Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Making a change in someone's life

When I finally got up the courage to leave my husband we ended up loosing everything and going to a homeless shelter. It was the darkest time in our lives and one we really want to forget all about. I was feeling very depressed and like nothing mattered, almost. It was like the world around me was just blackness. It was like nothing existed in the world, it is very hard to describe that feeling but if you have felt it then you know what I mean. All that existed was myself and my daughters, the only lights shining in that vast darkness.

I think I am one of the lucky ones since my mother had always taught me that I had a beautiful and strong soul and to never forget it. I tried to teach that same thing to my own daughters. I think it was that wisdom that guided us during that time. We were barely hanging on, struggling to come to grips with the changes happening to us and wondering what would happen to us. Being the mom, I knew it was my duty to be strong for them, to be their support and strength but they were just as much mine as I was theirs. It was our caring about each other that helped us get through that hard time.

What amazed me about it was before we left that place and got an apartment of our own one of the other ladies staying there made a comment to me that I will never forget. She and her own daughter were leaving a bad relationship and had a rough life as we had had. She said it really helped to change her daughter's view of the world by just meeting us. She said that seeing how we cared about each other and did everything we could to help each other and the real love that we shared helped her daughter feel hope and joy again.

I didn't know what to say to her. I was barely maintaining any sense of sanity during that time and it was most definately meeting us at our worst moment but I was very glad to hear that from her. I have always believed that being a good person matters. My mom taught me that value and I taught it to my daughters.

My daughters and I have always wanted to make the world a better place. We all do small things to help but sometimes feel it is not enough. I had never told the girls about what the lady had said to me until late last year. They were worried that our little bit of good was not enough to help make the world a better place so I told them how they had already changed the life of one girl just by being themselves. I said that we might not be able to do great things but we can do good things.

I think we are not always so lucky to have someone come up and tell us that we somehow helped change their life for the better but wanted to share my story so others can know that by just being good people you can make a big difference in the world.


JaniceW's picture

So Beautiful

Maria.... without realizing it, your radiant light has just spread throughout the PulseWire community with incredible warmth and love. My heart aches when I read what you and others in the shelter have gone through, but I am overjoyed that you took a stand for yourself and your daughters, and in so doing, became their role model for great courage. How empowering is that? Often, we are taught to be silent and invisible yet when we are given a voice, amazing things happen. You are such an inspiration and by telling your story, I know that one more voice may feel empowered to speak out and take a stand for herself.

We are honoured to have you as part of our PulseWire community. I am also so happy that you have joined our Voices of Our Future group and look forward to hearing more from you. You might want to browse through all of our community groups as it's a great way to build powerful networks, find members with similar interests to your own, share ideas or actions. With the group journal, you can brainstorm solutions, pose questions, test ideas and create a support network for your visions.

Don't stop writing and sharing your ideas. We all forget to believe in ourselves sometimes and it helps to have that little reminder, every now and then. So welcome, and best wishes to you and your daughters.
PulseWire Community Director

Maria de Chirikof's picture

thanks janice!

I was very nervous about posting, very afraid I would bore people to death but your kind words give me courage. So thanks for taking the time to say your kind words! I love words and writing since it gives me a chance to say what I probably never would in person. In person I would probably smile and nod encouragement and be too shy to offer much more. I do hope other woman find their own personal courage and their own voice!


There are so many things in your story that inspire me. Please continue to share your journey with us. Here, you can never speak too loudly or say too much. We embrace all your words as they ring out and bring ideas to life. You empower others who may also be hesitant to speak and show them that indeed, together we can create a future where anything could be possible. Our love goes out to you. Big hug...

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative