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The Journey of Passions

Growing up in the middle belt region (Jos, Plateau) of Nigeria, I had the assumption that life was sweet and everyone was comfortable and happy.

One day, my mother took us to the village for the first time I was amazed at what I saw; I judged the people by their level of poverty and hoped to help them when I was older.

A few years later, at the age of 11 my father died I was really sad but I refused to accept his death and did not cry. He travelled a lot while we were growing up so I presumed he will be back one day and I kept waiting for his call.

A couple of months later, I began to notice sadness in my mother’s eyes but she never complained. My father had stopped my mother from working when I was about four years old; this made life difficult for her in his absence in addition to the horrible treatment she went through with her in-laws. Despite all the problems faced, she ensured we got the best education. I later told my self that I would work hard and help orphans and widows fight for their rights.

In the process of furthering my education, I met a number of people who came from villages and had a very poor educational background, which constantly put them at the bottom of the class. This however motivated me to go into education so that I could do something and create change in the rural areas.

I kept improving my self towards my goals, by getting involved in non-profit ventures to acquire the skills required but I still lacked the skills. I later got admission to for a Masters in Development studies, which I found quite interesting and challenging and helped me, understand the politics behind a number of the global issues.

I would love to change the world, but over the years, I have been in schools and have seen girls getting pregnant and being expelled from the school while the father of the baby remains anonymous. During my field research, I went to the village in Nigeria; I met a girl of 15 who assisted me with translation. She told me she wanted to be an accountant and I was quite impressed and decided to keep in touch. One year down the line she is pregnant, with the father, refusing to take responsibility because she is not his type. This story is one of many heart-breaking stories of young girls who have gotten their future stolen not just from the men but also from the society, which I wish the world to hear.

A few months after my Masters, a friend of mine Christy whom I have expressed my passions sent me a link voices of the future and said; “You might be interested”. I read through it, felt so refreshed and I have been thankful for the day I met her because I feel a sense of belonging.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

EmmaKWin's picture

Fatima, Thank you for sharing

Fatima,

Thank you for sharing your story with the World Pulse community. I can tell that you have a strong passion to effect change in your greater community, and are willing to use both your privilege and your personal pain to make the world a better place. I would love to hear more about how you want to contribute to the problems you outline in your article. How can Voices of the Future and World Pulse help you to intervene on the problem of pregnancy in young women in the villages and dads who won't take responsibility?

Sincerely,
Emma

FatimaDamulak's picture

VOF

Hi, Emma,

Thank you for replying my journal.
In response to your question(s), the first thing I would like to do is, extensively research on how to organize a coaching session with teenagers.
Secondly, I would visit the schools and talk to those in authority to receive the permission to talk to the girls and boys in separate groups and give them sex education guidelines because that is a topic that is usually avoided in most parts of the country which is part of the general problem of dropouts.
In addition, I included the boys because they also need to be educated on the consequences. I will also want to research the number of girls that get pregnant and listen to their stories and make them heard by the public so that the community is aware and others can learn.
However, over time I hope this movement will cause the rules to change so that provision is made for pregnant teens complete their studies or if a girl is expelled then the man should be held accountable for getting a girl expelled. I may sound a bit ambitious but I feel it is better to speak than to keep silent.
I believe the that VOF can give me required training on how to implement this program because I lack the experience and will support me in making the word public so that other people and places where these practices are carried out will review their system.

Yours Sincerely

Fatimah

EmmaKWin's picture

Fatima, Those are great uses

Fatima,

Those are great uses of Web 2.0 tools.

I wish you all the best!

Emma

FatimaDamulak's picture

Thank you

Thank you Emma.

Best Regards

Fatima

Lylinaguas's picture

Very Well Expressed!

You have a way with words that make your readers want to read on. Your compassion for others is what drives you to do good for those less fortunate than you. I also see that the way your mom raised you and ensured you all get the education you need has influenced you so much. She did a very well in raising you.:)

I'm very interested to know what has inspired you to join VOF after being introduced to World Pulse. And I certainly would want to read more of your inspiring posts. Good luck! Change the world...because you can.:)

Lylin

FatimaDamulak's picture

My Inspiration

Dear Lylin,
Thank you for the message. I must say my mom did a lot more than I can put on paper. : )

I was inspired to join VOF after briefly looking at some of the experiences people had gone through, those who were transformed by VOF and those who needed to bring out the pain. I was elevated and i realised that I wanted to be part of this community. There was a sense of belonging because I realised that I was not just alone but there are others with similar issues of which we can learn together and grow. This is my first time of seeing a group of women who are not just worried about nails and Gucci but are focussed on the the bigger price.

Fatima

Lylinaguas's picture

Thanks for sharing this

Thanks for sharing this Fatima. There are so many inspiring women and I'm glad you found many of them in World Pulse. Good luck in your VOFchallenge. I'm sure you'll find more inspiration as you go along. All the best. :) (and sorry for the typo error in my first comment)

Lylin

FatimaDamulak's picture

Thank you

Thank you Lylin. That's okay its not so obvious the most important thing is the message : ).

Fatima

Potter's picture

Thank You for Your Empathy

Your empathy shines throughout your piece. It is impressive thet you are so open to the experience of others and feel a desire to help when needed. As long as you are aware of the plight of others you will be acting on your "sense of belonging." Welcome to World Pulse! This is a wonderful community to belong to. I loo k forward to reading more of your thoughts and ideas. Well done! Keep writing!

FatimaDamulak's picture

Thank you

Dear Potter,
Thank you very much for the motivation. I feel really blessed being part of this community.

Best Regards

Fatima

mroozen's picture

Inspiring

Hi Fatima,
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I think it's very inspiring that you recognize education as a major problem in the world and are working to fix this problem. Thank you for the work you do!

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