Our Stories and my continuing Journey
I first became aware of World Pulse or the Pulse Wire publication when I was working in northern Uganda for UNICEF with young people from the Girls Education Movement (GEM). I was documenting the campaign to get children back to school and in finding stories that highlighted some of the main issues faced by children during the conflict and the post-conflict situation the region found itself in. It was both inspiring and depressing. I noticed immediately the difference in the recovery and impact of the conflict on girls. Although, both girls and boys had been recruited to fight as soldiers in the LRA, the girls were also often taken as the ‘wives’ of the commanders of the LRA.
It seemed incredibly important that others could hear these stories of the young people I met during the project. And luckily the opportunity arose in the form of a project called Our Stories, which was a collaboration between UNICEF, Google, One Laptop per Child and StoryCorps. This that brought together stories from children and communities all over the world in an interactive way. You can see some of these stories and those of other children worldwide here. http://www.ourstories.org/
I was asked to contribute an article to Pulse Wire about this and some of my other work. I had never heard of World Pulse or Jensine Larsen before, but I had deep respect and admiration for what they were trying to achieve and the beautiful way in which women’s stories were presented.
I have applied to the VOF scheme as it is an amazing opportunity for women from all over the world to collaborate and work together on ideas and projects that highlight stories that are rarely heard.
I have seen first hand from the communities I have worked with and the Chakma Indigenous Peoples that I come from that some of the major causes of marginalization and disempowerment are not fully understood or seen through the eyes of women. And that decision makers are not aware or do not want to acknowledge some of the difficult truths about the political causes of the problems faced in the world today.
I see the type of citizen journalism that World Pulse is fostering through VOF, as contributing to the ever-growing flow of information and consciousness that is slowly but surely changing peoples’ hearts and minds. Not in the trite manipulative way that politicians mean, but in a way that is real and authentic and flows in the stories and feelings from woman to woman and community to community across the globe.
In the past freedom fighters and revolutionaries were involved in battles in the quest of autonomy and emancipation. And I think it is essential that women recognize the technological revolution we are now in the midst of and the power that we hold in our stories and the way we are able to connect with others to break down the myths and lies that separate and divide us.