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Uncovering a Female-Oriented Information and Communication Technology Pathway

Igniting a Smart Future for Grassroots Women

Monday November 18th 2013, remains memorable! My scheduled World Pulse Voices of Our Future (VOF) ‘Each One Teach Five’ Citizen journalism and digital empowerment training series debuted on that day. As I graciously stepped out of bed that morning, I had a clear cut plan in my delighted brains about how the day would look. The objectives outlined for the training includes- introduction of participants to World Pulse, sharing of success stories about many women around the world whose lives and communities have been impacted by World Pulse; and going on to invite and encourage the women to join the World Pulse Online Community. Six months before that eventful day, I never imagined that I would become a proficient digital empowerment and citizen journalism trainer and advocate.

The scheduled venue for the event was the home of Anna Avong, a grassroots woman leader and women’s empowerment activist who leads various grassroots women groups in my community. It is worthy of mention that Anna is very familiar with my work, as over the years my organization the Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE) has been providing various forms of support to grassroots women in and beyond her home land. This cut across knowledge and life’s skills transfer in the area of natural resource access, use, control and stewardship.

I arrived the venue armed with the printouts of World Pulse VOF Module five learning materials, Training/Event Tracking Sheets, Participant Questionnaires, the World Pulse flip book (containing an introduction to World Pulse), my laptop, writing materials, an agenda, a digital camera and my black (would love it ‘green’) berry smart phone. For this particular training which was to focus on citizen journalism and digital empowerment, Anna suggested a mix of participants drawn across her women’s groups (religious, social, political and cultural).

Although 15 participants were expected, only 10 of them showed up. It was however gratifying that the absentees sent in their apologies. On the participant’s roll call, I had: 1 Pastor’s wife, 1 barrister , 2 housewives, 3 teachers, 1 health worker, 1 local government worker, and last but not the least Anna- a retired civil servant/educationist/woman activist and community leader. Amusingly too, we also had a handful of ebullient non-participants who tagged along with their mothers. 1 baby, 3 girls and 3 boys! The children went out to play as we got down to serious business.

By the scheduled time of 4:00 p.m., I was standing gleefully before ten eager yet curious looking women, from remarkable walks of life. It was no surprise that the women collectively affirmed that local news sources hardly report on issues that are of interest to them. Salome N., a housewife said “I have been praying and looking for avenues of helping and inspiring disadvantaged Youth, but I have been handicapped as I don’t have the means”. Each woman became vivacious as I presented them with the idea of creating their own news, and informed them of the numerous opportunities that online platforms like World Pulse offer women; to report on issues that matter to them.

The women listened with rapt attention as I spoke at length about: Jensine Larsen’s journey to founding World Pulse and Stella Paul of India who survived gender discrimination as a child. I also spoke about Beatrice Nas who is using technology to liberate girls in Uganda, Chi Yvonne Leina of Cameroon who is championing online and real-time campaigns to end breast ironing in her country. Very much so, Neema Namadamu and Maman Shujaa group in the Democratic Republic of Congo who use internet platforms like World Pulse to draw global attention to the plight of women in their war torn country; among many other wonderful women across the world that make up the community. Interestingly, these stories were new to the participants.

“Hearing about world Pulse for the first time captured my attention. I am particularly glad that a forum that gives women a room to voice out and be heard, to tell their stories- good, bad and ugly and be encouraged without any criticism or stigmatization exists. As a Legal Research Officer, I witness a lot of unfair treatment meted to women by men in terms of marriage, widowhood and inheritance; and I long for a time when these women will be relieved such forms of abuse. I am glad I found World Pulse and I am eager to know more about World Pulse” stated Barr (Mrs) Dorothy A. P.

Moving forward, I shared personal stories of how having access to and making use of digital technology tools and platforms have helped me build an active online presence; and also facilitated my personal and organization’s development through capacity building opportunities, connections, and alliances. In particular, the many opportunities that it opened up for me, the women and communities I work with. Among other accounts was the opportunity extended to me by the organizers of the 1st African Women and Water Conference which held in Nairobi, Kenya (30 June- July 5, 2008); to apply to attend the event in the company of an associate. I detailed how I was able to submit a joint online application, which resulted in the selection of Anna and me.

