Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Words are powerful

Words are Powerful

Canadaby aleila | March 16, 2009 at 10:33 PM
aleila's picture
Words are powerful and I have fought for every word I speak.

When our voices resonate with truth others are liberated to find their own voice, and the great potential that resides underneath the fear.

The story of my beginnings is not dissimilar to millions of others, nor my suffering unique. I have been shaped by those experiences. I have chosen to allow the breaking of my heart to render me more tender and fierce in my determination. My suffering has brought me closer to all of humanity. My suffering has taught me the language of compassion.

Having risen out of great violence, and silence in my own life, I am now in a place of thriving and peace.

My reference point for living is no longer the horrible violence into which I was born. As a child I had no voice. I was silenced by terror, by abandonment and by brutality. I was powerless to stop what was happening.

Now as a woman my voice is powerful, clear, and heard. With voice I liberate my being from the bond of terror that once held me captive and silent. I define a new and peaceful relationship with silence. I move into the brilliance of life itself. To have a voice is a great responsibility. Now I can effect change.

Words are powerful.

I live my life helping to ensure that other people not suffer the atrocity of violence as I have, that they have the support needed to heal if they do experience violence, that they have a voice, and the support needed to effect greater change in the world if they wish to do so.

For ten years I have had the great honor of working as a Structural Integration Practitioner (S.I.). S.I. (a.k.a. Rolfing), is a type of bodywork that unwinds injury and trauma on all levels. I have carried this work from my community into the back streets of Peru, and South Africa. I have been given the extraordinary blessing of helping many people work hard to find their voices, their empowerment and healing within their hearts, their bodies and their lives. In the raw truth of humanity that I have bore witness to, I have been shaped and effected and set alight with passion to evolve and be a more effective person of change.

I have just returned from South Africa along the border of Mozambique and Swaziland. How this truly translates is that I have just returned from a journey where I held with love, and held literally, child after child who had been beaten raped, persecuted and infected with HIV as a result of the violence. I sat with these two, six, eight, nine, ten, fifteen year old girls doubled over with shame, and in pain breaking through their own silence, wanting so desperately to know that they really are still loved and can heal...can put the shattered shards of glass their lives had become together again or together for the first time into the most brilliant pattern they could imagine...wanting to know that I could/someone could still see their brilliance (and I most obviously could), that one day they too would see their brilliance again..and how the rape/beating /torture truly did not kill all that was and make them less than...worse than...dead. That what happened to them was not their fault nor their failure...that a two, six, eight, eleven, and thirteen year old girl cannot fight off their neighborhood, cannot prevent them from burning/raping /mutilating her sisters and herself no matter how hard she tried.

The violence is escalating. I am appalled by the atrocity. I am inspired by the beauty of the people I am blessed to know and love. I am left with a deep urgency. The time is now to use our voices to effect change.

Words are powerful.


phylis's picture


I agree100% with what you are saying. And what you are doing is very good. Actually it is better. The only way we can help us women is by standing out of the crowd and talking.

We have to talk for ourselves because it is only us who know what we feel and we are the ones who have to undergo through all this suffering. We should give it a shot so as to know how powerful and strong these words can be and they bring about amazing change that we would not even image.

Alongside talking we should get down to the little girls and grown up women who undergo so much pain in order to share with them this pain. Us just being there to give them a shoulder to lean on and crying alongside with them shows them that there are people out here who feel them and are really trying to help them find a solution. However, young one might be she has a right to talk and be heard and anything wrong done to them is not their fault..

Keep up with the good work girl.

aleila's picture


Dear Phylis,

Thank-you for responding to my journal. It means so much to hear the wisdom of others in this group (such as your wisdom and experience as well!) You are so right...everyone...especially those who would normally be ignored, such as young children have a right to be heard, and loved, and to know that the violence that they endured is not their fault.
It sounds like you have had to speak for yourself in hard times as well. Your right, speaking for ourselves does bring about wonderful changes that we could not even imagine. Continued strength, courage and peace to you. I look so forward to hearing more about your journey too! You sound like a very beautiful person!

In solidarity,

olutosin's picture



Blessed yes, that is your new name from me, I read this article with tears in my eyes. To others it might be just another story but to those of us working everyday on response to sexual violence, I believe that it is another story today, a story I can identify with, another story that gives me more reason to continue in my vow to fight with the last drop of my blood for these little angels the wicked ones are turning to dogs in Nigeria, in Africa, in the whole world, because the story may be different but the consequences are almost the same all over the world.

