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Beyond the World Pulse Live Tour with Founder/CEO Jensine Larsen

Photo Credit: Andrea Leoncavallo

Fourteen speaking events. Five Cities. Three incredible voices. Thousands of audience members. One epic journey that changed us all. As Martha would say in her Colombian accent as we toured the country, “Beyond. Be-yond!”

Soon this one word—beyond—became the mantra we all used to describe our experiences.

Martha, along with Beatrice from Uganda, and Sarvina from Cambodia, touched down in Portland, Oregon on October 2, 2011 exhausted, nervous, and elated. Collectively they had booked enough miles to circle the equator.

Representing the 30 graduates of World Pulse’s 2010 voices of Our Future citizen journalism training program, each was also on her own personal journey. The rehearsals were filled with tears and embraces as each woman uncovered the deep stories she had to tell, whether it was losing a cousin to the sex trade, experiencing her entire family wiped out by HIV/AIDS, or an attack and attempted kidnapping by armed guerrillas.

Over the course of the next three weeks these grassroots women leaders who had never spoken before US audiences would rock stages advising diverse audiences from Silicon Valley to New York City on the power of media and technology to accelerate women's empowerment globally. They spoke to technology leaders, philanthropists, students, activists, sustainability leaders, media executives, and senior White House officials.

Every day was a new high. Every day I witnessed their voices and confidence grow. Every day I became more convinced of the power of one voice to spark change.

You could hear a pin drop as tears streamed down Martha’s cheeks. She described writing on World Pulse.com about a sexual attack she had experienced—and how the support of women commenting from around the world liberated her from the burden of carrying the pain alone. “I am a free woman now,” she said. “I am healed.”

Crowds roared as Beatrice recounted how she and her mother saved their land from being taken away by tribal leaders when her last brother died of HIV/AIDS. She had so much encouragement from the World Pulse network that her mother said boldly, “If you take our land women will come in planes from all over the world to face you!”

Reserved Sarvina who had never spoken English in public before grew more animated after each event. Her English grew clearer and her stories richer. She told how despite coming from a poor family she fought for an education. Now she successfully teaches her village to send their daughters to school, saving them from a living hell of sex trafficking. “I am powerful!” Cheers would erupt as she stretched out her arms.

After every event men and women approached me with tears in their eyes saying, “If they can do it, I can too.”

“This is BEYOND!” we said to each other backstage, after we spoke and danced on stage with Gloria Steinem

"This is BEYOND," we said as we talked at the US State Department on a live digital broadcast, answering questions from Sudan, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia.

It was BEYOND as the correspondents received massages and spa treatments for the first time ever, even crying to be touched with kindness.

It was double BEYOND to see them sit around a gleaming wood table with high level White House officials and give their recommendations for how the US could help end violence against women in their communities.

“My voice was heard,” said Martha. “I know my thoughts went direct into their hearts and that my recommendation of no more money for our government to buy weapons or pesticides was something Obama will hear from his wife one night."

I wave goodbye to Martha at Reagan National Airport. Sobs of profound commitment rise in my throat. I watch her turn back to the rainforest she loves, where her land and life are threatened by the drug war. Now she returns with a national network of supporters and allies who will be there for her no matter what.

As for myself, I will never think of Colombia again without feeling the soul of Martha’s story. I will never be the same. We had embarked together on the tour to “turn up the volume” on unheard women’s voices. We did. Beyond.

-Jensine Larsen

View video from the US State Department webchat

Read Martha's account of the tour

Read Beatrice's account of the tour

Read Sarvina's account of the tour

Comments

martha llano's picture

Love you!!!!!!!!

Tears are again in my cheeks Jensine. BEYOND!!!!!!!Outside is raining and the forest seemed to be crying as you wrote this so beautiful... My voice was heard, my heart was heard, my thoughts were heard. And it was all because of you. Because your vision. Because your dream. Because you heard once before us. Because you were willing to listen a long time before many did. Beatrice, Sarvina and all of you touched deep inside my life.

