies that made it happen, said it better: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhassan.abdul%2Fposts%2F10214360857448719&width=600   So what was my Good Deed? As part of the organizing team, we were able to facilitate procurement of souvenirs for the student attendees, some of them from WordPress. I also was able to join via Skype, from Lagos to speak to the girls. Although the connection was really choppy (blame the country’s connectivity problems), here is what I tried to pass across:
  1. Be yourself
  2. Never stop learning
  3. Never let your gender hold you back – things are a lot friendlier towards women in the IT industry now, so use it to your advantage.
  4. Don’t forget yourself – take time off, exercise, do your hair, look good and relax.
  5. Listen then sieve – listening to advice is polite, but it does not mean you have to take all the advice you receive. Sieve out what is not beneficial. Focus on what will advance you towards your career goals.
  6. Make YOU happy – in every situation, focus on doing things that will give you joy, because at the end of the day, only you live inside your skin (except the times you are pregnant :D). Do what wont make you sad, bitter or angry with yourself later.
  7. Focus – focus on achieving your academic goals. Romance will come later, trust me.

Good deed: Müllsammeln – Drei im Sonnenschein

Wieder einmal zu dritt, leider keiner mehr, waren wir heute am Rheinufer an den altbekannten Stellen unterwegs. Mittlerweile grünt und blüht es überall, da kann man schnell den Eindruck bekommen, dass es so schlimm mit dem Müll doch gar nicht ist. Leider wird dieser von dem hohen Gras, was auf den Rheinwiesen mittlerweile sprießt, größtenteils verdeckt. Mit reichlich Sonnenschein und jeder Menge Publikum, darunter auch zwei spontane Helfer, grasen wir zwei Stunden lang das Ufer und den Rheinstrand ab. Ob wir Proben aus dem Boden entnehmen, werden wir gefragt. Lustig. Wir diskutieren, warum sich nicht mehr Leute an den Aufräum-Aktionen beteiligen. 3 von 118 Facebook-Mitgliedern, die die Gruppe mittlerweile zählt. Das geht doch noch besser, oder? In der Facebook-Gruppe wird gefragt, warum die Müllsammel-Aktion denn immer an einem Sonntag stattfinden müsse. Unter der Woche nachmittags wäre auch mal ganz schön. Stimmt, sogar richtig toll wäre das! Warum dann nicht einfach mal einen Aufruf starten, ein paar Freunde oder Kollegen zusammentrommeln? Das ganze wird ja privat organisiert und ist freiwillig, da gibt es also kein Muss, sondern derjenige, der den Aufruf startet, hat natürlich das recht, Ort, Datum und Uhrzeit zu bestimmen. Eigentlich nicht so kompliziert, oder? Je wärmer die Temperaturen, desto anstrengender das Bücken, Aufsammeln und Müllsacktragen. Deshalb beenden wir die Aktion nach „nur“ 2 Stunden. Einen Unterschied macht es trotzdem, drei Säcke sind voll geworden. Fazit von heute: für die nächsten Male müssen dringend Müllzangen her!  

Good Deed – Writing a Resume

One of my nieces came over for the weekend, and I was so entertained by her. She has developed into a full woman, and I kept thinking about what I must have sounded like, at her tender age of twenty-three. She is in her final year of the university, and I was shocked to find out that she did not have a CV or resume. I took the time out to help her with drafting one. We started off by visiting Google Docs, so that she could choose from the long list of free templates - using Google Docs was a new experience for her too. Then we drafted her information, which included her skills, competencies, educational background, work experience, and interests. I told her to finish off the document, then send it to via Google Drive, so that I could review. The next step would be to start applying for jobs that would enhance her career in Human Resources. I feel good knowing I helped at least one young person kickstart the search for a good job. Good deeds do that to me :)

Good Deed: WordCamp Lagos 2018

In January, a friend suggested I attend the WordPress Meetup in Lagos, since I was in the city. I thought, "What harm would it do?" and decided to go. Little did I know that just that one day would change everything for the next couple of weeks. I discovered they had a conference coming up. Not just any conference by the way. It's a WordCamp, the first in Nigeria. WordCamp Lagos 2018 promises to be a day filled with lots of talks, and workshops. We have several sponsors backing the event e.g JetPack, WordPress  (of course), Woo Commerce and more. There will also be a workshop for teens (discounted ticket, only 20). And there's the Happiness Bar, which is a desk that WordPress developer can approach with their challenges and get help. So what was my Good Deed? Well, since I heard about the event, I volunteered to be part of the organizers. I applied to speak as well. I was taken up on both offers. Since joining I have had a nice time working with other WordPress enthusiasts, who give their all to make things move forward in the community . I'm happy to be a part of this new family.

