An Advocate, A Writer, a Cause
Being raised by a passionate, intense and very intelligent single mom showed me what women can achieve when they are given the tools of independence, health, education and community support.
She raised an advocate.
I know that my life would have been much different had I grown up as an oldest daughter most other places in the world. When my father died, I would most likely have been pulled out of school to help my mom keep food on the table, help her gather fuel and water, and work to support the family. But, here in the United States, I was raised with more than enough. I was able to travel, to get a college education and to live independently.
I realize that my story is much different than those of my sisters from around the world. Their first-hand reporting of the world, as they experience it, is of the utmost importance. Their stories are the ones that need to be heard, shared, and re-told.
Now, as a grown, empowered and educated women, I have realized my life calling as an advocate, a communicator and a feminist. I work for a nonprofit that is trying to shift the model of international development to include women in every sector, at every level. It is our foundational belief that women hold the key to sustainable development.
My mentor (and employer, Jamie Bechtel, the women who co-founded New Course, www.anewcourse.org), recommended that I join PulseWire as a way to learn from and connect with women around the world. And, after one short week, I have already learned so much. My initial intention: to hone my writing skills, receive some training and read a few stories has entirely changed. Now, when I read what others have written, I have in my mind the women who are involved in programs that we are funding. What are their stories? What would they write if they could?
These women- the women for whom I work, advocate and fight- are among the very rural and very poor of the world. They don't have access to electricity or running water. They lack education and food security, let alone access to the internet. They are not able to connect to the web 2.0 and share their stories.
Hopefully, women who are participating in our projects and programs will soon be able to access online resources and share their stories. Whether this occurs via someone who visits their community and then relates their story on their behalf or whether this occurs when women are able to connect directly, it is the ultimate goal. Women must be able to tell their stories. WorldPulse and PulseWire's dedication to this goal is what keeps me engaged, the stories shared via this forum are what keep me reading and the belief that all women deserve education, access and empowerment is what keeps me working.