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Silence isn’t helping

My personal story is drawn from my experience working in the field of development and it goes thus;

July 2011 to July 2012 I was volunteering with a network organization (North West Association of Development Organizations (NWADO) with over 50 member CSOs. In experience and best practice sharing sessions, these organizations will share challenges their beneficiaries face and what solutions they were bringing to them.

They will talk about deteriorating conditions under which children schooled, limited classrooms and teachers with very poor sanitary conditions, women suffering because they hadn’t the right to own land and how micro-credits given to these women improved living standards for their families, high rate of HIV/AIDS among women because of ignorance, illiteracy and polygamy just to name a few. But the unfortunate thing is these stories ended in the experience sharing sessions; you couldn’t find these stories online. Then I started thinking of a possibility of having an online platform where these challenges and best practices could be shared. This is when my quest for online reporting began.

October 2012 I started work with Community Initiative for sustainable Development (COMINSUD) as Project Coordinator for Democracy and Empowerment of Women program. The program which started since 2003 has created Local Governance centers (LGCs) in 27 sub-divisions of the North West Region and hopes to extend. Within this program, members of the LGCs are expected to identify, monitor and report human rights violation issues within their communities.

February 12 to early March 2013 I was out visiting LGCs to follow – up on the implementation of their action plans. In their reports you find very annoying cases; girls repeatedly raped by relatives and neighbors, girls whose parents aborted their baby without their concern, Maltreatment of widows, (denied the right to re-marry and forced to marry husband’s brother, had to sleep on the floor for months, not permitted to go out for a whole year after which in most cases property is seized and can’t be justified because they lack marriage certificates).

When I came back I said to myself some things need to change and silence wasn’t going to do it. So I started thinking of a way to get these stories out to the world. Knowing that I couldn’t do it alone, I started a Young women Leadership forum which I hope to take to all sub – divisions of the Region and choosing young girls because they are the most vulnerable. Through this program I intend to train young women as peer educators and on using the internet most especially blogs and facebook to tell their personal and community stories and have these stories linked to more reliable and international platforms. So I started my search, then I came across World pulse and the program Voices of the Future and I said to myself this is an opportunity to get my dream come true, to break the silence so I applied and I look forward to passing knowledge gained to these young women.

Comments

Sharontina's picture

So many issues!

Hi Passy,

Thanks for bringing all the issues in front and for your concern in empowering women against them. This is very challenging and you have taken it up. keep sharing dear. we are waiting to hear.

Love.

Merlin Sharontina

Lortoria's picture

You are breaking the silence

Hi Passy,

I love the fact you were touched enough by all these issues to start the 'Young Women Leadership' forum. Please keep letting us know how you go about this and the women that are helped along the way. It is an interesting opportunity that will empower them to change their situation and share their experiences. Your compassion and strength is an inspiration.

Best wishes,

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/illumaink
New website coming soon!

PrincessZar's picture

Please count me in!

Hi Passy, I love your goal of training young women to be Peer Educators because I currently work as a Project Officer for a Theater based NGO where we train prisoner to be Peer Educators. I would love to help you not so sure how since we use Applied Drama (Interactive) methods to facilitate our workshops.

Let her voice be heard!

Taha Mirani's picture

Great

Dear Passy, indeed silence isn't going to be of any help. We have to be our own advocates, only then we can expect a change. Great post. Keep writing. (y)

Love

Taha Mirani

Jan K Askin's picture

Breaking out of the Echo Chamber

Dear Passy,

You identified a universal dilemma. Often, well-meaning organizations, such as NWADO, bring people and agencies together in which grievances, dilemmas, pressing issues are shared within, but do not reach a wider audience. Not everyone can see they speak in an echo chamber, let alone do something.

Your something sounds terrific: Young women's Leadership forum. It is exceedingly difficult to talk/write in a vacuum. May this forum provide the catalyst for many young women to share their voices outside the bubble of their lives.

Congratulations on using your position for a greater good.

Your sister in the US,

Jan askin

Jan Askin

dreams with the moon's picture

Striving!

Dear Passy,

I hear so much determination in your story! I think it is not common at all to be facing all that is going on, facing the problems and difficulties and not to resign but actively looking for solutions and answers. And this intuition, this dream and this striving brought you to World Pulse!
I'm honestly humbled by your determination to change the world.

Thank you for your invaluable work!

Jana

Aurore's picture

A true leader!

Hi Passy,

I'm really amazed by your leadership skills - you seem to know where you want to go and what you want to do for your community. I feel the Young women leadership forum you want to start would be so useful for the girls. Did you have a look at the current World Pulse campaign "Girls transform the world"?

Some of "your" girls could apply and share their stories through this program. I feel it would be a great opportunity for them..
Here is the link: http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/girlstransform

Warmly,
Aurore

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