If I have a better opportunity, I will do more for these children that are daily abused, if I can enact law on my own, perpetrators will either keep off, be repaired or remain in jail. Childood is in extinct the exposure to compulsory show of shame daily is an indication, moreover, when I think about the ordeal of these little ones in the hands of these heartless perpetrators, I shiver, fear grips me and I begin to wonder that is it true that some people are created with mutated gene? What has a three year old girl flaunt to attract a 26 year old man, or is it the last case I witnessed last saturay of an old man of 60 with a 9 year old girl?.

It is a fight we can win, I am ready to go anywhere inthe world, death is just a moment sleep. Those who lied to us last time are dead, those who spoke the truth are intheir grves, who is afraid of death? of defending these defenceless little ones who can only see the face but cannot read the minds of these so called uncles and brothers with claws ready to descend ontheir innocence. It is a fight we can win Leila, may God continue to protect you adn grant you more wisdom with open doors to run and never weary.

Children all over the world are ours, irrespective of creed, nation, colour or language, nothing can debar us and the silence ans secrecy sorrounding sexual violence can only be broken when we identify with the victims and continually speak out on their behalf. From the bottom of my heart I love what you are doing, in life, we are made to pass through some experiences so that when we see others going through such we will be able to empathise, to know how they feel truly, you are now like gold who has passed through fire, shining brightly but make sure that your light WILL CONTINUALLY shine in darkness so that others will be able to pass through unmolested.

We will make progress, change is inevitable.

May the world be clean!


Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


aleila's picture


Dear Blessed,

Thank-you so much for your reply to my writing.

Thank-you for all that you are doing as well each day. I appreciate your thoughts and your passion in ending sexual abuse. I agree that it takes a community to raise a child...and a community to protect a child. The community can be small or as big as the whole world. You are right too, that unfortunately there is violence against women and children all over the world; it is not unique to one part of the world. From what I know to be true it does not matter the circumstances. If a child has been abused it is not their fault. There is no reason to abuse anyone.
Yes, passing through fire has made me more compassionate and determined...and I know it is the same for many. We will make progress, and help create change. Together and focused, people are very strong!

In solidarity and peace,

I want you to know that as the dawn of the return of the mothers return, there will be unleashed unimaginable violence unleashed upon her daughters. Therefore we sisters, and mothers must take up spiritual armor and begin to unleash divine love into the universe to protect our daughters, our daughters who exist all over the world. Yes, I too am reading of stories of men raping 7 month old daughters, and young girls thinking it will cure them of HIV/AIDS and I weep inside, but I know that this too will also bring about a strength among women that existed in the past with the previous patriarchial take over that occurred over 2000 years ago. So I say to those on the physical battle field that those of us who are not there in the physical are there for and with you in spirit. And when it becomes too much lean into the arms of Sista love, that will hold you up when you feel weak and feed your spirit with the divine waters of healing love.
Yes, I too have been feeling sick over this madness, but I know that it is just a time we are passing through to become stronger. Thank you Blessed and all my other sisters who are fighting the good fight and healing with the balm of Mother's Love.

aleila's picture


Thank-you for your words.
There is nothing like fire to strengthen, and a cool balm to heal. Thank goodness for all of our Ancestoral Mothers, for their love and strength.

Peace and strength to all,

janet kabugua's picture

it is really good

sometimes we raelly dont recognise how powerful our words are until we see the consequences. i believe words are really powerful even in the shaping of a little kid. as i have come to realise when one uses abusive words towards a child that child will use the word just as you did and you will realise how wrong you were.
i find like when i use comforting word towards my son he tends to feel it such that next time he uses it to me and i feel so comforted like when he has to tell me ' mum do you really love you and i will always' i feel so good that i have always told my son those words and he uses them to me and he insists mum i love you. it is true words are powerful and the sametime when words are wrongly used they are very destructive.
tthankyou for sharing and helping us share too

aleila's picture


Dear Janet Kabugua,

I love that you are using comforting loving words with your son. I have seen that helps to make boys become beautiful, compassionate and strong men. Every child needs to know that they are loved. Thank-you for sharing about your son, and yes words used well can heal a heart...words used in a mean way can break a heart. I am reminded by you to choose my words with love.

