“Outside My Broken Window”

“Outside My Broken Window”

By Mujtaba Ahmed Today, I’m drunk from my woes and sorrows, Hoping for the chance of a worthier tomorrow. I envision a brighter horizon with wisps of white. Instead, my mind’s clouded with grey tonight. Outside my window, the sky is clear. But still, I can’t escape this nightmare Of being part of a lost generation, with no prospects. I achieved a degree, but still I’m jobless. Since I was a young child, I’ve been told to dream about the future, So today– I still dream about the future. Why not? I’m still young and I long for a better day While I’m still stuck in the past, focused on yesterday. And this dark cloud still follows me. If you really listened, then, you would see all I wish for is equality. Yet, you see my flaws because I’m misrepresented by the minority Who, after being neglected, choose to act against government policy. If only you focused on the 99% who want to illuminate the darkness properly, And give us the opportunity. We will work together as a community, To make a better world. Pass us our rightful torches And you’ll see– young people are not thoughtless.      ...
So you’ve graduated. Now what?

So you’ve graduated. Now what?

            By Richard Goughie Unless you have clear set goals and know exactly what you want to do with your life, leaving college or university can be a tough time. For the first time in years, you’re thrown out of the school structure and into the big bad world; it’s exciting, but it’s worrying. I have only just finished university, so I don’t have the best authority to give advice, but I will give it my best shot. I left university a month ago and recently realised that I have become increasingly unmotivated. I’m far less excited than I was right after school, when I started to chuck all of my notepads in the bin, ready to begin ‘life’. I know others will be facing the same struggle, so I thought I would write a little piece of how to manage after graduation. When you’re given the chance to plan your life and choose what you want to do, and where you want to be, the last thing you want is unnecessary, confusing advice from people around you. Selective hearing comes in handy when somebody who’s ‘been there done that’ is trying to give you advice. Subsequently you may start to question yourself; it can leave you feeling lost instead of give you direction. Often people think they know best for you, but they don’t realize they’re talking to their younger self– not the individual in front of them. ‘Individual’ is the key word here. With all the social media at our fingertips, I feel people are losing sight of individuality. When you’re looking...
Skill-sharing is key for sustainable international development

Skill-sharing is key for sustainable international development

There are 4 billion people around the world that earn less than $1,500 (£894) per year. Many agree that tackling global poverty should become a collective world issue. After that, however, the means to address this problem become rather divisive: should nations and organizations provide more aid or less aid? The arguments extend to both spectrums. There’s little argument against financial aid in situations of immediate urgency, like natural disasters or famine. But the problem with tackling poverty is that aid intended to solve problems long-term is viewed negatively, which obscures its actual impacts. Giving welfare but  no support creates a permanent problem with a band-aid solution: it deals only with symptoms, not causes. A different approach to long-term aid is needed. I myself saw some alternative solutions during my time in Binga, Zimbabwe. I asked a local priest about what the church did when people turned up requesting food. I was told that initially, handouts were given, but subsequently the church gave individuals resources and lessons on how to grow their own food. It was this sustainable, long-term approach that I was impressed by–individuals were learning skills to benefit them and allow them some independent control. Then it struck me – how free can people be with just basic aid? They may have food and water supplies but do they have freedom of choice? If you view quality of life in terms of self-reliance, you will agree that aid may not be a reasonable method to attain this. That is where the free market comes into play. Free markets not only provide economic choice, but also help foster democracy....
It’s #VolunteersWeek!

It’s #VolunteersWeek!

Volunteering isn’t just selfless altruism. Giving back can have real mental and emotional health benefits, not to mention a boost to your CV. Volunteers gain as much as they give to their community, including a sense of satisfaction, empowerment and value— volunteer work has no grades or performance reviews! The importance of social activism isn’t defined by the salary attached to it. In honor of National Volunteers’ Week, we asked the IARS and 99% Campaign interns to share their experiences as volunteers. Comment here and let us know your perspective on volunteering—or tweet us @wethe99percent with the hashtag #VolunteersWeek. “Volunteering is a fantastic way of gaining experience, particularly of working in a professional environment, but also of giving back to an organisation which is important to you. Having worked as an intern at IARS, it has given me a great opportunity to develop my skills professionally and learn about the world of work. I also volunteer as a cricket coach and this has been a chance for me to contribute to my cricket club and the development of future players. Volunteering is a good form of personal development, but also a good way to benefit others in an important way.”  – James, IARS Policy Intern “Volunteering has been a unique and intense experience for me so far, for two main reasons: Firstly, spending some of my free time working for others allows me to relieve myself from the discomfort that springs from the inherently human capacity to empathize with other people’ suffering. Furthermore, in a historical moment characterised by very limited chances to find a job that could reflect one’s own interests and inclinations, volunteering...