The women got even more excited to know that we were able to actively participate and return to our community equipped with knowledge, skills, water treatment technology supplies, and $1000.00 seed grant. They were observably fascinated that an uncomplicated online application paved way for two grassroots women (like themselves), to attend an all expense paid international women’s event. Indeed, they were not left in doubt that the internet can afford them unrestricted and limitless space for self discovery and expression, provide increased access to resources, and also be used to bring about a much desired change in their lives, family and community. “I would also love to be identified with citizen journalism and multimedia storytelling as a means of realizing my strong interest in journalism” revealed Onah Eunice, a secondary school English teacher.

It was, however, quite alarming for me to find out that only two of the trainees had functional email addresses, none of them had ever heard about Skype, only one had ever been to a café, and no more than 2 could access the internet on their phones. I realized suddenly that to make the training more beneficial to the women, it was necessary to address individual needs before going on to support their collective interest in citizen journalism, multimedia storytelling and social networking. On that basis I drew up and ran a series of 4 hours per week digital empowerment sessions, which I concluded on the 17th of December, 2013.

The sessions held, did not come without hydra headed challenges. I could never forget the times that we could not maximize our practical online sessions as a result of erratic power supply and poor internet connections. There was also the problem of scheduling the sessions to fit into the personal schedules of the participants. Sadly too, there was so much to be done with the limited time available, and majority of the participants did not have access to the tools that would help them try and live out what they were taught. According to A. Josephine “I want to join World Pulse but I don’t know how to start, because I don’t have a phone I can start learning with; and I don’t have money to pay for internet service”.

Nonetheless, we weathered the odds and recorded exciting outcomes that I would always live to remember. Abigail Dariya affirmed that “the training was very useful, educative and interesting and she will extend all she has learnt to other women; and become a voice of women in her community”.

Update:
• The ten women now have personal email accounts;
• 7 have registered on World Pulse and are requesting for additional support that will help them become active members;
• On the last day of the training, 2 trainees- Onah Eunice and Ekeji Oyinyechi experienced Skype Video call as they had an opportunity to have an engaging discussion with Delphine Criscenzo , the World Pulse Voices of Our Future Training Associate;
• Anna has gone an extra mile to invite a computer professional to provide her and the other women comprehensive computer application training. She said the expert is requesting for a fee of $25 per participant for four sessions, each made up of 2 hours;
• 10 days ago, I received a call from Onah Eunice and she wanted to know when I would be with them again;
• Dorothy and Eunice informed me that they now frequent the World Pulse website to read and learn from the stories other women share;
• The 10 women are still battling with the challenge of having steady, dependable and secure access to the internet;
• I have three other upcoming digital employment and citizen journalism training events to facilitate;
• Word has continued to spread!

By having access and using technology to drive my vision for a safe and just environment for everyone, tell the stories that I am passionate about, inspire and also equip other women to do the same, I recognize that a significant portion of my work is done. Environmental citizen journalism and digital empowerment training for women and girls in my community have become a priority for me; as I work towards bringing my dream of establishing a Women’s Eco Learning, Resource and Life Skill Center, to reality. It is my own version of a female oriented information and skills haven.

The work I plan to carry out at the center has the potential to help women overcome social, economic and technological barriers, by providing women access to information and communication tools and support services, life skills and learning resources; and stimulating and strengthening women’s association and leadership abilities in environmental restoration, stewardship and community development. The various opportunities I explore and create for women through the center, will also strengthen my capability and also create more awareness and support for my work which addresses environmental issues (Natural Resource Access-Water/Land/Forest, Agriculture, Livelihood, Energy, Climate Change etc.), that directly concern and affect women.

Logically, I recognize that such a Center would only be able to achieve the goals for which it is set, in an enabling environment. It would therefore be great for the Nigerian Government to tackle the problem of power outages; and also put in place policies and regulations that will guarantee gender equity in information and communication technology access and use. It is also expedient that Information and Communication Technology developers and service providers integrate the peculiar knowledge and needs of women into the solutions they are providing. Women should be welcomed as partners and not passive receptors of technology. Essentially too, much advocacy needs to happen to correct the wrong perceptions that men have about women’s access to a resource like the internet. Men need to know that the internet is important to women because it can provide increased access to resources and help women gain more control of their lives.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

Y's picture

How wonderful! Go get 'em,

How wonderful! Go get 'em, Greengirl!

