Johannes Raatz

Born in Germany, Johannes spent most of his childhood growing up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There he developed a love for sailing and photography. During high school, his experiences with people with HIV/AIDS in Uganda and those with leprosy in the Dominican Republic opened his eyes to the challenges that still exist in many parts of the world.


Malaria No More

On April 17th, GCY Senegal fellows met up in Dakar for a public awareness campaign in the fight against poverty.  The event was spearheaded by Malaria No More (MNM), an organization working across Africa to end malaria caused deaths by 2015.  Currently, a child dies of malaria every 45 seconds.  Although the situation is grim, malaria,…

24 April, 2011

The Tropical Holiday Season

As did many of the other Senegalese GCY fellows, I traveled to Dakar early, ahead of our December monthly meeting. Three extra nights in the city allowed me to take advantage of the Festival of Black Arts and Culture. Ongoing throughout the month of December, it was the third time such a festival was organized…

22 April, 2011

Ci École Bi

Lundi, le 20 Décembre 2010 It’s 7:56. I’m heading towards Léona’s primary school to observe the educational system. Stepping onto the dirt road connecting Leona with Thiowor, a neighboring village, I join a flood of children pressing to reach the school yard on time. I suddenly have a thought: “What if I were here in…

22 March, 2011

Tool Gabane

Maybe it was a mirage in the desert.  It did look enchantingly perfect: dozens of young, strong women filing through the gate soon after the other Léona fellows and I had arrived at the community garden plot.  They were there to water onions and eggplants. The field belongs to the Federation de Jeune Filles, a…

16 February, 2011

I was Shorn, the Sheep were Slaughtered

As the sheep were dragged out into the middle of the compound they somehow sensed their fate. They refused to walk willingly to their deaths. The men dragged them over by a leg or two and then tied them to metal stakes to keep them from running off. As I heard the knife being sharped,…

09 February, 2011

Let me introduce Ibrahima Njaay

The transition to an exceedingly distinct life demands a new, equally distinct identity.

14 January, 2011

Ngor Village

I had just left the Dakar headquarters of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) after a meeting with Ms. Debbie Gueye, a malaria adviser, when I decided, rather than to return home immediately, to explore the area. Only about 150 meters from the office lay the great Atlantic coast. I stepped onto the…

10 December, 2010

Dakar on Five West African Francs a Day

As I close out the month of October I will try to summarize all that I have done and experienced during my first four weeks in Senegal. My month in Dakar was loaded with cultural excursions, many language challenges and the occasional conversational victory. So, here’s my list: Received around 125 hours of language training…

23 November, 2010

Kiva and the Man Behind It

The two week training in San Francisco was truly phenomenal. I have learned firsthand from powerful leaders from both the private and public sectors. I am talking about people who have worked with Bill Gates and President Kennedy.  And within the NGO world, I met with founders and CEOs directly. I write this only to…

18 October, 2010

My Convergence With GCY

Human rights, economic development in the third world, and social enterprise are my strongest fields of curiosity; exactly the complex issues that Global Citizen Year addresses in training high school graduates for the twenty-first century.

26 September, 2010

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Johannes Raatz