Thanks to you Jensine.

My life will never be the same. Yesterday I had to face who has threatened me and I had the courage to speak without fear, without pain, without tears.....and I even wrote my statement before I went to meet them with the people doing the investigation. And I stand as Nan taught us. And I feel so free..... So healed, so powerful. Because I remember...I remember what I have inside my soul, because having fear makes me weaker and more vulnerable......

So thanks to you all. To the one who listened, to the ones who read, to the one who think in a better future for all of us.

Tomorrow will be another day. And next week I will go far from this cloud forest to the rainforest I love so much. To be with the people I cared so much, to be with the nature I am so connect it. To be in the life I have chosen doing documentary work to help us all to see different faces in different regions, in different souls.......to turn up the volume of unheard women´s voices as you Jensine said. We are doing it. We did for sure. We will Intel. We need many more....we need you all.

Con afecto

Martha Llano
selva@sentir.org
marthallano.wix.com/serna

HAGA ALGO........ lo que lo haga feliz!
Y tan sólo recuerde que las soluciones a problemas globales dependen de cada individuo.

Jensine's picture

The circle continues

Oh Martha, martha -
Now you have brought tears to my eyes - the endless cycle of inspiration and truth. I am so proud of you, I know how terrifying it must have been to face this threat. I will be thinking of you as you journey to your beloved rainforest. Your book is being born now in many chapters. I love you and miss you! We can, and we will. We are. beyond!

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

martha llano's picture

Tears and beyond

My book is written day by day...so many experiences.....so much to say....so much to listen. I will be here, everywhere, anywhere, in our rainforest, our cloud forest, in our trees, listening carefully.....helping, moving, touching.....

My love

Martha

Con afecto

Martha Llano
selva@sentir.org
marthallano.wix.com/serna

HAGA ALGO........ lo que lo haga feliz!
Y tan sólo recuerde que las soluciones a problemas globales dependen de cada individuo.

usha kc's picture

WOW! wonderfull. I read this

WOW! wonderfull. I read this with full of tear. It touched me in deep. Thank you so much Jensine for being a power,courage,inspirtion,shelter for all of us.

so much love form Nepal

Jensine's picture

Thank you

Thank you Usha - I am so excited to hear more from you on the Voices of Our Future journey! You are an incredible support to the entire community. All my love,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Robin Farrin's picture

Power to World Pulse

What a fabulous journey you all encountered. It was so good to read this heartening overview of your experiences through out this great journey of sharing that empowered so many others. Keep on sharing.

All the very best to you all,
Robin Farrin

Aliya Bashir's picture

Hello All

Dear Jensine,
The journey of Beyond is undoubtedly a great encouragement for all of us that we can't afford to lose. Thanx for sharing the powerful story of these powerful leaders who have made it beyond all obstacles. Thanx for bringing the stories on the forefront. My sympathies and blessings are with Martha, Beatrice and Sarvina...
Regards
Aliya, Indian Occupied Kashmir

AB

Jensine's picture

Yes!

Thank you Aliya -
I am so eager to learn more from you on the Voices of Our Future Journey. there are many obstacles, but we will will rise. We can and we will. All my love and blessings,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Khushbu's picture

incredible

This is beautiful Jensine! Hats off to you and the three beautiful women and so many pople who make it possible day in and day out!

Khushbu Agrawal

Nusrat Ara's picture

It's so good to hear from

It's so good to hear from you. You are an amazing woman doing some really amazing works.

Love

Nusrat

Sarvina's picture

Beyond!

I can't control my tear when I am reading this, everything was beyond in my life with the journey of World Pulse Live. It is like a dream meeting you in person and speak on the 14 stages at another country which is mile a part from my country. Reading your post makes me remember the unforgettable experience there that I have ever had. I will always remember that I am powerful and what people can do, I also can. With you guys' encouragement, I have never given up my dream. I love you and all World Pulse Family. Sarvina is always going!