Y

Greengirl's picture

Glad you found this!

I am glad you found and read this piece. Your support makes me want to do more, and thank you loads for the motivation. Here I go!

Greengirl

Celine's picture

Hi Sister

Good work! More grease to your elbow.

Celine

Greengirl's picture

Love you!

I sincerely love and appreciate you for your words of acknowledgement. It is empowering! God bless you real good Sister Celine. Looking forward to meeting you soonest.

Kjir's picture

Thank you!

First of all, Congratulations! I love you idea of the women creating their own news - brilliant! These women's stories need to be shared - the good ones along with the painful ones. Access to the internet and other forms of technology to enable information, stories and connections is so powerful.

Thank you!
Kjirsten

Greengirl's picture

Your words............

Hello Kjirsten,

Your thoughts are reassuring and mean a lot to me. Thank you for reading and also reaching out!

Warmly,
Greengirl

Y's picture

Jasmine Larsen’s Her name is

Jasmine Larsen’s

Her name is Jensine Larson.

Y

Greengirl's picture

Thank you so much Y!

Thank you for calling my attention to the grave mix up/oversight. I have effected the correction. It ought to have read Jensine Larsen.

Hugs,
Greengirl

Y's picture

Great post, but you may want

Great post, but you may want to check spellings of other names.

Y

Greengirl's picture

I will, thanks a million!

Thank you for being there, in ways that help me to get better!

Much love,
Greengirl

Greengirl's picture

I will, thanks a million!

Thank you for being there, in ways that help me to get better!

Much love,
Greengirl

Y's picture

I love interacting with you.

I love interacting with you. What is your first language?

Y

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Wow, Greengirl!

Hello, Dear Greengirl,

I have been enjoying your Voice for some time now and am particularly interested to read how, at the grassroots level in your community, your alliance with World Pulse began. In four years with World Pulse I had not heard that early phase of the story described in any detail.

It's no surprise that as soon as you discovered that most of the others in that group had little or no Internet access or experience you began classes for them; you are so clearly a pro-active woman and one with solutions.

Stella, Neema and Beatrice began like you and are continuing to do greater and greater things for their communities and for the world. You, too, will continue to make a positive difference in our world.

I thank you for that, for loving our planet and for working so hard from your heart and soul.

With Admiration and Fondness,

Sarah

Greengirl's picture

Your words made my day!

Dearest Sarah, it is always a delight to read your words. I could'nt help reading your comment three times; and to say the least, those words made my day! I am particularly enchanted that you reached out to me at a time I really needed words of encouragement.

I will contoinue to do my bit, because I have come to realise that it makes a significant difference in my life, as well as the lives of the women I have the privilege of supporting. Truth is, we've all got something we can give to better our world; we only need to look inward to disocover it and then take action.

Thank you so much for your stimulating words, and your interest in knowing more about how I became. connected to World Pulse. I will make out time to put my thoughts down and post it. You'll definitely receive word from me, once it is done.

You've been a blessing and I hold you in very high esteem

Greengirl

-- right NOW! I send you love and support across the miles.

What you say about how we all have something we can give to better our world is beautiful and true and needs to be shared with all.

May I share it on our Women Weave the Web Listeners group site?

- Sarah

Greengirl's picture

Love You Sarah!!!!!

You are absolutely wonderful in ways that I lack the best words to express how much you've inspired me. Thank you for being you, and please feel free to share those words as you desire. We are all so connected and those words represent the many things that bind us together. They are our words, Sarah!

Loving you more,
Greengirl

Nabiye Tal's picture

So Inspiring

Greengirl, what i want to say to you i don't even know where to start from. I read this piece and read it over and over again. And each time i read it i understood something new. I must confess that you and the work you are doing have inspired me alot. Your passion, your originality, your commitment and dedication is worthy of commendation. Being a Nigerian i can relate to all the challenges you mentioned. And i join you to appeal to our Government to really improve the Electricity power supply and make available free or at least affordable internet access centres safe for women. I like the work you are doing in WISE, i look forward to meeting you soon in person so we could network and partner together. I reside in Abuja. Thank you for this Piece once again.

