What are your challenges and barriers to creating change in your community?
I face so many challenges and barriers that sometimes I feel that I should quit. But then I look at the situation and I see how far I have come. For a young woman, who is not on a salary but volunteering her time to improve the healthcare and living conditions of marginalized women and vulnerable girls in underserved communities, trying to increase access to and choice of family planning for low income families, and working to bring affordable family planning information and services to women is extremely challenging work. There have been times that I have faced stigma in carrying out my work. In addition, boys often criticise my programs as a young woman educating people how to limit the number of children within the household, and some of my peers present with negative attitudes towards me. Similarly, I have often had negative responses from the donor organizations, as they could not understand my challenges in looking for financial support for my work. It is true that I am a young woman, with a disability of financial resources however; I want to set an example for other young women that with little or no means we can continue to make ourselves available to lead and direct people, offer assistance when we are able or complete any tasks that come up during the day for us to help. I still believe that I can do some thing, and work towards changing the present cultural ideology and social barriers in my communities.
What are some of your present solutions to overcoming these challenges and barriers?
First, to overcome these challenges and barriers I am trying not to be stressed by what other people believe in me or say about my projects. I am trying to directly involve boys in the programs, educating them to understand and get involve in family planning and sexual and reproductive rights issues. I am encouraging them to learn to accept that people have different visions and dreams, yet we have things that bring us together. I am reaching out to my peers and creating local as well as international networks, with others. Recently, I attended a fund raising training workshop, organized by GlobalGiving USA in Cameroon. This provided the opportunity to learn some of the fundamentals of online fundraising.
How do you currently use, or see the possibility of using, PulseWire and other online communities to overcome these challenges?
Currently, I am using Pulse Wire as a Forum to share my story with an international audience. Also, I see the possibility of using Pulse Wire to connect with others and share the impacts, develop partnerships, share resources and encourage collective action that addresses the challenges we face in our work. Using Pulse Wire as a platform through which I can learn from others and showcase my culture to elevate dialogue and eliminate differences is strong.