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Development is Women

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The cyber world is a very interesting place to create another world for oneself but very few knows this especially women. I could recall the early days of having an email account to exchange plesantries when friends and loved one are far away from home. I had my email account before Margret my childhood friend. She would have to book me down earlier to assist her check and send out her mail to a friend in Europe. Visiting a cafe at that time was horrible and really unsafe. There were more males at the cafe than females. Then the internet scam started and the number of males increased as many of them were known and addressed as "yahoo, yahoo guys" and the police would come in time to time to arrest everyone at that time. Any woman at the cafe is usually looked at a second time. Most young girls who visits are there to fill one form or the other for employment or examination. It was very rare to find women at the cafe. Among other challenges was the very high cost of accessing the internet.

As I lay on my bed and reflect on how far I have achieve being on world wide web (www), I know I have a reason to be thankful to God for exposing me to Worldpulse through a colleague. Worldpulse gave me the opportunity to interact with the world through what I never known I had - a voice to be heard. Starting from the warm welcoming from members of WP calling me "friend or sister". The word "friend" may seem simple but for me it is a powerful moving force that kept my spirit high knowing that I have someone who can call me a friend just hearing my voice through my writings. I never know that I was a good writer until my friends on worldpulse said that again and again to me. I never known that writing need to give a voice to my work, my community, my growth and my joy. I never known that writing is speaking my mind and having people listen to me. I had my first mind healing after sharing my childhood experience on worldpulse and insist of blames, I got encouragement, praising and motivation from "friends" on WP. I got more than I even expected, I moved from point one to two to three to four and now I can't even count here I am. I moved beyond my expectation doing what I never known I could do. I write and friends read with keen interest, they are not concern about my errors.

Worldpulse gave me the opportunity to have another family (http://worldpulse.com/node/72789). A family of women who are full of love and compassion. Women who encourages and not blame. Women who seek to bring a change in the global world. Women who believes in one another. Am was glad to be part of the 2010 VOF and to be selected among the best four. It was a great previledge for me and my family.

Like most men and women in Nigeria today, the multi-media mobile phones are now the most common accessibility to the internet. Yet the barrier for me and many women still lies on the high cost of connecting the phone to internet. Cyber cafe is becoming outdated due to it many challenges. Very few can afford a moderm and laptop for home and office use. Even with the high number of Hi-tect, BB, Android, IPad devices used by women, very few can afford the cost of monthly internet. Also, very many cannot use the various functions of the mobile device.

In my silent thought, I precieve that one major challenge of women not accessing the internet is that many women are dependent on their spouse and do not have a source of personal livelihood to afford internet facility for their use no matter the cost. Also, women are saddled with the responsible of domestic chores and child rearing and does it with passion. This leave them with no time to build up themselves expect for few who understand the importance attached to expanding their knowledge through the internet.

I think there should be more women friendly centres to train women on how to use their multiple devices to access opportunities on the internet. Gone are the days of just checking and sending emails. There are more useful activities taking place online of which benefits women, their personality, their family and community. In women resides untapped potentials that can bring a change. Grassroots women need to understand this fact. I have been able to train young girls on web 2.0 and they are very grateful of that knowledge.

Much can be achieved by women friendly centres if supported with very little resource by the government and other interest groups to provide a safe, free access to the internet for women. Government can also help to ensure that internet providers receives reduced tax rate and ensure constant power supply and security in the country. This will enable provider also to reduce the cost of services provided. This way the provider will make gain from business and expand its coverage to grassroots level, government will have more sustainable development because more women will be empowered and this will prove that development is women.

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

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Comments

kellyannaustin's picture

Is wi-fi common in public

Is wi-fi common in public places? I use the internet on my iPad at coffee shops, the public library, and other places that have access. Perhaps my question seems a little ignorant, but I'm grateful that you've taught me more about what it's like for you and your fellow sisters in Nigeria. :)

Kelly

vivian's picture

thank you for reading

Thank you kelly for spotting my post on Worldpulse and finding it interest to read and learn.