Nabiye Tal,
Founder/CEO- IEVAWC.
@nabiye, @ievawc

Greengirl's picture

Oh my God!!!

Dear Sister, friend and compatriot,

You just wowed me with your heartfelt comment. I couldn't help but exclaim, 'Oh my God!!!'. Thank you so much for being so generous with your very kind words. Very stimulating, I must confess! I certainly look forward to meeting you, and I will defintely reach out to you when next I am in Abuja. I also look forward to connecting with you and your work. We will keep doing our mighty bits to complement the efforts of the government.

Hugs,
Greengirl

Laura Page's picture

Wow! fabulous!

Dear Greengirl,
I am speechless in reading your post about your work! Thank you for your energy, your creativity, your love of the planet and humanity and your attention to the needs of women. I am inspired by you and draw on your spirit to recommit to these important endeavors in my own community. You make me smile and to feel very hopefull!

Warm wishes to you,
Laura Page

Laura Page

Greengirl's picture

The hope we share.........

Thank you Laura for reading my piece and also making out time to reach out. I am so glad to know that you were inspired and I share in the hope that our individual and collective efforts can go a long way to better our communities and the world at large.

I would love follow your work as it unfolds. Please keep me posted, and let's keep inspiring one another!

Much love,
Greengirl

Greengirl's picture

The hope we share...

Thank you Laura for reading my piece and also making out time to reach out. I am so glad to know that you were inspired and I share in the hope that our individual and collective efforts can go a long way to better our communities and the world at large.

I would love follow your work as it unfolds. Please keep me posted, and let's keep inspiring one another!

Much love,
Greengirl

Jan K Askin's picture

Insights

Dear Greengirl,

I have been a member of World Pulse for several years. In reading your effective journal entry, I have grasped the wonder and potential power of Internet technology in transforming women's lives.

Know that every one that you touch with your words, training, and joy will grow in their efficacy.

Your friend,

Jan

Jan Askin

Greengirl's picture

Dear Jan

It is most pleasing for me to know that you found my post, and gained insight into how empowering internet access could be for women. Your feedback is also empowering for me, because it serves as a welcome reminder that my seemingly little efforts makes a world of difference.

I sincerely appreciate you and look forward to learning more about you.

Warmly,
Greengirl

Jan K Askin's picture

I am only one, yet I am one!

Dearest Greengirl,

Never underestimate the power of one. You are making a difference.

Jan

Jan Askin

Greengirl's picture

I won't!

I appreciate you a great deal, I will "never underestimate the power of one". Thank you!

Tam's picture

Such good news

Dear Greengilrl,

I have learned so much by reading your description of the VOF training program in action. Thank you for the inside look at how this can be done, and for the beauty in which you have done it. You show so clearly the power of telling the stories of women, and also the power of describing the women's centres in place, to those who did not know. I loved reading about the excitement of the women who were part of this training, and celebrated the overcoming of obstacles in each of their ways, to being able to access support and connections online. You discovered the challenges for each, and found solutions. The Update was so encouraging and hopeful. I also am so glad to read of your environmental work. Here, many of us are very involved in the organic food movement, saving heritage seeds and working against the GMO companys' attempts to take over agriculture. Thank you for everything you are doing.

Tam

Greengirl's picture

Great to hear from you Tam

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring thoughts with me. It feels great and encouraging to have you celebrate our achievements with us.I strongly connect with the work you are doing for our ecosystem as well as food security. I would love to learn more about your work particularly on the issue of GMOs. Truth is that a lot of people are ignorant of the the innumerable negative issues around GM/GE processes and products. I am hopeful that increased awareness will counter the false hope that progenitors give unsuspecting farmers and consumers.

The works we do certainly makes a difference, no matter how small it may be or seem.

