Tuesday, February 24, 2015

True marks of a transformative dream: the case of HOTPEC #ORPHANAGE

A dream that truly outlives you is one that is born out of a deep and sincere desire to put the needs of others above yours. It starts with the identification of a need in your community, followed developing a desire to make a difference; believing that you can make a difference, telling others about what you want to do and doing something about it. I have simplified this into a four steep process (#See, #Believe, #Speak and #Act), but one of the most crucial components is time. You have to understand the role of time and process to keep the dream alive and see it fulfilled.
In 2011, I was passing the night at HOTPEC ORPAHNAGE located in mile 15 Bokowa on the slopes of mount Cameroon and the cry of a baby woke me up. My room was close to the baby unit, so I got up and went into the baby unit to see what was happening. What I saw made a deep and lasting impression on me. I saw one of the care givers cuddling an infant who was less than two months old. I asked about the history of the child and was told his mother gave birth to him and his twin sister; abandoned them and disappeared. There twins were brought to the orphanage to be raised. As I stood there a lot of things ran through my mind, but one word stuck in my mind. Hope! The orphanage has brought hope in a hopeless situation and is making a difference in the lives of this twin and the more than one hundred and forty children in the orphanage. The director and founder of the orphanage Rev. Zadoc Mugri conceived the dream to start an orphanage in 1983 after he found out the plight of abandoned and orphaned children in his community. Part of his motivation also came from this Bible verse in James. “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”
He started telling people about getting land and building an orphanage and many people said, it was not possible for him to do it. Since he had no money, and was not even a trained social worker. All the negative criticism did not deter him. A few years later he got married and shared the dream with his wife Mrs. Beatrice Mugri who decided to stand with him. In 1995 after 12 years of dreaming and talking about the dream, the couple did the unthinkable and established HOTPEC orphanage on a borrowed piece of land with few wooden buildings and took in three children. Many people told them to forget about the whole idea of taking care of orphans and move on with their lives.
Over the years this small seed that was sworn in 1995 without any guarantees or support from any donors has grown into a premier orphanage in the South West Region of Cameroon in Central Africa. All wooden structures have since been replaced by modern concrete structures. The orphanage no has electricity and running water and the kids have a safe and secured place to sleep and study. There is still much to be done to keep this dream alive. That is why last year, I spent three days at the orphanage and was the keynote speaker at their end of year graduation and price award ceremony. I was there to hand over funds our organization raised to provide elementary education for more the orphans.
You too can become part of this dream and make a difference in the life of an orphan in HOTPEC orphanage, here is an opportunity for you to offer hope in a hopeless situation. All donations are tax deductible. If you want to bring hope by you can donate here http://erictangumonkem.com/orphanages/ If you will rather mail in a check or money order send an email to support@hotpecorphanage.org The founders of the orphanage saw a need, believed they could make a difference, started talking about it and finally did something. You too can do something and you should. Maybe be the least you can do it by sharing this with your contacts.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Nana Lukezo "Bonganga"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