Wifi is not a common access to internet in Nigeria. It is only used within an organization. There are no wi-fi at public places because most internet is protected with password. You can only use a person internet modem at public places.

Thank u again for reading.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

kellyannaustin's picture

Thanks for your response. It

Thanks for your response. It gives me a better picture of what's happening in your community. I appreciate it!

Thank you for writing!

Peace,

Kelly

Susan K.A.'s picture

Thank you, Vivian!

Dear Vivian,

I loved reading your piece. The passion and joy you feel for your connection with your sisters around the world resonated so much with me. Like you, I want every woman to experience the power of this connection and sisterhood, as well as the other opportunities that having internet access can offer her. You have some great ideas in increasing internet accessibility to women and I really admire how you have trained girls in utilizing web 2.0 technology. Thank you for your contribution and I hope that your ideas take root and spread so that, one day soon, every girl who wishes to log on will be able to do so in a safe, comfortable and effortless manner!

With love and best wishes to you!
Susan

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

vivian's picture

Thank you Susan for reading

Thank you Susan for reading my new post after I long. I may not be writing frequently but part of me is in WP, it is my starting point in life. The challenges of women accessing internet is not excluded to me. I give up something every month to recharge me phone for my internet subsciption. It is not easy but I just need to be connected daily. Thank u

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Vivian- Thank you for sharing

Vivian-
Thank you for sharing this with us. How great it is to hear how this community has impacted your life, and how you have found new family here, as have I and many others. I echo Susan's comments, above, in hopes that you can begin to create change so that all can access the internet and it's technologies. Neema of the Maman Shujaa did that very thing in the Congo. She may be a good resource for you, and could lead you to other connections so that you can realize this dream. All the best to you!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

vivian's picture

Thank you for reading and

Thank you for reading and trying to link me up to someone I can connect with. I appreciate u and Susan for being there to read and appreciate friends like me.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

amymorros's picture

Development

I enjoyed reading your story. I do remember when most people used the Internet just for checking emails or maybe playing computer games. Now, it is so much more than that and the main way that we make connections. Fewer people read newspapers and simply go online for their news.
Thank you for helping to train women in using the Internet. Most people in the US have either their own broadband access or use WiFi in coffee shops or less frequently in cyber cafes. I appreciated learning how it is different in your country. I remember going to cyber cafes when I was in Benin and seeing very few women then and feeling uncomfortable. I hope that cyber centers for women become a reality in the future.
Best of luck and thank you for your important contribution.

Amy
@amyinstl

vivian's picture

Hi Amy, Good to hear you were

Hi Amy,

Good to hear you were in Benin and thank you for enjoying my post. I truly wish Nigeria can step above been referred as third world country. At lest to start having WIFI at public places but even at work place, some employers do not allow employee access the internet talk more of those within their environment. They protect it with password for themselves alone. This is how place it is. But with the multi media phone like the Blackberry is the most common access and afford internet connection for a month. Though it's limits work on the internet but people like me depend on it for my 24hrs internet access and manage to carry out my work on it.

I hope that someday my dream will come to back and more women can benefit

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Mary S's picture

Hi Vivian I enjoyed reading

Hi Vivian

I enjoyed reading your entry. I agree that the internet is a great way to connect with people around the world and I can see that the internet and World Pulse has had a wonderfully positive impact on your life!

Setting up centres where women can have the opportunity to access the internet is a great idea and I agree with Michelle's suggestion of learning from the Maman Shujaas in Congo.

As well as setting up special centres, is anyone talking to the owners of existing internet cafes to encourage them to make their places more welcoming to women and other groups who feel excluded e.g. disabled, families with children, inexperienced computer users etc? If a cafe sets rules on the behaviour of its customers and becomes a place that is safe and pleasant for all, it may find that it gets a lot of new customers, which is good for business as well as for women.

Mary

vivian's picture

Inclusive Centres

You are very right Mary, there may be a paradigm shift of attitude and behaviour if cafe owners can them try making their centres inclusive. This could be another area of intervention to bring a change. Thank you for that suggeation and for enjoying my post.

Best Regards

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Mary S's picture

You are welcome, and good

You are welcome, and good luck!

