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MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Thinking of how to make a difference in my community forces me to realize one downside of education, especially for those of us who have to travel to the capital cities, away from our communities-the places where our contributions are much needed. We move to town centers and the members of our communities look at us with suspicion. They resist any ideas that we might have in the pretense that we have been absent therefore had no knowledge of the problems and challenges they have endured in the community-village. This reminds me of an incident that occurred late last year- in November. I and my colleagues-class mates- were travelling back to Nairobi from Mombasa where we had been engaged in field work research in oral literature. We made a stop at a place called Makindu, some 40 kilometers from my home village. At this time of the year- the rain season is well under way with most parts of the country having received enough rain. For some reason my home area had received very little rains. A colleague asked me why I do not advise my people to use drought resistant seedlings, so that they can harvest something instead of relying on government relief food. Before I could answer, a man –a passer-by interjected, “she cannot tell us what to do,” “who is she to tell us what we should plant?”
For some reason his comment s did not surprise me. Within that statement lay all the challenges that a visionary woman will encounter in an attempt to bring change to the community. My society is riddled with patriarchal male chauvinistic attitudes. To them a woman cannot bring any change because they have already assigned a place for her- the back seat where she will not be involved in any decision making that will eventually affect her life!
As an educated woman, I have big dreams for my community- having grown there and experienced the hardships, lack of clean water, food. I believe that Information communication through social networking is the only possible solution to the above challenge-disseminate information that women can lead and bring change in the community. I belief I have taken the first steps at world pulse- and I will continue writing whenever I have the opportunity.

Comments

Leelee's picture

Thank you for this as it is a

Thank you for this as it is a very real problem. In the Caribbean we have a situation too of brain drain where persons go overseas to get their education, they come back to the region and they are frustrated by the lack of opportunities to suit their qualifications, so instead they leave the region and give their skills and expertise to other developed countries ...

'Harlem: A Dream Deferred' - Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?

Dannie's picture

Thank you.

That is so so true and it is frustrating coz the people down in the villages are the ones who need our expertise. By the way i love the poem-Harlem- A dream deferred-which seems to be your signature, its truly inspiring! i love poetry en reading and these have made me travel to places like jamaica- the land of Bammie, Barbados, Trinidad-the land of calypsos, Harlem, Halifax etc. what i love is the diversity of culture, connected by singularity of humanism.
Kind Regards.

"Look out for happiness and you will be happy or else you will make someone happy"

lolatsai's picture

Thank you

Dear Dannie,

Thank you for sharing this story. You painted a great picture of what it's like for you in your community/country. I sense a lot of passion as well as calm wisdom in your voice, keep writing!

Love & blessings,
Lola

Love & blessings,
Lola

www.oneglowinglife.com

lydia's picture

The Power of Writing

Your story perfectly illustrates the challenge you face. Patriarchal attitudes are indeed a great barrier to many women the world over. Writing about the power of women on forums like PulseWire is a great start to fighting this problem. You mention that being a woman educated in the city may prevent people from your home village from listening to your ideas. Using the power of writing on Web 2.0 is fantastic as you will be able to share your proposed solutions and get feedback from people across the world, but how can you help people in your village realize the worth of women? Is the information you are disseminating reaching people in your village? It might be that part of your communication plan would be to help people in your village get access to the Internet and then help them learn how to use computers so they will be able to see your ideas, and the ideas of other women (and thus the worth of all women). I know this of course is a large task! First there must be education, then money for computers and for training—but many things are possible if we believe in them. I believe you have the power and passion to enact change in your community and to grow solutions from the ground up. Keep trying and eventually one by one people will listen to you and hear your ideas. I hope you will find some solutions on PulseWire to enact change in your village!
Best,
Lydia

Khushbu's picture

Thank you

Dear Dannie..

Thank you very much sharing the kind of challenges you face in your community. We are in a new era, and we are still struggling to be free from the age-old clutches of patriarchy. It is really sad, and it infuriates me how we women are looked down upon by these chauvinist males in our societies. Now, it is upon us, who have the resources and the knowledge, to bring change.

You are in the right place, and social media can be a truly amazing means to make your voice heard, and make a difference!

Much love
Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

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