Hugs,
Greengirl

Tam's picture

Women and Earth

Hello Greengirl,

I am so glad to be in touch with you about the indivisible connection between women, and our earth. For the past 19 years I have been part of an organic farm on land bought by women more than 30 years ago. These days I teach in Canada, winters, and return to the land, summers.We grow heritage vegetables organically, and are part of a large organic movement in North America, extremely concerned with the takeover of land and seeds all over the world, by companies determined to own agriculture, using GMO crops and heavy pesticides and herbicides. Here is a link to one organisation that keeps us informed: The Cornucopia Institute, www.cornucopia.org. Also, if you type" fight against gmo's" into an address bar, much information comes up. Three of my heroes are Wangari Maathai (Kenya) and Vandana Shiva and Arundati Roy (India).

Big Hug to you, too,

Tam

Greengirl's picture

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much for your invaluable feed back. The work that you are doing is very important and I can never thank you enough for sharing with me. The Cornucopia Institute's website will remain a rich learning resource and I hope to make the most of it. I will be in touch.

Blessings,
Greengirl

MariaAle's picture

Dear Greengirl, I don't have

Dear Greengirl,
I don't have enough words to express all my feelings to you gratitude, blessed, motivated, inspired, committed to teach and change women lives using the technology tools. So proud of you to read that result that you those ladies are moving forward in a positive path.
I love how you mentioned:
Environmental citizen journalism and digital empowerment training for women and girls in my community have become a priority for me; as I work towards bringing my dream of establishing a Women’s Eco Learning, Resource and Life Skill Center, to reality. It is my own version of a female oriented information and skills haven.

Thank you for your invaluable life purpose!
You are change you want to see in the world! ;)

All my love,
MariaAle

Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

Greengirl's picture

I am almost speechless speechless!

I am almost speechless, Maria! Your words of acknowledgement left me searching for the right words to convey my heartfelt gratitude to you. Your support goes a long way, and it's nice to find and connect with you on World Pulse. As we continue to support one and another in our seemingly little ways; it is always heartening o know that it is resulting in positive change for us and the world.

It makes a world of difference to know that you heard my voice and connected with my work.

Love you loads!
Greengirl

SanPatagonia's picture

Making the difference

Dear Greengirl, it's been amazing to read about your journey from Module 5 to this life-changing breakthrough for these curious and brave women.
I particularly was stricken by this line - "Women should be welcomed as partners and not passive receptors of technology". I share it 100%!!! Empowerment means to take a leading part in technology, and being knowledgeable users is a very important first step.
Wonderful work and go for it, girl! Cheers!

@SanPatagonia
Be a voice, tell a story, start the fire. | Sé una voz, cuenta una historia, enciende el fuego.

Greengirl's picture

Hugs!

Dear SanPatagonia, we sure must continue to echo the importance of creating room for women to actively participate in the development of ICT, and also becoming knowledgeable users. These needs to happen, towards closing up the gender devide in information and communication technology; as you rightly echoed.

Let's keep walking the talk and talking the walk!

Hugs,
Greengirl

cassie_levy's picture

Amazing words

Thank you so much for sharing! Your story is truly inspirational. I particularly like your quote (as I can see other readers do as well), "Women should be welcomed as partners and not passive receptors of technology." The world (and the success of women in technology) is a better place because of you. Keep up the good work!

Greengirl's picture

Hello Cassie!

I am sure that you are as beautiful as your words! Your words of acknowledge me are motivating and highly appreciated. The world is equally better because of you, because you listen and cheer on in addition to all that you are also doing to make the world a better place.

Nice to know you heard my voice through my words!

Warmly,
Greengirl

Dear Greengirl,

Wow. I can only repeat what the ladies here before me already wrote down in response to your post:
Your words are so full of optimism and spirit that -after reading your post- i feel like running out into the street right this minute to see if there's anyone i can help (Even though it is almost midnight where i am and most people are probably heading to bed)! Thank you for that!

You described a day -a situation rather- full of surprises: from the participants who had to cancel to the "mini-participants" who did show up and the needs of the women which were a bit different than you first expected them to be. I loved how you went about it -improvised- and how your efforts turned out to have such important -probably life changing- effects. It's hopeful.. no matter where we are or what we do.. even the smallest acts of kindness, compassion, attention, can make a difference in someone else's life.

Thank you for taking the lead; for going out there and trying to make a difference in other people's lives and for sharing these experiences with us -thus also making the difference here at WorldPulse and to everyone who's touched by your stories.