Good deed: Müllsammeln – neues Jahr, neues Glück

Same procedure as every year… Ein verregneter Kölner Winter, Hochwasser am Rhein, und mit dem Hochwasser kommt der Müll.  An einem der ersten sonnigen Sonntage im Jahr, und fast genau ein Jahr nach der ersten Sammelaktion, die in der Gruppe „Müll-Aufräumaktion in Köln“ organisiert wurde, geht es deshalb wieder ans linke Rheinufer in Höhe der Zoobrücke. Insgesamt zu dritt starten wir unseren Spaziergang bei Minusgraden. Da muss dann ein bisschen improvisiert werden, was die Handschuhe anbelangt, das heißt, irgendwie gleichzeitig wärmen und vor Dreck schützen. In meinem Fall bedeutet das Montagehandschuhe und Gummihandschuhe drüber. Klappt so mittel, ist aber besser als gar nichts. Fast drei Stunden halten wir durch, bevor die Füße, die Hände und irgendwann auch die Nasen eiskalt sind. Aber das Resultat kann sich sehen lassen, die Begegnungen sind wie immer abwechslungsreich und die Laune ist gut: 10 gefüllte Müllsäcke 5 spontane Helfer, die wir unterwegs treffen und die sich mit Müllsäcken bewaffnen und mitmachen, DANKE!!! 8 Menschen, die stehen bleiben, nachfragen und begeistert sind von unserem Engagement, darunter ein älteres Pärchen, was sogar ein Foto schießt mit den Worten „dass es so etwas noch gibt…“. Lustige Funde, unter anderem eine kleine afrikanische Frau aus Holz, Utensilien aus jemandes Kosmetiketui (Lippenstift, Kamm, Kajal und Lippenpflegestift, wie praktisch), ein großes, grünes, gewölbtes Plastikteil, was sich wunderbar zum Schildkrötenpanzer für Karneval hätte  umfunktionieren lassen, und und und… Für die nächste Sammelaktion wünschen wir uns genau so viel Sonnenschein, etwas mildere Temperaturen und vor allem: noch viel mehr fleißige Helfer!! Join us!

Good Deed: Social Media Week Lagos

Social Media Week image from Eventbrite
Social Media Week Lagos is an event I have always heard about. Every year I would see adverts about it online, and once again wish I was back in Lagos, so I could attend at least one day of the week-long event. That wish came true this year. Turns out that not one, but two of my close friends were to be part of a panel in Social Media Week Lagos 2018. Abosede Sobodu, CEO of Octavia Informatix and Ibrahim Ganiyu, CEO of Imperial Creations Studios were on the panel titled "Being a Change Maker".
Being A Changemaker is a meetup that celebrates the power of people and the resources available to individuals in Lagos to do something that effects change in their own lives, this city and country and eventually the continent of Africa. Unemployment is on the rise and young people in secondary schools and universities need a plan. We will meet to network and chat about the power of the volunteer, the power of the collaborator, and the power of the creator. Participants will be broken up into various groups that will focus on making an idea a reality by collaboration, team work and creativity.
The panel was being hosted by Shola Ajayi of UR4Africa, an initiative that
teaches content creation and produces unique, educational, content about Africa in collaboration with youths and women to inspire the masses.
Everybody has a story to tell.
What was my Good Deed for the day? Well, I might have missed it again this year, if not because Abosede (Who I fondly call "The Boss") asked that I come along so I can help stream the session live on Facebook. I agreed. I'm not skilled as a cameraman, and I had power and internet speed issues, but I tried my best. You can view their videos here. The whole event took place at Landmark Centre, Victoria Island. The setting and decor was beautiful - I was too busy to take a lot of pictures, but I did jam my friend Mary Job there and we took a selfie. I also saw some old friends, some that I had not seen for a decade. All in all, I had a beautiful time, and look forward to attending more Social Media Weeks in future.

Good Deed: Think Like A CEO

The Month of November was made magical by the sermons I heard at church. It was as if the pastors used a set of binoculars to scan through the crowd in church, then focus on me, and then tuned into what I needed to hear the most.

At Daystar Christian Centre, every month we explore the scriptures based on themes, or series. These series are broken down every week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, and in November we tackled ‘Think Like a CEO’. The had pastor, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, usually takes the lead, while other pastors also share the word.

I was really touched by this month’s sermons, so much so that I shared some keypoints on Instagram and even Twitter. One of my cousins took note, and asked if I could buy him the CD of the whole series. I replied, “why not?” and told him I would. Little did I know I how much trouble it would cost.

Getting a copy of the CD proved a herculean task, because I had to go back to the stores four times before I could finally get one. I even went there twice during working hours.

I will be dropping it off with his mum so she can ‘ship’ it to him soonest. I already sent him a picture of the CD in my hand, and he can’t wait to have it.
Putting a smile on his face and helping him get access to the messages was worth it.
#GoodDeedDone

Ich habe Zeit verschenkt

Meine Zeit ist mir kostbar, ich überlege genau, womit und mit wem ich sie verbringe. Normalerweise sind meine Tage ziemlich durchgeplant, weil ich meistens dermaßen viel um die Ohren habe, dass ich gar nicht umhin komme, genau zu planen wann ich was mache. Aber manchmal kommt irgendwas unvorhergesehenes dazwischen. So letzte Woche. Ein paar Häuser ... The post Ich habe Zeit verschenkt appeared first on Christine Graf.

Good Deed: Creative Food

Photo credit: Pinterest
Late last month, two couples came over to see my mum. They had a major event coming up, three-in-one actually: their wedding anniversaries and the husbands' school alumni hosting. All on the same day.

 They wanted to cook and host the alumni meeting at the house, and needed permission to do so. They also wanted the food to be memorable. I listened as they discussed the menu, and it included cole slaw.

Now cole slaw in Nigeria is boring. Most usually it's chopped up cabbage leaves and carrots with cucumber and lots of mayo slathered on it. I just had to suggest something more creative.

Why not use a juliene peeler this time? I asked. It would definitely give a new twist to the normal salad recipe. They did not understand what I meant, so I went on Pinterest and found a few pics to show them. They got excited before they realized they didn't have the peeler at home.

 I have been looking for a good deed to do for a while now so I told them not to worry. I went online and ordered one each for them. I took it to them when it arrived, and demonstrated how to use it. They were extremely grateful and happy.

 The food was a success and I was glad I had a good deed 'under my belt'.