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"VOF WEEK2" (THE WINDING PATH; DESTINATION UNKWOWN BUT CERTAIN IN FEELINGS)

You never know when the journey starts but somehow finds yourself traveling.
The path, with its peaks and valleys but on, you soldier;
Though where it leadeth you know not, the intuitions have a way to make you believe that there surely, is a destination somewhere ahead;
It is why, you have to move forward, picking momentum after every fall and gathering crowds to keep you company.
The journey may be weary but it always has a way of providing options to the next stop;
Though only and only for those who never give up and are up to the challenge of reaching there;
Even if it is still uncertain, in its existence and promise.
(my own composition for inspiration)

I have, in whatever situation in life, believed that there is always a way out no matter the circumstances. The best way out has been to listen to others and the surrounding then compare with what is within. Seeking solutions seems part of everything I do whether personally or in the community considering how life has turned out lately. In the quest of trying out options, I by default or design, found myself in the women's movement and I have so far enjoyed the moments.
The media and in the case of our generation, new media, provided a perfect platform for my engagement in this regard. From the onset of my interest in advocacy, the online community has been part of me. In 2005, I interned for eight months in a Pan- African women's organization and as coincidence would have it, most of my work was based online; coordinating discussions and sharing information between members and partners of the organization in Africa and around the world.
Our world is bedeviled with problems; from global warming to HIV/AIDS, corruption to hunger, conflicts to illiteracy and the list is endless. They often sound and always feel insurmountable but with the right and timely information, solutions would always be in the offing.
The World Pulse community, in my regard, is one of the opportunities that present themselves to those always looking for ways forward. As a personal believe, sharing is often very important as also is lending a hearing to others.
Problems of our generation are not akin to an individual, country, region nor continent. We all must brainstorm and synergize as a human race.
As a media professional, this is a moment of learning through the experiences of others in the industry. The story of Jenny, for example, inspires me and gives me hope that my profession is part of the solutions and not problems as it has been portrayed in many instances. It is also a chance to explore and experience the myriad resources availed by new media in the bid to spread information thus solutions.
This is one of the channels to that destination. Aluta Continua.... the journey is on course.

Comments

Mckenzie's picture

Aluta Continua

Dear Kurui,

I love your poetic introduction. The voice that your writing projects is encouraging and comforting, thank you for sharing.

One thought while reading your piece, is that I was curious about the story of Jenny you mentioned, and how her story gives you hope or inspiration.

Kurui's picture

Thanks Mckenzie

This is definitely what blogging is about, appreciating and encouraging one another as well as sharing experiences and ideas. I love to write but have always been hindered by the lack of space and opportunities considering the nature of mainstream media which have bureaucratic policies unfriendly to amateurs but now it is possible. the story of Jenny (Jennifer Ruwart of World Pulse) is what I was talking about particularly as a journalist. I presume it was her introductory journal which I dont seem to locate now of the way she went to work in Burma with grassroot communities and all (i hope you can find this on her profile) Journalists to extends have an image of unconcerned 'story chasers' who have nothing to offer to the community and to surprise you, when I tell people am studying in university to become a journalist the expression on their faces is that of ' such a joker'! It is therefore encouraging for me to link up with others in the profession particularly women and prove to the world that information, news or whatever journalists work for is part of solutions to change the world. Actually it is the root of all solutions.
Anyway, I have become in my life encouraged and made a concious decision to encourage others because to be where I am now it has been a real challenge. I therefore delight in positive thinking to keep going for my journey is far from ending.
Thanks again Mackenzie and see you online!

Genice Jacobs's picture

VOF week 2

Hi Kurui,

I am your reader for this week. I found your essay very inspiring and I love how passionate you are about the global woman's movement and making a difference. I like that you started your essay with a poetic composition. Very original. You seem to very focused and have a very positive outlook, which will serve you well. I think you brought up a very good point that it is valuable to listen to what others have to say and then check in with yourself to see what rings true for you and then follow your best instincts. I loved hearing of your determination, but would have also love to hear some concrete examples of when you were in a difficult situation and found your way out of it. There is so much to be learned from our personal stories.

Keep up the great work. Look forward to reading more of your essays on pulsewire.

