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A Sisterhood Without Borders

Urmila: When Olutosin called me and told me she had taken a train to Bangalore and would reach my city in a few hours’ time, it all began to feel real. I was waiting for her, lost in my thoughts as flashes of what Olutosin and I had shared all these years came to me. My eyes filled with tears remembering how she had been a source of motivation and affection for as long as I had known her. And I had not even met the woman!

A small voice behind me broke my trance. “My sister! Is that you?” were her first words spoken to me in person.

Olutosin: Just imagine, we have been online friends for three years. She has become well-known to me like the back of my palm. I sighted her immediately, waiting by the roadside. “This is my sister,” I informed my roommate who accompanied me. Surprised, she asked me, “How did you know that she is the one?” I smiled and responded, “I don’t see her as an online friend anymore. I have accepted her as my sister and I can recognize every one of my sisters when I see them.”

Urmila: I jumped up and embraced her. We laughed, we hugged, we cried, we screamed. We beamed from within.

Olutosin: Everything stood still at the BEL Circle junction in Bangalore. We had so much to say at that moment; we both started talking without listening to each other. We had bottled up so many unsaid things, waiting for a warm embrace, for the ripe boil of our words to burst out. It was our moment, a time we had patiently waited for these past years.

Urmila: One of the first things I told her was, “I got that job, sister!!”

Breaking Down Barriers

Urmila: A circle was completed that day. I met the woman who had played such an important role in my life for so long. I realized that there isn’t any difference between a ‘real life’ and ‘virtual’ friend—there are just true friends!

Olutosin: World Pulse is a community of great people who are yet to meet. We are not just online people. We exist! We have a pulse, we have blood, we are human, we are clicking away softly at our computers in nooks and crannies throughout the world.

Urmila: Olutosin and I spent an entire day together in my house while she was here. I cooked for her with joy and we ate together as one big family.

This is what I want to say to all women of the world: Don’t you ever doubt that we women can support each other across continents and across manmade barriers. We can be there for each other to share our problems and seek joint solutions—until one fine day distance becomes just a word. Like it did for Olutosin and me.

olutosinOlutosin Oladosu Adebowale is the Founder of Star of Hope Transformation Centre in Lagos, Nigeria and a citizen journalist. She has traveled the globe and carries the message to support education of the girl child. She trains women to become entrepreneurs in a bid to strive for economic independence and empowerment. A powerful speaker, she is a change maker in her community, her country, and wherever she goes. Connect with Olutosin

urmilaUrmila Chanam is a social development professional in HIV/AIDS, a gender rights activist, and a journalist in Bangalore, India. She works with vulnerable communities including transgendered people, sex workers, and trafficked women and girls. A columnist for a leading English daily, she writes against child marriage, domestic violence, and trafficking of women. Connect with Urmila.

Olutosin and Urmila are currently working together to make a documentary film on Olutosin’s entrepreneurship trainings for marginalized women in remote parts of India.

And this is just a beginning.

Comments

Rochelle White's picture

This is beautiful

Lately I have not been on Worldpulse. I am finding myself busy, learning, and progressing but after reading this article, I remember what drew me to worldpulse in the first place, the powerful and supporting community. This story is a reminder of that. Thank you for sharing! God bless your sisterhood and may you guys continue to florish in everything you do:)!

Best

Rochelle

Urmila Chanam's picture

Support is a biiiiiiiiig word!!!!

Dear Rochelle,

I am so encouraged and warmed by your words. You are so right when you say that support from sisters was what brought you first to World Pulse. In my journey I found that it's very rare to receive support in a world thats becoming more and more competitive. In here, I have found a world outside of the other world.

love and hugs
Urmila Chanam
Bangalore, India

It takes just one to change many

aimeeknight's picture

This brought tears to my

This brought tears to my eyes, so much love and beauty! True friendship.

Love,

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

Urmila Chanam's picture

Tears and understanding

My dearest sister Aimee,

How have you been???? I am like you- when I am touched I cry tears :) Olutosin and I are not two people anymore, she often tells me, we are one.

Much love
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

Y's picture

How wonderful! I am so

How wonderful! I am so honored to be included in the circle of communication with these two wonderful women.

Yvette

Dear Y,

In Olutosin's words, we are the world. We have a pulse. And we have blood. World Pulse is made of people who are yet to meet.

These words inspire me, and I am convinced we will meet too. Till that day let us do our bit, let us walk together

Love and hugs
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

O Praise's picture

This is encouraging

This has given hope, and an understanding that world pulse is truly a sisterhood. Being a new member i feel so blessed knowing am going to meet a match like this and together iron will sharpen iron by the grace of the must high.

Urmila Chanam's picture

The blessings will pour now

Dear sister,

Welcome to our family- World Pulse!!!!!!! We are 60,000 women from 180 countries and each day we have a new family member.