#How to put on work gloves in #corporate America

Yesterday morning I started getting my garden ready to plant some onions and Georgian collard greens. It occurred to me that I was wearing gloves, usually I like working without gloves, because I like the feel of the soil on my hands and the connection with the plants, seeds and soil that comes with it. This is a legitimate feeling and a good one for that matter, but it comes at a price, dirt enters deep into your fingernails, your fingers, get pierced by sharp objects, your hands get cold during winter. After you are done gardening, you have to clean your hands thoroughly to get rid of all the dirt. Even after a thorough cleaning your hands are rough and callous for some time.
All these issues can be avoided by wearing gardening gloves. The advantages of gloves cannot be overemphasized, in the case of gardening you need physical gloves, but if you are working in corporate America you need to put on a pair of gloves each morning as you get ready to go to work. Working in the garden and working in corporate America may appear to have nothing in common, but there is a lot in common as you are about to discover. In the garden you are dealing with, dirty soil, sharp objects in the soil and the potential of being hurt. In the corporate world, you are dealing with the potential of a toxic work environment, loaded with jealousy, strive, envy, discrimination, hatred, gossiping and bullying. You can agree with me that the likelihood that you can be emotionally and psychologically impacted is high. That is why you should make it a habit to put on a pair of gloves each day before heading to work. This will protect you from harassment, hatred, jealousy, envy, anger, victimization and many other perils associated with a toxic work environment. You can put a pair of solid cooperate work gloves by doing the following each day:
1) Avoid negative conversations. Some people are experts in spreading negative information around the office. Make it a habit to always look at the bright side of things, for there are always two sides to every coin. Remind yourself that every situation has two possible outcomes, a positive and a negative one. Even if your company is going under and all of you are going to lose your jobs, you can still stay positive. Yes, you will suffer loss in the interim, but better doors will open in the long run. You cannot draw any conclusions about the future that you have not yet lived. Stay positive, speak positively and think positively to the best of your ability. Be bold enough to interject a positive thought when everyone else is being negative. In some extreme cases, change the topic of the discussion completely.
2) Avoid office gossip. It feels good to hear about the failures, short comings and calamities in other people’s lives, but it will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Think about the negative consequences of feeding your mind with information that is not healthy and may not be true. If you are approached by somebody who says, you should not tell others what they are about to tell you, calmly and softly tell them that you will tell others, for you are not a dumping ground. If they insist, tell them that you are not interested in hearing what they have to say. Do not forget that gossiping erodes trust among teams and it will eventually lead to a toxic work environment. 3) Stop believing that in order to move up you have to pull others down. This attitude leads to dysfunctional teams. You want to move ahead at the expense of others. For example, if you find out a faster, cheaper and better way of getting results, you keep it to yourself, because according to you, sharing the information with others will make them equal to you. Remember Paul the Apostle said, “It is more blessed to give then to receive.” If you share information, encourage and mentor others you will be a winner in the end. Withholding information and bring others down in order to move ahead will create a toxic work environment and it will eventually hurt you and others. 4) Focus on the big picture. You are part of a team and eventually part of a company. For you to succeed your team and the whole company has to succeed as well. That is why you have to be more than a team player, be a company player. 5) Take responsibility for your actions. You are not at the mercy of anybody. It may appear that those who are harassing you, discriminating against you, hating you and gossiping about you have the upper hand. The truth is that you have the final say, for how you react to all these toxins will determine the final outcome. Do not let this toxin get to you, stay positive and refuse to drink from the fountain of hate and revenge. Paying back is a formula for disaster, avoid it at all cost.
6) Pray. If you are a person who believes in prayer, you should pray for your job, colleagues, and management. According to Paul the apostle, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Put on your gloves today and no matter how toxic your work environment is, you will thrive. If this has been helpful to you, please share your thoughts. Thank you. www.erictangumonkem.com

Thursday, January 1, 2015

5 things that will #guarantee a successful #2015

1) Let go of the past. You are not the only one who made mistakes in 2014. All you need is to ask others and you will be surprised by how many made the same mistakes you made. Therefore forgive yourself, let go of last year and move forward. 2) Forgive others. You have to forgive those who wronged you in 2014 for your 2015 to be successful. 3) Keep your goals simple. It is not the number of goals that matter. Do not try to get too much done and finally get nothing done. Goals no matter how good they are will not do you any good if they are not achieved. Therefore set achievable goals and do not overdo it. 4) Be optimistic. Your attitude will make or break you. Like any other year, 2015 will come with challenges, but you will be successful when you keep a positive outlook. 5) Be yourself. This is a reminder to you that you are unique and there is no other person like you. 2015 is another opportunity for you to find your place and occupy it. Add your own thoughts to the list and begin to make life better for others. Thank you for sharing and happy 2015.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Three Solutions to the Problem of Illegal Immigration