Genice Jacobs
Oakland, California US

Genice Jacobs
Profluence

Kurui's picture

Life is nothing but a challenge

Hi Ganice,
thanks for being my reader for week 2. Sincerely, world pulse has given all of us a chance to evaluate our self worth and what it would mean to others. Living in a third world is an interesting and sometimes hard experience probably compared to developed economies. Our systems in all aspects are too rigid and often become impediments to personal and collective development.
Our education system (let me take the example of my country- Kenya) in my opinion is more of a barrier than enabler for intellectual and wholesome development of a person. One is supposed to start learning at a particular age and also finish by a certain age. The curriculum is also 'career oriented' and in most cases do not emphasize nor recognize talents. The grading system does nothing to help as it also bar many people from pursuing careers of their choices as every profession is measured by the grade one attains in school.
Ganice, going through rigid systems has made many people give up on their dreams or settle for things they are not comfortable with because 'this is the way things are'. As I write to you I am still going through tough situations trying to pursue the career of my choice. Naturally, compared to my peers. I am far much behind schedule in my life since am supposed to be having a job and probably raising a family. After completing my high school (12 years ago) I did not qualify to enter university through the regular government sponsored program which admits a meager 10% of students every year. I was then required to join a middle level college as a result which is the norm. I had no issue with this but the problem is my father(now deceased) wanted me to study nursing which to me was nothing close to what I wanted to do. It was a struggle resisting and since he was afterall the one paying he did not accept any of my choice, I had to remain out of school for 3 years for this reason and afterwards I studied basic computers for survival and also that it had become a requirement for everybody.
By this time my relationship with my dad was far much strained as he regarded me rebellious so i did not push on to further my studies. Additionally years were moving and since people of my age were either completing their college education or already working, i decided to start job hunting. Considering my basic studies of computers and the competition that was mounting with dwindling jobs, getting a chance was not easy. I worked as a casual worker in a government ministry for two years and when the job ended I joined my sister at the capital city (Nairobi) as she was already working so that i could take another shot in finding employment. At this point my sister paid for me to advance my computer studies as I searched for employment. Several years down the line nothing was forthcoming as yet. In 2004 I applied for a fellowship that I found online which was taking up young people for 3 months to get an experience in ICTs and entrepreneurship. I was accepted by the fellowship and linked to a regional women's organization working in Nairobi where I worked as a communication programme intern. At the end of the 3 months, the organization, pleased with my work extended my stay as the programme officer was going for her maternity off. I acted for her and even after she came back, i worked for 5 additional months and had to leave for someone else to get the experience. The organization usually takes young women for a period of 3 months in something like a training experience in gender and women rights issues in a communication perspective. During my time there i discovered my potential in the journalism field as I was able to run the communication programme with a lot of ease regardless of my lack of professional training (I have always since childhood been a good writer and speaker and journalism was one of the careers of my choice)
I also got a lot of encouragement from the people I worked with at the organization to consider pursuing journalism. It was a turning point in my life but I wondered; where will I get the funds to pursue my studies in this new found interest. Sincerely I had not even a cent and it was out of question that my family would support me (after all am old enough to be fending for myself) Despite of the hopelessness that lingered, I decided to apply for admission in a local private university to pursue a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Journalism. I was accepted for the spring of 2006 and I decided to do anything possible to at least find myself enrolled and let the future care for itself. This is exactly what I did. I summoned the little savings I had and fund raised through well-wishers for the first semesters fees. I managed through alot of financial and emotional difficulties to complete my first year but from then on I have been on and off studies and leaving accumulated balances back in school. I have been out of session for one year managing to attend one semester in 2007 and last year. As I write to you am not in school and do not know when I will be able to go back-but I have not given up on my pursuit for the sky.
Our rigid world does not give us much choices and people's perceptions of issues make things even more difficult. In my case, my family and friends view me as unrealistic for going back to school at my age and further no one is supposed to fend for a grown up unless it is an issue like sickness. I now live with my sister who finds me burdensome as she has to pay rent as I struggle to find a way to raise my fees. Down here, it is not easy to find scholarships and believe me even some available have age limits. I applied for a government loan for higher education but my age disqualified me outrightly. The unemployment situation in this country is sore and as much as it is the best option to fend for oneself, finding a job as one studies is next to impossible unless you have someone you know in a company or organization.
I am halfway through my studies but do not know how to move on. I am currently still fighting on to find a job because it seems the only option for liberation as I would not only raise my fees but also manage my life and stop being an adult dependent. The sky above me is gloomy but it has a silver lining. Believe me Ganice, if we met you would think I have nothing to care about as am always laughing (am a loud chatterer and i laugh a lot) I know there are many people especially in such countries as ours who have given up on hope but i am not about to be a statistic in that matter. I want to fight on for myself now but more important I would want to be of help to many who face obstacles in life which from a proactively optimistic perspective are possible to overcome.
The global women's movement have a challenge to put up practical ,mentorship and supportive programs as women are the ones who mostly face tough situations due to societal prejudices. It is a challenge to walk the talk of empowerment because these situations are real. I often feel helpless since i have nothing to get myself out of the murk leave alone helping other people.
I take my challenges as a learning experience and also a way to shape up for greater things as no road to success is ever smooth. Albert Einstein admitted failing 99 times before succeeding in the hundredth to emerge as a force to reckon with in the world. He further said that "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds".
So as we marvel in successful mentors and trend-setters, it is a fact that they did not succeed at the first shot; they kept on and on. We also are no exception for trying moments as we also are the Ensteins et al of the future.
Cheers Genice and thanks for caring to read my piece. It makes lots of difference.

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