Love,

Sarvina

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

dbunton's picture

Inspirational

I tried to keep up with the tour as much as I could, however it seemed as if this group of women moved so fast,that it was hard to keep up. Thankfully, there were multiple ways to stay tuned in, including Facebook and Twitter. The stories and journey of each person on the tour is how going BEYOND inspires me to reach outside of my own confines and comfort. Despite some of the sadder stories, most were comforting and encouraging. Good work ladies, and thanks Jensine!

Darren Bunton

AchiengNas's picture

Beyond, Powerful

Thank you for sharing your insight of the trip Jansine. It is fascinating how from scratch of so many stories to tell the three women told their stories and the audience in the US got to learn what they never thought they never thought existed before. I recall BEYOND, Powerful from Martha and Sarvina. Let us keep going beyond and powerful each and everyday. Someday the world will wake up and say Oh My....as the world gets better and better in the hands of women and men who care about the world.

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

The Women Will Come

Dear Jensine, Beatrice, Marta and Sarvina,

What an indescribable honor it was to be in the same room with you (New York City) and, having seen your names and read your writing, to hear you tell your stories in person and to share the deep compassion of everyone who was there.

You are already altering the course of history for the good!

May the Force Be With You!

-Sarah Whitten-Grigsby, WP Vision Mentor

Carrie Lee's picture

Truly beyond

Dear Jensine,
Thank you for sharing this. What a beautiful account! To me, it speaks directly to the heart of what has been created here and of which I feel embraced - an authentic community, a resonate core of pioneering souls-- truly it is beyond! By sharing and joining our gifts and genius, we create a new world that really is beyond what we can even imagine.

Beatrice, Martha and Sarvina, thank you for sharing your voices and beautiful gifts. I am awed! You are transforming our world simply by being you and showing up.

Toward all our highest visions,
Carrie

Jocelynbrazil's picture

Reading your account of the

Reading your account of the intricate and profound power of the VOF program and the individual wisdom and courage of each of these women makes my heart fall willingly and trustingly into that beyond you speak of. It is a rally cry we all hear. I am so grateful for World Pulse and for all the graceful, roaring courage of women around the world as they use their unique vision to initiate radical and immediate change. Thank you Martha, Beatrice and Sarvina. Thank you Jensine. Thank you to the World Pulse team and community world wide.

Jocelyn

Hummingbird's picture

Miss you already

I was reading articles written during the tour, and I was touched with the determination and strength of these women. I felt satisfied and peaceful because VOF made the voices of such amazing women heard, I heard them from the other part of the world.

Wish you the best Martha, Beatrice and Sarvina, I was blessed and honored to be part of your incredible journey.

Nisan

A drop of rain can revive the earth, be the drop.

Hummingbird

ruthibelle's picture

Wow

And wow again. Awesome experience.

Love,
Ruthibelle
ruthibelle.blogspot.com

Cali gal Michelle's picture

wishing...

.... wish I could have attended, but was unable to due to extenuating circumstances. I am, yes, jealous of all of you who went, connected, were moved to action. I will meet you someday and look forward to becoming even more connected to my WP community.

Blessings and thanks for your efforts!!

Peace-
Michelle

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Sanjay Dixit's picture

To Martha and Beatrice

Dear Martha and Beatrice,

I would like to say with a heavy heart that you have faced some very serious problems. But you faced them courageously. Some changes in the society in which may appear minor or small, but when done have a major positive impact on society.
First thing is the habit of maintaining cleanliness of self and of our place/society/country, at all times in which we live. Cleaning up our homes and our country (and our most beloved planet).
Once we clean up things we will have a strong desire to remain clean ourselves. This will automatically reduce instances of diseases because, for example, we would have formed the habit of drinking clean water. men and women would then want to have clean sex, which will greatly reduce the number and risk of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS/HIV.
We need to invest a lot of time and efforts to become civilized and the rest will follow.

Best REgards,
Sanjay Dixit
Mumbai,
India.

sanjay r. dixit

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