Best,

CamelRider

Greengirl's picture

Riding along, gleefully!

I am so grateful to you for sending me a magical feedback. At some point in the course of February 25th, an unusual feeling of worry stole it's way into my day. Much as I tried to sweep it away, it jumped right back on me once my mind finished up a task. I eventually buried myself into finishing up a report I'll be submitting by Wednesday 27th. I worked into the wee hours of Tuesday 26th and was heading for bed with that feeling slowly creeing on me again.

I picked up my phone and decided to check if I I had any new emails. It was lifting to see a notification from World Pulse that a comment had been made on my post by Ridingthecamel. I could barely wait to hitch a ride with you enroute the World Pulse site. Guess what, the awkward feeling I was having gave way to heaty smiles as I read these words- "Your words are so full of optimism and spirit- after reading your post- I feel like running out into the streets right this minute to see if there's anyone I can help". Those words are apt and magical, they brought so much warmth to my heart and smiles to my face!

It is always a plus, when we are able to give either out of the abundance or whatever little we have, in as much as it is going to help someone and also make our world a better place. There's no doubting that we each have something we can give.

I am so glad that you found inspiration and I hope you come across people who will appreciate, even the minutest effort you make to bring about change.

Much love and respect,
Greengirl

Vision40's picture

Talented

This is a fantastic article with great descriptions, I could picture what you have been doing at each step of your inspirational journey. You are focused so clearly on the impact of your work and you are an amazing advocate. The women you are training are really reaping the benefits of all you do and you make some thought provoking points for senior leaders within your country.
Best wishes to you
And yes...I know the children I teach appreciate the minutest support I give them with their learning, I'm sure your students do too!

First you need to believe you can
Take care
Nicola

Greengirl's picture

Love your quote!!!!!

First I must say that I love and I am inspired by your quote- "First you need to believe you can". I will put it to heart and carry it with me wherever I go. Aha!

I feel very excited to know that you think my article is fantastic. Wow!!!! In every sense, your words are very strong reminders of the importance of my work, and why I need to stay focused. Thank you, thank you and thank you, gain and again!!!!! I hope too that just as you appreciated my suggestions, decision makers will take notice and take action.

Yes, my students appreciate my little efforts.

Hugs,
Greengirl

mimiryan's picture

YES! YES! YES!

Dear greengirl,

You are doing it! This message is filled with so many effectively communicated details and I am giddy with excitement about the what you are accomplishing. I love the way that you are providing these with women with the information about life-changing technological and various other opportunities that they would not otherwise be privy to if not for your written and spoken words. It is clear that you are a driven, wise and exceptional individual. It is people such as yourself that transcend stereotypes and create paradigm shifts that will empower and educate women ( and men) while also being mindful of the earth that we all share. Incredible work you are doing, Greengirl!

I am filled with admiration and left wanting to know more and to learn from you.

THANK YOU!

Mimi

Greengirl's picture

Smiling in Appreciation

Dearest mimi, thank you for listening and expressing your admiration for everything you've learned about me through my penned words. You brought smiles to my face, which was an overflow of the joy that swelled within me as I read your powerful words.

I feel honored and celebrated and look forward to sharing more about my life and work. Thank you loads for being a superb listener.

In gratitude,
Greengirl

CamilaFMScialla's picture

Incredible Work

Hi Greengirl,

I'm so impressed with your story and all you are doing to connect with women in your community and teach them about technology.

I love seeing your approach to teaching about World Pulse and the internet and seeing where you started. I can't wait to read more about the work you do and the impact you have on the world.

Camila

Camila

Greengirl's picture

Thank you so much, Camila.

Dear Camila, I very much appreciate you for taking time to read my post and going an extra mile to reach out. I feel honored to have you acknowledge my work with such kind and stimulating words. Knowing that you are listening, cheering me on, and also looking out for more is really encouraging and makes me want to do more.

Very warmly,
Greengirl

hanasazi's picture

Greengirl.

I really have to hand it to you! Your article is so well written, and your story so well told, that I almost feel that I was there with you! It also shows how versatile women can be - working on behalf of the environment with one move, and empowering other women through education on how to use digital communications with the next! I think this piece will carry you places, places you need to go to carry on and expand your work.

