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November 12, 2012 remains ingrained in my memory as a monumental day in my life. Just a few months before I had graduated from university with a Finance degree, but this day was bigger than that because of what it was adding. On November 12th, I received my certificate for Compassion International’s Leadership Development Program. It was the culmination of four years of hard work and many sacrifices. My Finance degree was a significant milestone, but graduating the Leadership Development Program was symbolic of my goal in life; to not only be a leader, but to develop leaders.

I had been incredibly fortunate to be sponsored the entire four years by the same American woman. Over that time we had developed a close bond. We would chat on Facebook and she was always there for me. And now she was “here” for me – at my graduation – in person with her husband! In a class of 35 persons, only two promoted had the privilege of seeing their sponsors come. My sponsor was chosen to represent the sponsors and she was asked to speak to the graduates. In her speech, she spoke about a girl who was attempting to rescue starfish that had washed up on the beach. The beach was covered with starfish and people were making fun of her for wasting her time with the few she was trying save, when she could be building sand castles or playing games. But she said to save even one would give her so much joy. Each starfish she picked up, she would throw into the ocean with all her strength, as far from the shore as possible.

I was privileged to be standing by my sponsor’s side during her speech, and while doing so, the memories of my journey to this point scrolled through my mind; all the years of demanding studies, much of the time spent away from my family at boarding school. But now I was standing on the stage to receive my certificate as someone who I’d never met in person before, stood with me, as proud of my success as I was. The dedication of my sponsor further inspired me to dedicate myself to others who were in need. Since that auspicious day, my vision has been to give my time, energy, and education to women and children who are suffering in various ways; listen to them, share my heart with them, and be their spokesperson. Too often, assistance is doled out in cookie-cutter fashion, without an understanding of the ambitions those being served might have, what they believe they can do and how they would like to contribute to society. Aid is necessary sometimes, but it can also be demeaning. I have always found that listening is paramount, When you listen you gain an understanding of how you can help others do what is in their hearts to do. People appreciate assistance, but want to be able one day to be in a position to give back, to have value and give value, to feel and be a part of the whole. I enjoy giving value, creating value. I may have been a beached starfish at one time, but now I too am bent on setting precious ones free.

And it seems to me that Freedom is what World Pulse is all about; setting women free to be who they were created to be, and do what they were created to do. And beyond that, World Pulse is an opportunity, a forum where all the women of the world can join together as one, with one voice, to promote our liberty, our love, our dreams; to promote our vision for a world where everyone is acknowledged and valued, embraced, encouraged, and supported to fulfill their reason, their purpose, their dreams. I want to be a World Pulse Correspondent because I want my voice to be better trained to speak these things. I am already feeling my voice gaining in strength, but I want my voice to be as strong as it can be, that when it is added to the chorus of voices on World Pulse, it adds to the power of our unity, which is the genius in our song.


Veronique_S's picture

Singing your song

I LOVE the illustration used, it was personal and also real. Which in my estimation lend some vitality and brought effectiveness to what you wanted to portray.

In our life's journey we have the privilege of singing our own song but is there someone willing to sing with us. And your sponsor that day was singing with you, not only did she invest financially but her willingness to stand was an awesome moment, she shared your dream and she believed in you. That in my estimation was hope, which caused your blossom of love to extend to others.

Continue singing your song and making melody in life with your ability to INSPIRE HOPE IN OTHERS.

CAPTIVATING piece and it truly connected with me as I read it. Thank you, and best wishes on this awesome journey.


Estherkitenge's picture

Thank you very much and I

Thank you very much and I wish you the best

Myrthe's picture


Thank you for sharing your story! You are so fortunate to have a sponsor who believed in you, supported you and made the effort to travel all the way to attend you graduation!
I love how you mention listening as being so important. I fully agree with you! I think really listening is essential, but also such a difficult skill!
I wish you well on your path to success. I am sure you will achieve great things!

Estherkitenge's picture

Thank you very much Myrthe

Thank you very much Myrthe

Aurore's picture

Sponsor's role

It must have been a great joy for both your sponsor and you! I hope that if you make it to VOF, you'll find a sponsor like that again :)

Estherkitenge's picture

Yes it was a great joy, and

Yes it was a great joy, and especially a great honor.

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