Mary

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Vivian, you ARE a writer!

Dear Vivian,

Thank you so much for not only sharing these truths with us, but for your unique, descriptive voice. I understand much more about the dangers of Internet cafes from reading your opening paragraphs and I love what you say, later in the piece, about, "women-friendly centers."

If you could get support to write a grant -- find someone to help you write one or teach you how if you don't know yet how -- perhaps you could open the first of these centers.

Your respect for other women and your clear understanding of not only what the obstacles are but also what the solution could be is impressive and enlightening.

I wish you ongoing strength and encouragement.

With Respect,

Sarah

vivian's picture

thank u

Sarah, thank u for tagging me a writer. I appreciate it. I also apprecaite your comment and encouragement. I have a good knowledge of proposal writing but the problem is who do you direct your proposal to. Getting fund from funders is not vry easy. I will be glad if you can also link me up with support. I have a small center with two desktop computers but no internet facility in place. What I need is a little support to make the center comfortable and inclusive to any user.

Best Regards

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

WP Resource Exchange

Hello, Vivian,

Indeed, this is all very, very hard work. One helpful place to start is on the World Pulse Resource Exchange page. At the top of this page you'll find it under Community. Surf there and then perhaps put out a request for more information on possible sources of funding.

Next, do you know about the work of Neema Namadamu? She is from DRC and has been doing this same work for which you describe a vital need -- creating women's Internet centers. If you find her on the WP site, read about what she has done and email her for her advice and suggestions, she will surely have some very valuable things to tell you.

I hope one or the other of these suggestions -- or both! -- will be of help.

Best Wishes,

Sarah

vivian's picture

Thank u. I will get in touch

Thank u. I will get in touch with her

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

ccontreras's picture

Hi Vivian

I commend you for your bravery to connect online through World Pulse and share your story! I really believe that women around the world need role models such as you, who can guide them to lose the fear and connect with fellow women using the internet. It is important that we stand united and support one another. Your journey is inspirational!
Cheers!
Cynthia

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

vivian's picture

Motivated by you

Your comment is another motivation to me. I appreciate the time spent on reading my post. Worldpulse was just my starting point in life and I have continue to expose it to other women so that they can benefit.

With Love

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

KOMoore's picture

Vivian

Dear Vivian,

I am so fortunate to be an assigned listener for your letter. I was struck by several things in particular;

Your own discovery of "voice" and the importance of having access to the internet to discover that voice.
The impact on you in the communication back to you and how moved you were to be call "friend".
Your outlining of problems and challenges and very specific recommendations for change.

I will strongly recommend to World Pulse to use your letter to promote their campaign to others.I think in the US where there is wifi everywhere (though the costs of internet access are way to high here too!). There are still many rural areas where it is not available. I know you will be successful in improving internet access for women and improving conditions for all by that effort.

Thank you for the beautiful picture too.
Warm Regards,
Karen

vivian's picture

Thank you so much Karen, am

Thank you so much Karen, am glad u are the assigned listener to my post and thanks for the picture. They are Catholic Women which I also belong to. We had a focus group discussion during an assessment on child situation analysis in Nigeria.

I am so glad you love the tone of my letter and will recommend it to WorldPulse. Since I discovered worldpulse, it has been very helpful to my personnal development. I discovered my dream better and goal for my centre on worldpulse. My goal was to establish an NGO and this has been achieved. Am glad to say to announce that the corporate affair commission has approved the name of my centre as "Grassroot People and Gender Development Centre. The Centre is designed to run a media centre (Development Voice), Training Centre and Charity Centre. We are hoping to expand our services to reach out many women.

Thank you for reading and listening.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

KOMoore's picture

Congratulations on the naming

Congratulations on the naming of your Center. I hope you have communicated this to your connections at World Pulse. What you have done is amazing! Where do you get your courage? Certainly your results are rewarding but you must have started form a different place of uncertainty. Now look where you are and where it will go!

I have become a World Pulse listener to make that human connection across the world. thank you for replying to me. I will watch for more updates from you.