I have a dear friend in my own area who is passionate about fighting back the GMO takeover of our food supplies. She is not only super-well informed, but she is an artist, a mother (of grown children), a believer, and just an all around wonderful person. And hardly anyone will listen to her around here. In fact she is a member of the local art center (for whom I serve on the Board) and did a presentation the other day. Only one person came, and that person tormented her the entire time.

I have had a feeling for a long time that her efforts might gain more traction if she were working in a larger venue than southern Oregon, even though what's she's doing here is crucial both on a local and a national basis. The basis of her work hinges around being a mother who, knowing the science behind it, is concerned that GMOs will ultimately make this planet uninhabitable for ANY natural life, and she has told me personally that she will work until she dies to prevent this from happening.

Though she is very busy educating the public about an important vote coming up in our county regarding our ongoing ability to make the calls on whether GMOS are planted here or not (as opposed to handing all decision making authority over to the State of Oregon) I am going to see if I can get her to sign up with World Pulse so she can become part of the conversation about GMOs (and other important topics to which she has much to contribute as well). She is battling hard against Monsanto and Syngenta, which have begun their mass-propaganda ahead of this vote, and the men who could be helping her are so disunited that it can be very discouraging for her. It breaks her heart to know that the information, the knowledge and the research is here, but the people who hold it are all so protective of their own "space" that they participate in her efforts only with great reluctance and much prodding from her. Please pray for her, and I know without any doubt that you will give her a warm welcome when she does join us here.

You rock the house, Greengirl! Keep up the terrific work!
Blessings to you and all the lovely, wise and compassionate ladies who have left comments here.
And I will always remember the sweet, beautiful Nigerian woman who first called me "super mum"! ♥

Greengirl's picture

Hey Super Mum!

You just made my day with your well articulated and very illuminating feedback. Now, I would say you deserve an award super mum for reaching out with the lengthiest feedback i have ever received. Wow!!!!! It could pass for a post!! I feel thrilled to know that you experienced the happenings at the event through my writing. I say a big Amen to these very powerful and lifting words- "I think this piece will carry you places, places you need to go to carry on and expand your work.I am really excited and I just want to thank you over and over again for you generous and inspiring comment.

Well, I can identify with your friend's passion, and to tell you the truth super mum, I have experienced more than a fair share of resistance in the course of pursuing my dream for a safe and just world for everyone. It is the passion that I have for the positive change I am committed to that keeps me going. I have come too far to give up in the face of resistance. What she is doing is very important and there is just no time to give up on what will save humanity and our planet.

It would be great to see her join the World Pulse community. I have no doubt that it will make a big difference in her personal life and work, just as has happened for me. I also would love to connect with her and possible bring her on my internet radio show on Sylvia Global Media Network (SGMN); . It may interest you to know that as a 2013 World Pulse Voices of Our Future Correspondent, I also among other Correspondents got an offer to start my own show on SGMN - See www.sylviaglobal.com.

I look forward to welcoming your friend to World Pulse!!!! It would be great to keep the GMO conversation going in this community.

Love,
Greengirl

hanasazi's picture

Thank you Greengirl!

I think you will enjoy Catie in a lot of ways. I deeply appreciate you mentioning the opportunities that World Pulse has brought to you, and I think this will be a good point to bring to her attention. It could be what convinces her that this is a good investment in her time, and a valuable tool to help her in her work. I'm going over to Facebook right now to send her a link to World Pulse and tell her about our wonderfully passionate, caring and supportive community! She's a bit digitally challenged herself and has come to some of my computer skills, blogging and social networking workshops as well as a pretty long run of private tutoring sessions after I finished up her website. Her laptop fights her, buts she manages well on Facbeook so I think she'll do fine here.

I should share her website with you now, www.catiefaryl.net. It has tons of her artwork and a lot of her writing about environmental issues, GMOs, and more. Her art is so interesting. She is amazingly talented and could be doing fine art if she wanted to, but she is so stirred by the issues that move her and has such a great brain/heart that when she gets an idea of how she can communicate an important idea, she makes paintings or monotype prints quickly. This gives her art an immediacy and urgency that has its own appeal, and she uses it as a vehicle to communicate ideas so well.