More than a decade ago I stood in the office of the head of the geology department at the University of Texas at Dallas wondering how I was going to pay my tuition. I was a newly arrived international student with little money and had come with the expectation of working and going to school. Oh boy was I wrong! During orientation we had been told that we could only work on campus and will have to be in school for a year before we can apply to work off campus, if we ran into economic hardship. For example, if your sponsor dies or some catastrophic event impacted the source of your funding. One year was too far for me and even if I got a job on campus the pay was close to minimum wage and that would not have made a dent in my tuition. The temptation to drop out of school and start working illegally became very strong, but I resisted. We are living at time when according to some estimates between 12 to 20 million people may be in the United States of America illegally. We may go about our day to day activities as if nothing is happening or we can learn more about the plight of illegal immigrants and do something about it. This problem is a ticking bomb that can explode at any time and the shrapnel will leave carnage on its way and nobody will be spared. Saying the problem of illegal immigration is too completed is not an excuse for inaction. I am proposing the following three solutions to address the issue of illegal immigrants.
1) Do nothing. This is the most appealing option and the country has gone down this road for more than two decades. The assumption is that if you ignore the problem it will go away. Unfortunately the can is being kicked down the road for future generations to deal with. This particular solution in the short run is the easiest, but the ramifications are quite far reaching. Take for example, there are millions of would be tax payers that are living in the shadows of the society. They are having kids and unfortunately they cannot participate in raising these children like other families are doing. The fear of deportation keeps them away from PTA meetings and other social gatherings. If there children are struggling in school it will be difficult to intervene promptly. This implies that some of these children may drop out of school and their full potential will not be reached. They may end up depending on the government to take care of them. We as a country cannot afford to kick this can down to the next generation. It is in our best interest to ensure that everybody living here has equal access to resources that will help them maximize their potential. When everybody is functioning at full capacity, the entire nation will benefit. 2) Depot all the illegal immigrants. I hear this one a lot. People make it sound as easy as eating a piece of cake. Just round up all these millions of people some of which have lived here for more than twenty years and send them back to where they came originally. Deportation may sound straight forward and neat, but you have to take into consideration that some of these illegal immigrants have kids who are American citizens and will need their parents to raise them. Some have suggested that entire families be deported to keep the families together. These Families that have kids who are American citizens will raise the kids out of the country. When the kids become adults they can move back to the United States without their parents. This is not a good idea; you do not solve a problem by creating another. It is not the fault of the kids that their parents came to the United States illegally. These children are citizens and have the right to be raise in the country as well. 3) Declare an amnesty. A unilateral declaration of amnesty without securing the bothers, overhauling the immigration system and punishing the law breakers is an insult to those who are here legally. All the millions of illegal immigrants have broken federal immigration laws and letting them go for free is a travesty of justice. If we can incarcerate people for possessing a few grams of marijuana, it is an indication that we take our laws seriously. Nobody is above the law and nobody should break the law with impunity and get rewarded for doing so. America is strong because nobody is above the law; this is not the case in many parts of the world. A strong message has to be sent to would be immigrants that laws in America have be respected at all times and by all. When people break laws there is a penalty, either you pay a fine or serve jail time. In the case of the illegal immigrants it is not feasible to jail more than 12 million people, for the prison system is already overcrowded. The only option is to ask all the illegals to pay a fine, which will then place them on a path to citizenship. Through the process they too will learn to stand in line and take their turn.
I wrote this article to encourage you to join the conversation about the plight of illegal immigrants and the impact it is having and will continue to have on this nation. Call your congressman or woman and the senators representing your state. Email them, fax them, write do anything you can to ensure that they take up this issue and resolve it. The cost of not doing anything is going to be great. For the sake of the next generation let your voice be heard in this matter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

One secret that will set you apart at all times!

Take a moment an ponder upon some of the difficulties and challenges you have been through and think about what kept you going in the midst of hardship and calamities. Turn on your TV and listen to the news and you will have a good dose of “bad news”. There seems to be no end to unnecessary killings, wars and epidemics. Right now you maybe in a season of your life where everything is going on well and you are facing no life threatening situation. If that is the case you may have to pass this to somebody who needs it. No matter how much we try to avoid pain, disappointments and betrayal, things keep going out of control. Occasionally we have fleeting moments when we think we have had everything figured out and brought things under control, just to see things slip out of our hands, leaving us helpless and out of control. We are constantly looking for a quick fix to easy our pain and take us out of our predicament. The issue of pain, suffering and death has troubled humans for a long time. Some deal with it by trying to ignore it. Some numb their pain with chemical substances and others give up on life altogether. Job who lost all his livestock on a single day and his seven children had this to say, “A person who is born of a woman is short-lived and is full of trouble.” In other words suffering, pain, afflictions are a given to all who are born of woman. This implies there is no exception. Since nobody is left out, it makes sense to figure out how to deal with life’s challenges, difficulties misfortunes, setbacks etc. One of the most efficient ways to deal with suffering and pain is to understand the following 1) Life is tough. This is a simple truth that will set you apart at all times and under any circumstance. As John Cash said, Life is rough so you gotta be tough.” Life is difficult! That’s it! The sooner you accept this, the better and more equipped you will be to handle whatever is thrown at you. Remember that you started life with a cry and not a smile. Accepting that life is difficult will toughen you psychologically, mentally and emotionally. This will enable you to face whatever comes your way with courage, resolve and bravery. Let me know what you think about the suggestion that accepting that life is difficult is a secret that will set you apart at all times.