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Echo: Shatter the Silence!

I want my voice to be an echo in the silence. For too long, I’ve been quiet about the inequities and problems that consume my community. I know, because I have suffered most of them. Being from a Western culture has it’s blessing and curses. As an ethnic female trying to find her place in the world, it is an uphill struggle, and so I feel more curses. I’ve found many that can relate to me, but they grumble beneath their breaths. They complain silently amongst themselves, in places where they will not be heard, and so nothing will change.

For years, I’ve struggled to get into the media. I’ve tried every avenue, applied for every thing going, and still nothing. I keep hearing it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Ok, so I go to all the networking events, keep myself up to date with all the changes happening in the industry — still nothing. I research my industry and find out that only 7% of ethnic minorities are employed in the media. For those that get their break, they start at the bottom, and are usually overlooked when it comes to promotion. The British media realises this, but their equal opportunities criteria is slow and yields minimal changes.

My reasons aren’t vain, on the contrary. I know what it feels like to be homeless. I was kicked out at 16 and sofa surfed for the best part of seven years before having a home to call my own. There was no system in place then to help a young female, homeless, and trying to support herself through education. My choices were if you want a home, you must leave college, and if you stay, you forfeit a roof. Well, I couldn’t go back home, it was not an option, and besides I was finally escaping years of abuse. All this stress coupled with an illness I was way too young to manage by myself.

The thing is, I’m a fighter. A survivor. I have so many experiences to share with the world, that would make great TV and news stories to empower other females that need support now. The usual avenues to the media don’t want gritty, real life stories that empower women to realise their potential and perform their personal best. No, better to shut up and look pretty, pretending to be dumb because it’s the cutest way to get a rich man, and then settle down and have babies. Is this real life?

All around me females are struggling. Trapped in abusive relationships, struggling to cope with the aftermath of abuse or in a vicious cycle of single parenthood. This is what females from my postcode have to look forward to. See, not everything in England glitters, and even if it does, it’s not always gold. And the poverty is rising, the poor are becoming more oppressed. Working class in England isn’t what it used to mean, we are the disposable underbelly no one wants to acknowledge.

As a World Pulse correspondent, I will go over and beyond what is expected. I will use my experiences, imagination, and the power of the written word to deliver the truth. And it will not always be pretty. I will pioneer for change, and make sure that the voices of the meek are heard. Disability, ethnicity and what it means to be female will be revolutionised with positive representation.

I’ve already been liaising with doctors, researchers and educators to get a dimensional view of the issues they encounter, and the solutions that will bring effective change. As an ambassador for change, I will help to initiate and develop support packages for homeless young people, post-abortion support, and information and development about malaria and sickle cell in Africa. I have a lot to talk about, I’ve been busy in these silent and seemingly ineffective years. I can’t do it all by myself — no woman is an island. So I leave it in God’s hands. What will be will be — and if it so favours, I will shatter the silence and bring the taboo to the surface. This is my promise.

Comments

Tait's picture

Keep Writing

Latoria,

I really am excited to read more about your story. I'm happy that you found the World Pulse community so that you can express yourself and empower women without having to put a filter on your message.

Tait

Lortoria's picture

Thank you

Hi Tait,

It's been a little while since I've been on here, but thank you kindly for your comment. I hope to have some new stories to share with the community soon.

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

libudsuroy's picture

Dear Latoria, You are already

Dear Latoria,
You are already that ambassador of change in the world! Thank you so much for your bold gestures, your commitment to be a harbinger of positive change for the disadvantaged in your community and the world. It's time for you to bloom and spread waves of positive energies around. I wish you well-being, safety and happiness my friend, wherever you go.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Brigitte Mawazo Kyalondawa's picture

Bonjour

I hope you can help me to know your loved ones need my organization. NGABO
Looking for a grant to support an awareness of the laws relating to the rights of women and children in eastern DR Congo. (1325) The objective is to fight against the many forms of rape and violence based on gender that women are victims of our region.
Also, we want to fight against the schooling of girls, early marriage and other crimes that encourage custom.
The need is displayed on the pages of world Brigittemawazo @ pulse.com
Love me please to find support
thank you

BRIGITTE MAWAZO

Lortoria's picture

Warm greetings.

Hi Lina,

Your comment made me smile. I hope to do just that! Thank you and wishing you the same. Keep me posted on your journal updates.

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

Debra K Adams MA's picture

hello

YOU ARE A JOURNALIST NOW! remember that, introduce yourself as a journalist - i matters not if you are paid or you are volunteering your services or writing because you want to do so! If you continue to write a WP VOFblog, you can name yourself as a citizen journalist...
let's keep in touch, we can support each other!

