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when the straight line becomes a circle

‘Radio show awards AK 47 guns and grenades as prizes to children at a quiz contest in Somalia,’ reported BBC Radio at 21:00hrs East African time on the 20th of September 2011. Given that this country is suffering from drought, war, and the gun is obviously highly valued, the question arises, why children? Besides, where are the mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers voices in an environment where men run the show? In another instance, Eunice suffered the shame of working at a funeral home. Nevertheless, the job ‘designed’ for men paid her bills as the life giver made a living out of people’s death. Seeing this woman hanging around morgues helping grieving relatives identify their victim’s dead bodies at an exorbitant fee, portrayed an unprecedented display of corporate conscience. Like a nest of cockroaches trying to survive, these two kinds of women face the challenge of society finding it hard to tolerate their views hence survive the hard way. My challenge in creating change in the community lies in stereotypical tendencies based on cultural norms and the ideology that women are their own worst enemies. With all due respect, I believe that women deserve the best professions under conducive working conditions however by bringing out these two examples, I look at a silenced woman who cannot boldly speak in the presence of men and a professional woman whose job is esteemed to belong to men, others comparing it to feeding a dog’s tail expecting it to fatten.

Information is power so goes the old saying. The solution to rigid cultural norms, is buried in education. It is important to educate both men and women on how to respect each other. In the case of Female Genital Mutilation, the campaign worked as a result of community based practical education. Women should get economically dependent by taking on well paying jobs or opening up businesses that can meet their needs. Political Involvement is also important as they say, everything rises and falls on leadership and this can arise from women voting for women indiscriminately.

Currently, online communities are just cropping up in my continent. Urban centers have an advantage over rural areas and the main problem lies in the rural setting where literacy level is so poor and the aspect of translating some websites into languages understood by the locals is somehow problematic.. Affording broadband in a village which has unstable power supply is also one thing to consider. Anyway, I think there is still a long optimistic journey to go when it comes to using the digital age where it is mostly needed. On a personal note, I have used it to interact with both men women who share the same values as I do blogging and in due course will translate some websites for people in rural settings so that they may be encouraged to read and understand most views that favour women at the end of the day, he who opens a school, closes a prison.

Comments

MaDube's picture

A friend shared with me the

A friend shared with me the idea of voice messaging to audiences that can not read or write and you could also add video in addition to using medium such as pulsewire. Consider these as options to overcome you barriers.

Akech's picture

Thank you Madube for the

Thank you Madube for the input. It is always great hearing from you.I will surely consider that. :)

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Stella Paul's picture

We can

OMG! I too read about that horrific radio contest (first and 2nd prize was AK-47 and 3rd prize was hand grenades) and I thought - there is a murder happening right now, murder of childhood.

Anyway, the challenges of connecting with an illiterate rural population is a huge challenge we face in India. For past 2 years I have been actively involved in this and I think the tools that I/we use can be used by you too: videos, shown with projectors on wide screen, on-the-spot feedback, discussions, then setting up toll-free voice recording system. Another effective method is to upload messages and videos on mobile and then use it around like a radio. I think you can consider them too.

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Akech's picture

Wow! thanks Stella, I am

Wow! thanks Stella, I am learning more and more each time.Thank you for your input!

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

YAOtieno's picture

Gifts of death

Hi Aketch,

I also read the story and I was horrifies to say the least.

I agree with you and Stellla that the lack of access to electricity or internet connection proved to be a challenge in the rural settings of developing countries. Luckily the mobile phone has been able to penetrate to most of these areas, we just need to find people with the technical know how to help implement some of the ideas being shared on a large scale

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Akech's picture

Hi Y! Your comments are

Hi Y!

Your comments are amazing and i'm glad you pointed out the mobile phone aspect. Thank you for pointing that out.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Hello Akech,

Sometimes I wonder if there is a curse on the African continent. To keep the power people are ready to do anything.
Africans are mostly uneducated so yes videos, Stella's idea of using projectors is the best because without electricity one can use batteries for instance. Mobile phones use implies that the network is good and large. Unfortunately, it is not the case.
I am very much interested in the way you are going to implement your project please keep me informed it may give me ideas too.

Kadidia Doumbia

Akech's picture

Hello Kadida Africa is not

Hello Kadida
Africa is not cursed, we are the richest yet poorest. It is the people who have so much to implement while the powerful continually greedily fatten themselves. I love the ideas presented too, as for projectors, and videos, i have some few things strategized and will definitely keep you posted.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Kadidia's picture

Kadidia, I have faith. I have

Kadidia,

I have faith. I have a son and I want him to live in Peace.But to reach Peace we need to understand the actual situation to analyze the reasons of so many conflicts and to find what womencan and should to help stopping them. Because, our kids are killed everyday.

Kadidia Doumbia

Akech's picture

Hello Kadidia, I believe your

Hello Kadidia,

I believe your son will live in peace if women like you and me support each other well knowing our roles in society.
It is sad to know that children,innocent victims are dying everyday and this ought to stop!
Thank you for your comment.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Rakiba's picture

Connecting with rural people

Connecting with rural people is one of my job too.But thanks to the digital age which gifted us with projectors and video system,Animations which made my job half the time easier...

Whatever it is,keep your Faith and Spirit high and yes, together we will surely bring change! And Pulsewire provides us with all the wonderful support and opportunities..

Akech's picture

Thank you Rakiba for taking

Thank you Rakiba for taking time to comment on my post. I would like to share your experience and learn from you as well.

Kudos to Pulsewire!!!!

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

CaitlinLO_Brien's picture

Keep strong

Akech, I believe that you will make big changes where you wish to and I trust that the right resources will come. Besides using video, perhaps you can also take into hand educational efforts, especially with using technology!

Best,
Caitlin

Akech's picture

Hello Caitlin. Thank you for

Hello Caitlin. Thank you for the optimistic message. I will surely consider options put across and would love to share with you more ideas.

Regards,
Monica

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

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