Peace to you,

janet kabugua's picture

thank you

hi sis,
it helps me become strong whenever i read the atricles and stories and replies from this site it helps me realise ho wimportant it is to be close to thers. thank you sister for your response

efe's picture

the better part of man(or woman)

i am glad that something beautiful is coming out of your traumatic experiences.Sometimes, when i get overwhelmed with all the injustices i see, i feel like tuning out and becoming indifferent. i succeed but only for a short while because that part of me that makes me complete overcomes the selfish part of me and i reach out.

thank you for fighting the fight

aleila's picture


Thank-you so much for your reply!
I hear what you are saying!
At times, the injustices are overwhelming. In times like that I take a deep breath and I remind myself of where I began, where I am now and how I got to where I am now. I remember how important it was to me as a young girl when someone, anyone, anchored some kindness in my day. It made all the difference in my life, and sustained me.
Any thing we do to anchor more love in this world moment to moment, in small and not-so-small ways is important. Having lived through the depth of violence that I have, and now to be thriving and doing all that I can to help women and children find empowerment is the unfolding of my vision as a young person. I know that answering violence with more violence only creates more violence. I think suffering can either tears us apart or bring us closer together and create more compassion. I am moved deeply to do whatever I can.

Thank-you as well for your courage to do all that you do!
In Peace and Solidarity.

TERESA's picture


Lets make use of this Opportunity GOD has really come to rescue us Women, through the World Pulse Voices of our Future Applicant. I thank the iniitiators of this Program and may GOD continue to give them wisdom, guide them as they strive to help the voiceless Women through this programme bless them LORD!

Those who are conversant with Internet may they strive to help the poor Women by informing theri needs to the relevant. (Voice of our Future Applicant. Women who have never gone to School or have gone but they know nothing about Computers.

iI dont have words to express how grateful i am. No doubt we are going to eradicate poverty through the VOICES OF UOR FUTURE APPLICANT! YES WE CAN DO!!!

On my part, i wish i know how to access the Internet Connection they are telling us that those who dont have Internet Connection can use.


TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

Hi Tere,

I think of my sister's in the world as well who have no, or only a little knowledge of the internet, or can only use it sometimes. I hope there comes a time where everyone can learn to use this tool so that all women's voices, who wish to be heard are heard on a global scale. Is there anything I can do to help you know how to access the Internet Connection for those who don't have Internet Connection?

Nelly2.0's picture

Truly powerful

I can understand your feeling. I am a health journalist and I cover HIV and AIDS, among many other health problems. I have met HIV+ children and it is very sad, mostly because of the helplessness that threatens to overcome you. You ask yourself what these little darlings did to merit their fate. But the right words offer consolation and sooth the spirit of these victims. Dear sister, keep up the good work. You brighten the world with these seemingly minute acts of kindness.

aleila's picture

Compassion instead of Fear

Thank-you, my sister for your work in the world, and for your reply,
In my work with women and children, and communities affected by HIV and AIDS, there is so much stigma against people with HIV/AIDS. This stigma makes life so much harder for everyone. I wish that people would reach out to each other with compassion instead of fear, and talk about what is actually happening. When there are people like you and others I have met in my journey who are helping to bring the issues of HIV and AIDS to light, it helps people to not suffer further-not to suffer in silence. People with HIV and AIDS often have such a perilous and difficult journey-often filled with so much loss. They are truly some of the most beautiful people I have ever known-and their stories are important to listen to. If we could support people rather than push them away in fear, it would really make a difference!

Thank-you for all that you are doing!
Peace and Strength on the journey!

JaniceW's picture

Thank you, Aleila

Aleila, your words and profound concern for the children you have encountered touched me deeply. I so applaud the efforts of courageous women like you, who dare to speak out and in turn, educate us on the challenges and issues facing abused children. You are already transforming lives with the dialogue you are inciting as you share your knowledge, dreams, ideas and hopes with the community. By courageously confronting your inner sufferings and conflict drawn from the difficult environment you found yourself in, you have developed an inner strength that is now helping to empower others.

Voices, such as your own, have changed lives and I look forward to reading more from you. Here, your words ring out and bring ideas to life. You are empowering others who have been hesitant to speak and show them that indeed, together we can create a future where anything could be possible. Again, welcome and thank you for joining PulseWire.
PulseWire Community Director

aleila's picture

Thank-you Janice

Dear Janice, thank-you so much for your beautiful reply. Your words give me further courage to share and to listen in the spirit of empowerment. Thank-you for this profound opportunity. May we all be strengthened in the journey.

I have truly been blessed to come to know and love so many people in this world. Courageous, honest, people who have gifted me with the sharing of their stories, the unfolding of their hearts-their deepest sufferings and their most enlightened transformations. People who are rising up humming like deep ocean currents, and people who are singing out. I do see that our liberation of voice helps another to find their liberation of voice which helps another and so on. Every voice is needed to create a future where anything is possible.