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

Brigitte Mawazo Kyalondawa's picture

bonjour

I hope you can help me to know your loved ones need my organization. NGABO
Looking for a grant to support an awareness of the laws relating to the rights of women and children in eastern DR Congo. (1325) The objective is to fight against the many forms of rape and violence based on gender that women are victims of our region.
Also, we want to fight against the schooling of girls, early marriage and other crimes that encourage custom.
The need is displayed on the pages of world Brigittemawazo @ pulse.com
Love me please to find support
thank you

BRIGITTE MAWAZO

Lortoria's picture

Encouraging words

Hi Debra,

It's been a while since we connected on World Pulse, but I keep up to date with your tweets. Thanks for your encouragement. That is the mindset I am adopting these days. Indeed, let's remain in contact and share our stories.

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

Hideko N.'s picture

Thank God you survived

Thank God that you sruvived and have access to computer! Hope I dont sound like I am just talking, but I really feel for you. Please do not feel so bad about situations. It is not easy everywhere. For instance, I have not found a job since I am back to my country, but that is why at least I spent all my time building my NGO. I hear that England gives enough fund for oprating NGO in Africa. If you have at least a computer, contact me, I will show you how to do it. Hideko N.

Lortoria's picture

Nice to connect again, Hideko

Hi Hideko,

I am fortunate to have the support of my community. Thank you for your concern, but I am a fighter, like you and most of the women on WP. There is various types of funding for NGO's in Africa dependent upon needs. If you are on LinkedIn or have a email account I can pass you on information.

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

Lisa T's picture

Pioneer for change!

Dear Lortoria,

Thank you for sharing your personal and powerful story. You do a nice job of explaining some of the challenges faced in your country. I especially like the line, "I will use my experiences, imagination, and the power of the written word to deliver the truth." This line captures your positive vision. I look forward to reading more of your writing!

Sincerely,
Lisa

Brigitte Mawazo Kyalondawa's picture

chere amie

I hope you can help me to know your loved ones need my organization. NGABO
Looking for a grant to support an awareness of the laws relating to the rights of women and children in eastern DR Congo. (1325) The objective is to fight against the many forms of rape and violence based on gender that women are victims of our region.
Also, we want to fight against the schooling of girls, early marriage and other crimes that encourage custom.
The need is displayed on the pages of world Brigittemawazo @ pulse.com
Love me please to find support
thank you

BRIGITTE MAWAZO

Lortoria's picture

Hi Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Apologies for late reply.

You are most welcome. I'm glad you picked up on that line, as there are so many important and empowering stories we as women have to share. I look forward to sharing more stories soon. In the meantime, it's nice to meet you.

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

Lyndsay's picture

Wow!

Lortoria, your words are riveting!
Thank you for sharing your story as a surviver and a fighter. As you write, the gritty truth can be the hardest to "sell" because many people don't want to acknowledge or confront the deeply rooted structural barriers and inequalities that exist. I see this in my country, the U.S., to a disheartening degree as well.

I urge you to keep writing about these unsettling truths because it is what the world needs to hear.

I love when you write that "Disability, ethnicity and what it means to be female will be revolutionised with positive representation" through your writing. You are already doing this!

I look forward to reading more and wish you much strength in pursuing your goals.

In solidarity,
Lyndsay

Lortoria's picture

So touching

Hi Lyndsay,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for taking the time out to read my post. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the 'gritty truth,' and this is why WP exists. It's about real women, with real stories who want to share their experiences to empower other women.

I am still writing, so if you stay in touch I will share my new projects. There will be new stories on WP, too.

"In solidarity", indeed. :)

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

Brigitte Mawazo Kyalondawa's picture

Chere amie

I hope you can help me to know your loved ones need my organization. NGABO
Looking for a grant to support an awareness of the laws relating to the rights of women and children in eastern DR Congo. (1325) The objective is to fight against the many forms of rape and violence based on gender that women are victims of our region.
Also, we want to fight against the schooling of girls, early marriage and other crimes that encourage custom.
The need is displayed on the pages of world Brigittemawazo @ pulse.com
Love me please to find support
thank you

BRIGITTE MAWAZO

Lortoria's picture

Not sure if I can help, but...

Hi Cher Amie,

I'm not sure if the following is that helpful but you could try http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk.

I used to work for a company called Eaves that deals with similar issues as you describe. It might be a good idea to get in contact with them for general info about funding and collaboration http://www.eavesforwomen.org.uk/.

Regards

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

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

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