Thank you.
Karen

vivian's picture

Thank you so Karen for your

Thank you so Karen for your kind encouraging words. I will have to update my profile on world pulse and connect with friends. I will definitely keep you informed.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

lydiagcallano's picture

You are at home at WP

Vivian, you;ll really find your voice here at World Pulse. I found mine too! Feel free to speak your mind and heart. I just pray that you'll have access to the internet and computer often.

God bless!

Ma. Lydia G. Callano
Iloilo, Philippines
+63 33 3158137 or 5138830

vivian's picture

have searched through so many

have searched through so many online community, I have not find one like WP that accomodates all class.

For now, my mobile phone is cheaper for me to access the internet. Thank u for reading

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

vivian's picture

I have searched through so

I have searched through so many online community, I have not find one like WP that accomodates all class.

For now, my mobile phone is cheaper for me to access the internet. Thank u for reading

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Heidi's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Vivian!
I hope that you find the opportunity to return and share your ideas often here on World Pulse. Your voice is so open and authentic and I really enjoyed your writing. It is also clear to me that you're not only a writer but also a leader. I applaud the work that you're already doing and the solutions you're suggesting. Best of luck from your friend and sister in Oregon,
Heidi

Connect with Neema: http://worldpulse.com/user/11809

vivian's picture

Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have connected with Neema, just waiting to hear from her

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

JenMac's picture

With grace and dignity

Vivian,

It has been a pleasure to read through your post above. You truly are a woman of grace and dignity! How empowering to hear you embrace and value your "voice" because it speaks volumes about your character and clearly depicts the struggles of communication for our sisters and friends in Nigeria.

As someone who has never visited Nigeria, I found this article especially important because you distinctly indicated what you perceive to be the problems for women who want to become active on the internet:

*Dependence upon spouse
*Do not have a personal source of income to contribute towards technology
*Majority of responsibility for child-rearing.

By identifying each of these obstacles, you have provided the community at large a first-person perspective whereby people can appreciate how the women of Nigeria work together to solve these problems. Thank you for sharing all of this insight.
All the best!
Jennie

vivian's picture

you got it

Hello Sister Jennie

Am so glad you spotted out these challenges in my post. They are the hindrance for grassroot women who do not see the importance of using the internet. Furthermore, some of they thinks that internet and computer use is for young people alone.

Thank you Jennie for digesting my post with good understand of what is obtainable in Nigeria.

Remain Blessed

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Wonderful writing

Dear sister Vivian,

You've said it all - meaningfully, succinctly and powerfully. Continue the great work.

Warmth and love,
Pushpa

vivian's picture

I am glad you find my voice

I am glad you find my voice interesting and meaningful. Thank you for reading.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

aimeeknight's picture

It has been a pleasure to

It has been a pleasure to know you through World Pulse, Vivian, and see you grow as a writer. Your piece is excellent, both heartwarming and solution oriented, great work.

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

vivian's picture

Thank you aimee for being

Thank you aimee for being there always.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

missrok's picture

Thank you!

Dear Vivian,
thank you very much for sharing your story, I'm really happy that WP community can provide you with much needed support and encouragement. This is exactly how I imagine it should work!

Your writing helped me to understand better the challenges women in Nigeria face when trying to use internet but I think that with a leader like you these obstacles can, one by one, be overcome. Knowing what the problem is and being determined to change it is a very important step and you have already gone even further than that.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your center to come to life.
Good luck,
Ania

vivian's picture

Thank u so much for your kind

Thank u so much for your kind wishes for my center. Am really glad to have u all on WP.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

louise pare's picture

Powerful!

Vivan,
I am deeply moved by your powerful writing and the way you describe the complexity of the issues that face
the women of Nigeria who are using and trying to use the internet. Your leadership is a powerful force in bringing
about these changes as is the sharing of your story through World Pulse.

May your work continue to thrive.

Louise in Ashland, OR

Louise

vivian's picture

Thank you so much for taking

Thank you so much for taking out to read my post. I am glad you find
it interesting. My courage also comes from friends like you who are here on WP to encourage me.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

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