Greengirl's picture

Wow!!!!

In addition to being a super mum, you are a super tech voice and authority. It is inspiring to know that you are an ICT expert. I am truly inspired, as it always gives me great joy to see or meet women who are ICT experts. Thank you so mcuh for sharing the link to Catie's website. It would really be great to connect with her, as it will give me great joy to also offer her what ever little support I could lend to her work.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you......................!

hugs,
Greengirl

hanasazi's picture

The pleasure is all mine!

And as far as information/communication technology, believe it or not it is something that "happened" to me, rather than something I tried to do. I actually "ran screaming" from working on computers in a corporate environment earlier in my life and really wasn't open to returning to that at all. I taught myself in the late 90s and early 2000s how to make websites at the encouragement of my husband, and did a handful of sites for family endeavors and close friends, but not much more.

Then in 2006, a friend brought me to a meeting of middle aged ladies who met every month to do something creative together and encourage each other not to let the other demands of life drown out the need to exercise their creativity. They were wonderful, but I had trouble getting into town (we lived in country at that time) to join them, so I was happy just to stay in touch and get to know them from afar by reading the emails they shared. A year went by and then one of the ladies, who does beautiful pressed flower art, sent an email to the group saying she was ready to get a website and did anyone know who she could talk to about that? Well, naturally I sent back a message that I could help her, and in the end she was so happy with the results that she chirped about my work all over the Valley, another mutual friend worked with me to set up her website immediately afterward, and the next thing I knew I had a business!

I have learned a lot and continue to learn more as the needs of my clients challenge me to grow, and as opportunities to share have arisen. I've even been invited to present a workshop on the topic of Creating a Great Online Presence at the Watercolor Society of Oregon's Annual Convention when they meet near my home next Fall! Sometimes I wish I didn't have to sit at my computer all the time, after 7 years of this I know it's not helping my health. But we need the money, so it's hard to be nonchalant and just take off for a long walk when there's work to be done.

WorldPulse helps me understand more clearly how important the skills really are that I have developed. When I'm just a bit closer closer to having my family back on track I hope to do more to help others beyond my own community learn how to communicate and share their talents/vision/activist goals online. You never know when it will open the door for someone else to have a new business "happen" to them like it did to me! And that would be a blessing all the way around. One thing at a time, though. Have to give the Divine One a chance to set up the circumstances for everything to happen in just the right timing, and with just the right people involved. No mortal mind can do that as well, however hard they work and however good their intentions may be. And I've learned that, at least for me, being blessed after waiting while praying with a strong idea of what I want to do rather than leaping into action and knocking down barriers to what I think I want has had better results for me and more positive effects for others! So I think I'll stay with that...and let things happen in their own time.

Oh dear, I do go on, don't I? I hope my long comments don't bother anyone too much, but when I get inspired I can't help myself! And it's so wonderful to have such a warm community of women to share with. ♥

Greengirl's picture

You wow me with your flow!

You are such a super listener and you sure wow me with your flow of words. I am sure that our World Pulse community can benefit a lot from your expertise. As I read through your comment, I could not help but want you to consider sharing a post about your journey to acquiring digital technology skills. You could also submit it to the ongoing World Pulse Women Weave the Web campaign. Incidentally, the 2nd phase is focused on Digital Literacy. Such a post will be inspiring and empowering for many, no doubt. I for one!

Thank you so much for sharing your personal stories with me. I am informed, inspired and refreshed and I look forward to learning more about you through your journal posts and comments.

Warmest regards to you,
Greengirl

Greengirl's picture

You wow me with your flow!

You are such a super listener and you sure wow me with your flow of words. I am sure that our World Pulse community can benefit a lot from your expertise. As I read through your comment, I could not help but want you to consider sharing a post about your journey to acquiring digital technology skills. You could also submit it to the ongoing World Pulse Women Weave the Web campaign. Incidentally, the 2nd phase is focused on Digital Literacy. Such a post will be inspiring and empowering for many, no doubt. I for one!

Thank you so much for sharing your personal stories with me. I am informed, inspired and refreshed and I look forward to learning more about you through your journal posts and comments.

Warmest regards to you,
Greengirl

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