In solidarity,
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

HOPE tOWELA's picture

amazing story

Am so happy for you two, and this is such a wonderful experience for both of you, and also for the rest of us Women to learn from, there is nothing that can separate the Love of God.

When there is Love in your heart, you can do the impossible for even someone who have never met or know. God's Love is true & amazing. I agree with you, there is nothing that can stop us from supporting each other, as sister's if we all speak one voice.

Not even manmade barriers, can stop us. This is something we can all embrace and pratice with time, beacuse the problems we go through are the same, and we all have deferrent ways of seeing things and how we approach certain problems is deferrent.

We can do all things through christ who strenghtens us. Let us not give up.

All the best in the projects you are doing.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale and Urmila Chanam

Stay Blessed.

Hope.TMT

Urmila Chanam's picture

When there is love

Dear Hope,

I so believe in the words you spoke, " When there is love in your heart, you can do the impossible for even someone who have never met or know. " Love truly is the motivating force and this very force is abundant in our global sisterhood. I hope this story keeps you bound to our global family at time you lose sight and you lose hope.

Much love
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

Osai's picture

Beautiful - Sisterhood is global

We should celebrate more sisters working together, sharing their experiences because this smashes all the myths about women not liking each other and pulling each other down. Tosin and Urmila show us that you can connect with anyone - even people you have never met, if you are open, non-judgmental and you listen.

I appreciate all my relationships and especially those I have made on Worldpulse. Lets keep the flag flying.

Best wishes,
Osai

Twitter: @livingtruely

Urmila Chanam's picture

Myth broken with us.

Dear sister Osai,

In my experience, women are capable of bonding, of overlooking differences and deep compassion. I celebrate Olutosin's friendship everyday. Celebrate yours!!!!

In solidarity,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

Osai's picture

Re: Myth broken with us

Dear Urmila,

I cannot agree more! I'm celebrating already.

In solidarity,
Osai

Twitter: @livingtruely

Urmila Chanam's picture

Myth broken with us

Dear sister,

Wish you in advance a merry Christmas!!!!

Hugs,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

Precious M's picture

Waoh, Sisterhood without boundaries!

This is just so good. I enjoyed every bit of this story about the wonderful friendship between Urmila and Olutosin. Thank you World Pulse!

Love,
Precious

My pen speaks

Urmila Chanam's picture

Thank you World Pulse

Dear Precious sister,

I am most delighted to see so many sisters from around th world respond to Olutosin and my story and relate to it, relate to us and aspire for a friendship that we saw, found and kept.

I still remember us thinking aloud together that hey, we must share this with our sisters!!!!!But it was tougher than we thought. One day sitting in Olutosin's guest house, we sat to write and we didn't know where to begin!!!! We were aware of our individual style of writing and didn't know where we would converge.

I am happy the convergence of words happened. Perhaps minds in sync often do that :)

Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

Precious M's picture

Great convergence

Yes the convergence of words happened and it couldn't have been better.
Beautifully written!

Love,
Precious,
Cameroon

My pen speaks

Urmila Chanam's picture

Thank you

Dear Precious,

Thank you so much.

Hugs
Urmila Chanam

It takes just one to change many

How gorgeous is that?! Dear Urmila and Olutosin, your story is beautiful, uplifting and, for me, familiar. How heartily I agree that we can support and love each other across many miles, across cultures and across any perceived great divide! No divide is too great when true, devoted friendship is in play.

And Olutosin, I also appreciate what your wonderful mentor said about others sometimes not liking what is right with us. That, in fact, may be the essence of many obstacles. But you both already know never to hide your light under a bushel -- do you know that term? -- just to make others feel less insecure. That is, stand up and shine brightly, and let others follow you. Because, you are leaders now. Oh, yes you are!

With Love,

Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Urmila Chanam's picture

My motto now

Dear sister Sarah,

Your words:" Never hide your light under a bushel, just to make others feel less insecure. Stand up and shine bright and let others follow you," is my newly acquired motto sister!!

Thank you for your kind words. I am confident it will keep me to carry on when I am down or disillusioned.

Much love,
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

. . at the top of the article. Symbolic of how two women can sit on different sides of a pillar, but it's the SAME pillar in the SAME sunny courtyard!

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

olutosin's picture

Thank you sister

I love every word from your comment, so loving and so uplifting. Thanks darling sister.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Keep in touch!

Dear Olutosin,

Keep in touch and love to you, too.

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Urmila Chanam's picture

Never thought that way before

Dear Sarah,

I loved the interpretation you have of the picture of sister Olutosin and me. It is strange how photographs capture so many things other than the obvious. Thank you.

Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam
India
E-mail: urmila.chanam@gmail.com
Face book: https://www.facebook.com/urmila.ch

It takes just one to change many

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Yes!