In South Africa this year there was a young girl, we'll call her Rose, (7 years old) who was brought to us by her best friend who was 9, and her mother. Rose was barely able to breathe, struggling to live. She could barely walk from the violence she had endured. AIDS and TB had weakened her body; the violence she had endured at the hands of those around her had silenced and exhausted her. Her friend helped her onto my lap, she leaned back in my arms right against my heart and fell asleep. I tell you, while this beautiful little girl rested against my heart, and her story poured into the room, I looked into the eyes of every woman and child in that dusty room with us and I recognized at a depth I will never forget that the violence is escalating. The time is now. That the health and healing of every woman and child is essential for the well being of our world. That everyone of us must help each other to speak of the things that matter to us. That we have to be present with each other, support each other and together change these paradigms that are leaving all of us breathless. So voices started to ring, people began to come together and over the next couple of days Rose began to come back to life. On the third day she made herself a paper crown with glitter and a feather. She came to me with her eyes shining. While I put it on for her, a queen's crown, she literally rose up and smiled, and she shone with such empowerment.
The Rose's of the world give me courage. For all the Rose's of the world I will not be silent when I can speak. It is such a small thing really that these women and children have asked me to do. Listen. Speak. Help us all to liberate each other from silence.

SO, thank-you to you and to everyone who with great courage lets their voices sound.
I too am looking so forward to reading more from you, and from so many women.
Thank-you for welcoming me to this community.

Reena Shah's picture


I am amazed at the eloquence with which you have written this story. I love the simplicty of the title. Most of all I love your writing. Words are truly powerful. Words can effect change. Where you write about having no voice, you floored me. I look forward to reading your other entries.

aleila's picture


Dear Reena,
Thank-you so much for your supportive response. Your words further my courage. I thank-you as well for your eloquence in your writings! Yes, words do effect change, and sometimes inspire the heart to action! I too am looking so forward to reading more of your entries. May this journey be wonderful for you!

Peace to you,

Thanks Aleila,

Yes Please, am very much in need of Internet Connections I know and believe my other Sisters too, their dream will come true. Thanks for being concerned. May God bless you.

INTERNET CONNECTION - It is true this is the time for everyone should learn to use this TOOl so that all Women Voices on a Global scale will be fulfilled. We need Computers and Internet Connection Please.

Thanks for your Cooperation.


TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

aleila's picture

An idea....

Hi Teresia,
Tell me more, if you like about what your community needs.
Let's post the need of your community on the resource exchange board on this website. Then we can see if anyone has some solutions for your need of computers and internet. To get the word out in a bigger way, would you like help posting this on the resource exchange, or would you like to post this yourself?

I am happy to help you get the word out there if you would like!

Sending blessings,

TERESA's picture


Hi Aleila,

Hope you are ok. Am grateful and thank you for your concern on our poor Community.

Yes please, I would appreciate so much if you help me to post on the Resource Exchange the need of our Community Women Groups Computers Internet)do we include even the Wind Driven Electric Generator and Sanitary pads/, so that we et the word in a bigger way. as you say.

Thanks in advance for everything especially your Cooperation ,time you spend on browsing and typing all my replies.

May God bless you AMEN

Yours Teresa,
Voices of our Future Applicant

TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

aleila's picture

Resource Exchange Board

Hi Teresa,
Sorry for the delay,
I checked the resource exchange board. There is a form that needs to be filled out. The board is in the right hand column (if you haven't already seen it-took me a little to find it.) It is going to ask you what you need, and then you can post a note in the bulletin below. Is there anything else you want to post that you need other than computers, internet, wind driven electric generator and sanitary pads?
Then, do you want to post it, or do you need me to post it? I am happy to do that if you need me to. Sorry so many questions, but I want to be sure to honor what you can also do for yourself, and help with the parts you need help with.

Take good care!

Let me know!

TERESA's picture


Hi Aleila,

Thanks for everything and sorry for inconviniencing you. Am so grateful for your kindness and concern. Please i request you to send to Resource Exchange for me. Though i havent seen the board i will make sure i see it

Thanks for your cooperation

TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

aleila's picture

Posted on Resource Exchange board

Hi Teresa,
I posted your requested needs on the Resource Exchange Board for you. I have directed people to respond to you for further details. Good Luck!
The Resource Exchange board is located in the upper right hand of your computer screen near where you post to your journal, so that you can find it too!
Happy continued writing!

TERESA's picture


Hi Aleila,

Thanks for posting my Communities needs to Resource Exchange Board for me. Thanks for your concern and may GOD bless you. I have tried t find the location of that board.

Thanks for your cooperation.


TERESA KAGECHA i would like to use the new password and email to participate in the WORLDPULSE VIEWS - COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION MOBILISING

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

Myra Musico: My Disability Is Not an Obstacle

Myra Musico: My Disability Is Not an Obstacle

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

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative