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Give Them Wings to Fly: Crossing the Line in Zambia

A dozen young women have converged on the Protea Hotel Cairo Road in Lusaka, as JASS (Just Associates) Southern Africa continues with the process of movement-building in Zambia. This part of the process is Leadership Training: Young Women Political Facilitators Workshop. The young women have been drawn from various civil society organizations, while also selected for their particular individual skills, potential, and obviously an enthusiasm for doing things differently in line with movement-building. The first two days have been amazing – with the young women, most of who were in the November 2009 Strategy Meeting in Lusaka, displaying a huge potential for becoming political facilitators. As articulated by one of the young women, this morning – their goal is to become bold, stylish, knowledgeable political facilitators.

The introductions at the beginning of the workshop were telling and had us in excited anticipation of the short three days we were to spend together. As the young women identified objects that reflected their characters within the room has had me looking at each object and each event in my day-to-day life in a completely new light. The objects signifying the different characters we a privileged to be with include a pillar (strong supporter that only a bulldozer can destroy), a phone (a vital tool for communication whose characteristics continue to improve each day), pen (writing to impart information), book (that can be written in, and that many can read and source vast amounts of knowledge from), light (brightening people’s lives through revealing knowledge), woman’s handbag (everyone has to have one, and has capacity to carry lots of stuff), scissors (cuts out the crap so as to deal with the core), juice (sweet, quenches thirst, and symbol of prestige), folder (capacity to hold a lot of contents with lots of information), and water (for nourishment, cleaning, strong and always finds its way round obstacles, to continue with its work downstream. A few could not find any object that they could compare their character with in the hotel meeting room, and this revealed how limiting that set up is for meetings of the kind of work we do in movement-building.

The exercises in the power flower and the personal SWOT analyses seemed to help the young women open up as these helped grounding in where they are located, and also a self-introspection that most confessed to never have engaged in. These two particular exercises have apparently got the young women to find their wings, and they have already started flying and crossing the line. The role plays three groups did, targeting traditional leaders, youths, and women aged 30 – 60 in a rural set-up, were a further learning point for the JASS team in understanding Zambian traditions and culture, and the representation of the diversity of contexts that young women work in.

It has been an important lesson for Southern Africa to keep the connections and conversations going, and therefore maintain the momentum, particularly in the early stages of introducing the movement-building concept in any country or community. There definitely is a lot to learn from each other for every woman participating in the workshop, and it will be an exciting prospect to see what plans the young women set for themselves as we conclude the workshop tomorrow. These young women are claiming and owning the wings to fly, and crossing the line in Zambia

One of the most exciting things as a VOF Correspondent is being in the same space spending the days with one of our own network, Dando from Lusaka.



olutosin's picture


Dear Martha,

What came across my mind now is WE CAN. We know what is right and we can do it, we are going to rule our lands and become the leaders we want them to be , WE CAN.

We will carry the young ones along, train them and make the world know that the impossible can come from the developing worlds too, we can have incorruptible rulers, we can have rulers who will not eat and eat and break the national plates. W e can have rulers who will not spend all the money on his her her health in other developed countries, when we have more than enough landed properties and enough resources to build well equipped modern hospitals in our land.

WP is building a web of wonderful women! We will continue to meet and work together as a family, hmn, how I wish I was there to hug you and Dando! We are WP's Ambassadors!

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


Nusrat Ara's picture

It is really wonderful how a

It is really wonderful how a lot of us have met each other in flesh and blood. I wish, as Dando once talked about, we could all be together someday at someplace. Hope so . I dream so :)



busayo's picture

This is very good

I am so happy for you Matha that you and Dando had the opportunity of meeting each other at that workshop. VOF correspondents are going places. Infact we have just started, many opportunity will continue to open to all of us. We are in the communnity where dreams comes true.We will all be great leaders in our countries.


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Dando's picture

Never be the same again!

The experience I had in a three days training we spent at protea hotel in Lusaka has really changed my life. Young women movement building workshop on political facilitation was just too amazing and empowering. It was about self reflection, leadership and identifying the potential which lays in one's self. With a lot of activities during the sessions it opened my mind on how creative one needed to be as a facilitator. I just wish you were all there to experience the amazing miracle that has brought change in our lives. I will never be the same again.

I wish Martha and all the JASS team best of luck as they continue in their wonderful work of women empowerment.

JaniceW's picture


Thank you so much for sharing this information which I am sure many of us found interesting and helpful in learning how to claim our wings. I am so excited that you and Dando got to meet, and love that more and more VOF sisters are connecting in person. Having met Tina and Busayo, I can attest to the fact that it is an incredible moment of joy and inspiration. Best wishes for your continuing work and keep us posted.

jadefrank's picture

So good to hear from you again!

Hi Martha,

Sorry it's taken me so long to comment... but I wanted to let you know how happy I was to see your smiling face again on PulseWire and to read about the exciting workshops that you're involved in. And of course it warms my heart to hear that you and Dando were able to see each other and collaborate! Please keep us updated on your work and on you dear Martha!


Tina's picture

Hello Martha

This workshop sounds fascinating. I am so happy that you are involved in such great and important work. How wonderful
that you got to meet Dando in person as well!!!
All around fantastic.

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