Dear Urmila,

Yes! So much lies just under the surface . . . and THAT is the really wonderful stuff!

Love & Support,

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Urmila Chanam's picture

I will try it now

Dear Sarah,

You know what, I think I will try it myself now- to try and see under the surface. It would be an interesting exercise. I wonder what all will I discover???

Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam,
India

It takes just one to change many

jacollura's picture

Beautiful story!

What a beautiful story of love, sisterhood, and support! I, too, have met World Pulse sisters in person after developing a relationship online. When at last we embrace, it's as if we've grown up together. Thanks to World Pulse, and thanks Urmila and Olutosin for this lovely journal of connection.
With love and peace,
Julie

Urmila Chanam's picture

Thank you

Dear Julie,

I am not surprised you have a similar experience. I speak to so many women who have been under the umbrella of World Pulse and tasted what it is to be a one sisterhood, one dream community. Most of all, I have personally tasted how it is to trust and be trusted through these relationships. In today's times, multitudes of people come in and go out of our lives but how many people do we trust and are trustworthy? Very few.

Looking forward to hear more from you.

Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India
E-mail: urmila.chanam@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urmila.ch

It takes just one to change many

shamee's picture

Awesome

I simply love this story and the commitment and support behind it.

https://www.facebook.com/Shameela2013

Urmila Chanam's picture

Make your own story

Dear Sister Shamee,

I feel so happy that the story we saw unravel in our own lives (Olutosin and I) is a thing to hope for, for other women. I pray you make your own story my sister. With WORLD PULSE, you will.

Much love from India,
Urmila Chanam
e-mail: urmila.chanam@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urmila.ch

It takes just one to change many

Leina's picture

Knowing these two sisters

Knowing these two sisters closely,I will state without mincing words that if women could follow this model in being one another's keeper,we will be half way gone in our journey to a better world for women!
I love you my sisters!
LEINA

olutosin's picture

LOVE YOU TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We love you my darling sister and YOU KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Urmila Chanam's picture

Women look out for women

Dear sister Chi Yvonne,

If only women looked out for women, we wouldn't have to look for support elsewhere!! Thanks a lot for always standing by like a rock of support! You are loved and cherished by me and Olutosin :)

Much love
Urmila Chanam

It takes just one to change many

Barbara M Bracewell's picture

Color is Skin Deep

The story of your sisterhood is extremely touching and teaches each and everyone of us that our pigmentation is always only skin deep. Love, trust, genuine friendship, and real connections between people (no matter where they hail from) will triumph every time. Thanks for this inspiring narration of two women who reached across the miles, continents and geographical artificial barriers to create an everlasting bond. God bless you both and may your wonderful friendship and sisterhood continue to grow and blossom.

BMBracewell

olutosin's picture

GOD BLESS YOU TOO

Thanks so much for this comment, distance is a space that is not recognized by love and sisterhood, we close the space with words, e mail, Skype, etc and ultimately by creating a new space in our hearts for our loved ones.

Thanks again.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Barbara M Bracewell's picture

Re: God Bless You too

You are welcome! Keep being an inspiration and great example to women and people everywhere about how peace, love and good will can be spread from one end of the globe to the other if we are only open to trying.

BMBracewell

olutosin's picture

I will do my best always

Thanks so much sister, I will always work towards change in our communities....and our women

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Urmila Chanam's picture

At a time like this

Dear Barbara,

I am distressed over the recent racial,discrimination of people who come from north- east part of India, where a guy can just be murdered in broad day light just because he looks different from other Indians and they don't like his hairstyle(Read Nido Tamia case). It is at times like these, we need more people who rise above race and caste and make a new world.

I am encouraged by your words.

In solidarity,
Urmila Chanam
India

It takes just one to change many

Barbara M Bracewell's picture

Re: At A Time Like This

Isn't it a sad commentary on us as human beings when we can discriminate against our sisters and brothers because we are "different" from each other? I am so sorry to hear about the possibility of a person being murdered just because he looks "different" and someone has issue with the way he styled his hair? Unbelievable and outrageous to say the least. Yes, indeed ALL people need to rise above judging others just because they are from a different caste or race or religion or whatever other criteria. I pray that there will come a time when people are never judged and always respected and viewed as being a part of the human race. Period. Thanks for responding to my comment and keep up the great work, Urmila.

BMBracewell

Urmila Chanam's picture

Raise voice everytime

Dear sister Barbara,

I am left to believe that we must rise each and everytime there is a violation. Perpetrators should be told that they cannot flee.

Prayers,
Urmila Chanam

It takes just one to change many

odionanavhe's picture

I'm a kanthari fellow

Nice Olutosin. You are a kanthari fellow too right?

odion

weareone's picture

RE: Wonderful connection

Dear Sisters:
God has created a wonderful connection among you...together united you are a force hard to reckon with.. Keep strong and continue the good work!

kparchment

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