Sharing the Success of the 2013 Voices of Our Future Program!
Over the past six months, 31 audacious grassroots women have made the journey of a lifetime to become empowered leaders and loudspeakers for their communities. They have raised their voices on critical issues from the most forgotten regions of the world in order to increase awareness and bring their visions for change to life. From Iraq to Mexico, India to Nigeria, Ukraine to Tibet, we have witnessed their tremendous courage to overcome barriers and speak unheard truths.
“I have never been to so many places in my life. I feel present in these women’s countries just because of their passionate work and the experiences that they were passionately sharing with me and the world.” 2013 Correspondent Pelagia Muntuzi, Zimbabwe
Working with our program partners the Global Press Institute, and the Op-Ed Project, our staff trained the Correspondents on the principles of practicing ethical citizen journalism, including how to conduct an interview, write compelling frontline journals and op-eds, produce a multimedia piece with a strong call for action, and use digital media like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and mobile phones to support their social change work.
The fourth year of this program was a striking success with 100% of survey respondents reporting increased knowledge in citizen journalism, confidence, and empowered leadership. We are amazed at the thoughtfulness and expertise in all the women in our program. This includes all of our 93 Editorial Mentors, Vision Mentors, and Correspondents.
Over the last six months, we have borne witness to many achievements from the Correspondents: Monica09 from Bangladesh was accepted to the Thomas Reuters Training Program for writing and reporting. Hideko, Greengirl, Precious, Olive Branch, Monica09, Jampa, Ayunnie, Pelamutunzi and Rabia have taken advantage of the tremendous opportunity offered through Sylvia Global to host their own radio shows. They are learning and applying these skills and raising their voices for women’s empowerment. Tina N, from Malawi, represented World Pulse in the Women Steering Innovating Leadership in Africa International Conference. The president of Malawi was among the attendees, which supported Tina N in making powerful offline connections in her country. There are too many to name them all!
We believe in the power that our platform can have in transforming the lives of women across the globe. We know that our work is vital in breaking the digital divide and empowering women to lift their voices for change.
“Digital Empowerment is the most innovative and effective solution to social justice and change. Digital empowerment promotes inclusion, which can universally help us in empowering all sections of society.” Mukut, 2013 Correspondent from India.
“The Internet is a powerful tool to spread messages. To be digitally empowered is to harness the opportunity of exposure for liberation and resistance. Having a platform to speak about the atrocities happening in our communities can lead to international attention and hopefully a solution to the problems.” Latinegra, 2013 Correspondent from the United States.
The Voices of Our Future Program supports building authentic, safe and trusting relationships based upon mutual love and respect. We have built a community that fosters collaboration and support. The transforming power of our connections will continue to impact each of our lives.
“My Editorial Mentor... honed my voice to be stronger than it ever was. She was very encouraging, a pillar who was always there for me, whatever the time, regardless of how busy her schedule was.” Phionah Musumba, 2013 Correspondent from Kenya.
“I feel connected to the women of the world. I feel as if we are changing the conversation, and backing up our "talk" with results and sustainable solutions."Leigh Anne Krantz, 2013 Editorial Mentor from the US.
The beauty of the mentorship program is the acknowledgment of the reciprocity of wisdom in the relationships formed. World Pulse is redefining the traditional mentorship model of “power bestowed” to “power within”. We know that our relationships will continue to grow and flourish.
“My vision mentor, Valerie Bagley, was very instrumental in shaping my vision… This made me to start viewing myself as part of a solution when faced with a challenge or an issue I was covering.” Ayunnie, 2013 Correspondent from Kenya.
Lastly, we are honored to announce the Sheroes who will be coming to the US this coming fall for the World Pulse speaking tour. Please join us in congratulating Greengirl, a champion for environmentally sustainable practices; Latinegra, a powerful advocate for reproductive justice; and Jampa, a much needed voice for the Tibetan people. Together we will advocate for the equal treatment of women worldwide.
Meet Greengirl, Latinegra, and Jampa:
Green girl hails from the beautiful and resource-abundant country of Nigeria. She has witnessed the misuse and exploitation of her beloved land. She says these harmful policies have had the greatest impact on grassroots women. She desires to educate, inspire, and mobilize women on these issues and thereby empower them to speak out. She believes that the only way to ensure the environmental security of Nigeria is to make sure that women have an equal voice in these decisions.
“Together, women can crush and bridge the gender divide in the environmental sector.”
Born and raised in the Bronx, LatiNegra is an Afro-Dominican healer and a leader in transforming women’s lives to achieve happiness and wholeness. As a birth doula, she hopes to raise awareness about maternal and infant health for women, specifically highlighting disparities in the US healthcare system for women of color. She believes that her voice is an instrument that will become part of the symphony of passion and revolution burning in the chests of women. LatiNegra brings hope that will guide us to a place of healing and empowerment.
“I believe that the world has become frighteningly medicalized and in the same breath, disconnected from compassionate care. Western medicine has given way to us forgetting that we are psychosomatic beings whose thoughts and emotions show up as disease in our bodies. In becoming a traditional midwife, I will encourage women of color to shift their view of birth from a pathological situation to be treated to a normal event to be honored and supported.”
Born in a small village in the Tibetan plateau, Jampa is the first and only person from her village to attend a university abroad. She is currently working on small scale development projects and is driven to change the perception of what women in her community can contribute. She believes by applying her education and giving back to the community it will empower young girls to pursue their dreams. She plans to prove that educating girls can bring about positive change in society.
“My personal vision for my life is that I want to become a writer whose words become weapons to battle with violence and discrimination against women and girls.”