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When an opportunity presents itself..

While on worldpulse today, I was lucky to come across the 'Launching Voices of Our Future Training Program 2013' and I decided to submit my application and take this wonderful opportunity up with so much hope. Opportunities like this (sadly) come once in a while despite living in what the world considers a developed nation/first-world country.

As mentioned by @hocinedim: "Just because you're not affected by an issue, this doesn't mean that issue isn't important. That's privilege 101"

There are two important aspects of that quote that I'd like to discuss in terms of this amazing opportunity.

One: Issues of Importance
Majority of people within Canada are not affected by these issues that we as activists (men & women) are trying to raise awareness about. Just like indivduals around the world, they are just trying to get through every day and with economic downfalls/lack of jobs/no stability, its difficult for any individual to take time out of their schedule to consider sharing an article about these issues or even commenting on an article. Not to say that those are excuses - and they're not; but this is just the mindset that many of us live with. For them ultimately, these issues don't affect them, and as a result, mean that the issue isn't important. Through this wonderful program, we can learn the skills and the qualifications to help raise more awareness about these important issues through literature and media (art in all of its facets). I think these amazing opportunities when presented should be something that we all take full advantage of. Learning how to voice our opinions, share our thoughts and connect worldwide is such an essential tool in today's world, especially when considering the government's lack of commitment to addressing these issues, and our ability to use techonology at increasingly vast rates.

Two: Privilege
When I was filling out the Applicant Questionnaire, and I read this question, saw the options and responded - I immediately thought of how privileged I am in comparison to so many others - not only worldwide but even within my own country. The question was:
How often do you access the internet? *
- Every day
- 4-6 times per week
- 1-3 times per week
- Less than 1 time per week
- Other:
My response: Every day. I have an amazing cell phone (aka smartphone) that allows me to post my updates to our Twitter/Facebook page (allowing me to access the internet on the go) & I have interent access at home. How is it that I consider myself so privileged and yet I complain when the internet goes down, or when I didn't have the smartphone? Being privileged is something that so many of us take for granted. We forget how easy it is for us to use various forms of techology, log onto the internet, use Facebook/Twitter - and it's only when we see these types of inspirational opportunities, are we reminded of how privileged we are. This gift of asking questions and learning through this program is such a privilege, that I'm sure so many men and women worldwide would do anything to have. It hurts me to think about all the applicants who had to choose one of the other options, because they aren't as privileged as I am. This aspect of our daily lives that we call technology has created such a huge gap between children and adults of low economic standards/development and the rest of us, who like me have access to the internet at our finger tips.

If you're reading this post, please join and get involved in this amazing opportunity, so that we can collectively raise awareness and share our opinions about issues that matter the most. Here are some of the benefits to joining this program as mentioned by the coordinators:

Benefits of the program include:
- Citizen journalism and digital empowerment training via phone and Internet by renowned experts, including program partners The Global Press Institute and The Op-Ed Project
- Personal coaching sessions and support via phone and Internet from a Vision Mentor
- Opportunities for publication through World Pulse and partner media organizations
- Opportunities to connect with grassroots women leaders from around the globe
- Personal development, including increased self-awareness, confidence, and empowered leadership
- Professional development, including improved skills in citizen journalism, digital empowerment and networking
- Nurturing and collaborative relationships with women, and our allies, across the globe
- Increased visibility for issues and challenges faced by you and your community
- Technology stipend to offset communication costs*

Remember, if you choose to bypass this opportunity, you are choosing to take for granted this amazing privilege that so many are attempting to have. Let our voices be heard & let our opinions be vioced!

#2013EndSlavery #2013EndBullying #2013EndVAW #2013EndRape

Comments

Amei's picture

Great post!

What you have expressed is a wonderful insight. When I had to answer the same (How often do you access internet?) question.

I wondered too. my first thought was..."this is not for me, I have access nearly 24/7" ... prior joining this forum I spent more than 6 months in a remote island in the Maldives Islands. The small island I was based had about 1500 people. 1/3 of the population was school aged kids.After the 2004 Tsunami the people were still recovering and rebuilding their lives. I was there in 2006, even after two years it seemed that Tsunami was still lingering.

I am here today mainly because of my experiences in those 6 months. Yes, I am privileged compared to anyone one that island. I am here to give the people of that island and people in similar situation who have no access to internet a voice. I am a Maldivian and the division between that the "Have" and "Have not" are getting wider.

I am glad to have come across your post and as your last statements stated I choose to take up the opportunity in hope that I can raise their voice and in turn include my voice with theirs.

Have a great day.

In friendhsip
Amei

Saving Angel's picture

Thank you!!

First of all I just want to say thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my post! It means the world to us. Your story is truly inspiring and touching & I would love to hear more about your experiences in the Maldives Islands. I'm glad that we share the same feelings about being privileged and having so many opportunities.

I have so much faith in you and I definitely believe that you can share your experiences, stories and opinions with the world through this amazing opportunity. I can't wait to work with you and so many other amazing individuals in this great program!

I know from being a listener for the inaugural VOF program back in 2009 that it is an amazing opportunity to connect, be heard, receive feedback, make lifelong friends, and develop a support network of passionate women working to change the world. Given your work in ending violence against women and girls, you might be interested in last year's campaign where women around the globe spoke out to bring an end to gender violence. The stories were powerful, compelling, and urgent. You can read the stories at the below link:

http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/evaw

Again, thank you for your wonderful post.

Saving Angel's picture

Thank you!!

Thank you so much Janice for sharing that link with me! I can't wait to make such amazing lifelong friends from around the world who are interested in the same things as me! This is such an amazing opportunity and I also can't wait to read some of the other pieces and get feedback on my own. I think Lauren Wolfe was right when she said 2013 is the year for our voices (men & women) to be heard & for change to finally start occuring on a grand scale!

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