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!

INTERNET–A HOPE IN THE DESERT

Here is my story of faith and action through internet. The internet has helped me achieve different goals in many ways. It is not just a simple success story that is unfolding in this journal, but meant to celebrate the past and affirmation of hope in the internet for future. It seeks to face the realities of the present and look to future with an open mind.

ACCESS TO JOB OPPORTUNITIES AND IMPROVED LIVELIHOOD:

One day upon arrival at home, from conducting a capacity assessment and Participatory Integrated Community Development Process for Civil Society Organizations in Juba Southern Sudan; things went upside down. I found my husband had left home having expressed discomfort with my financial independence and my international assignments. He left me, never to return, leaving all the care for our two children up to me. I got much disoriented and in the process, had to leave my job. For a long while, I did not have a job. Later in the year through internet job search I managed to get a job with Comitato Internazionale Perlosviluppo De Popoli (CISP) in Malindi, Kenya. The job came at a time I was in the wilderness and it brought hope and transformation in my life… thanks to the internet.

INTERNET AND WOMEN SOCIAL ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Internet has enable women affected and infected with HIV&AIDS improve their social economic status. As Friendly Integrated Development Initiative in Poverty Alleviation (FIDIPA) an NGO that seeks community empowerment and access justice for all; one of our programs is to support grannies and young women affected and infected with HIV&AIDS, to increase their capacity and improve their social and economic status. The women make beads baskets, and conduct agribusiness activities. See some of their pictures attached. Through internet and technology the women’s products are photographed and shared with others who provide support in different parts of the world. Dr. Josephine Munthali in UK a FIDIPA associate did support the women at some point through purchasing their items through internet. The items are sent as cargo and money wired in return. Join me in appreciating internet services for not only supporting this vulnerable group, by putting a smile on their faces, but also for the fact that it enables connection for a worthy cause. Who would have imagined that some of these widows in small villages could communicate with the international community and facilitate a life changing experience!.See some friends from Angels who care USA visited the group in Kayole and purchased some of their items. The proceeds have empowered them to provide for their basic needs and also to acquire phones, which enable them to access internet services at any time in their houses and workplace, making it safe, time saving and private. See more pictures attached.

EXPOSURE, NETWORK AND INSPIRATION

Internet has helped me popularize my music and exposure, as a Gospel Artiste. I got nominated for Extreme Awards 2013 and posted my details on face book and requested people to vote. I found this convenient and affordable way of reaching my fans, family and friends to walk with me in my journey of music. I believe through internet, radio and telephone communication enabled my winning the award as Nyanza Artiste of the year 2013. See my face book account www.facebook.com/nyapaul.jaynepaul. Through face book posts, interviews both radio and TV many upcoming Artistes get inspired, a fact they have confirmed through text messages.

Through internet you-tube, I have managed to connect and get both local and international invitation to minister in conferences, crusades, weddings and concerts. The next one will be in Mid September in South Africa. See some of my songs on YouTube Rangach in dholuo language meaning‘gate’which basically calls for celebrating Jesus in my life www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClleYOKD8zcEmmanueli in Kiswahiliis a Christmas song www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsnZc9RjoRgErokamano in dholuo language meaning thank you www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B9VrXH_q6s, Mbegugani, meaning which seed. The song calls on all Kenyans to wake up and denounce corruption cases without fear www.youtube.com/watch?v=gucbctBqoTk Lwandana in dholuo meaning my rock www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaEizTQapgMOsiepna, dholuo meaning my friend. This is my testimony when most of my friends left me at the time when I needed them most, but the Lord Jesus never left me www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0dHCEKr5VYAmani meaning peace. This a peace song urging all Kenyans to maintain peace during campaign period and beyond the general election www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuORMed8BQk

ONLINE EMPOWERMENT LEADS TO OFFLINE WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

I went through Gender Mainstreaming online course through InWEent Capacity Building International Germany now GIZ www.GIZ.de, the course was so helpful and refreshing. Chat sessions were conducted where people shared experiences ideas with other students across Africa and Germany. My motivation for the study was to understand among other things why there was still a big disparity in representation of women both in national and local level governance structures and processes. After the online training I trained staff and community paralegals. See the picture of trained women paralegals and staff Canon Mary Ochieng training women group leaders in Siaya. My greatest concern was and still is the absence of women in leadership positions at grassroots levels. Many development committees such as School committees, water committees, Constituency Development committees, are headed by men, who cunningly choose some illiterate grandmothers to be Treasurers; whereas they will just append their signatures or fingerprints to what they are told to do and given little allowance, just to fulfill the gender requirement. See the picture of a school treasurer, who could not even explain the expenditure. This was during our follow-up meetings on gender and participation. Thanks to GIZ for the online training I could do my assignment and still manage to attend to other duties and responsibilities.

During the offline training session’s young women were motivated to regularly attend community public meetings, popularly known as “barazas” and offer themselves for leadership positions; and in the process contribute to community meeting agenda where decisions concerning them would otherwise be made without their participation. Follow-up meeting held with the area Chief confirms that the situation is slowly changing: the community attendance has improved, but women are still passive. See my picture with Chief during follow-up meetings. I strive to share the knowledge I got from the online training with others who were not as privileged to access internet, not only in Kenya but even internationally. I have shared this knowledge with many groups even across boarders - recently a group invited me in Entebbe Uganda.

I believe digital empowerment is important because of the area coverage. One can reach so many people in different locations at the same time. I strongly believe digital empowerment is important and will transform the life of women through information sharing and exchange of ideas and resources. Internet enables buying and selling all in one roof.

Thank you

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

Downloads

Comments

amymorros's picture

WOW!

You are working on so many things that have such a positive impact on so many people. I found your personal story of how you found a job after your husband left. I have found some jobs that I have seen advertised on the internet and am grateful.

It seems you are empowered through your work and your music and you are able to empower other woman from the knowledge that you have gained. You have a lovely voice too!

Amy
@amyinstl

Nyapaul's picture

thank you

Dear Amy,

Thank you mys sister. Yes its true technology is the gate key to development. As I mentioned all in one roof socially, politically, economically and spiritually.

peace be with you

Nyapaul

Thank you for showing the importance of the internet which produces resources, you are now producing. Continue the fight for other women you meet. God bless you.

Brigitte

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you for your

Thank you for your encouragement I promise you I will not let you down the Lord being my helper.

Nyapaul

Mauwa Brigitte's picture

Thank you very much!

Nyapaul,
Be persevente and courageous for what we love.

Brigitte

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you so much dear

Thank you so much dear

Nyapaul

Mary S's picture

Hi Nyapaul You are doing so

Hi Nyapaul

You are doing so many things! Great examples of how technology can change lives for the better. Those women make great crafts, are they able to sell online? I wonder whether those committees can start to introduce minimum qualifications/literacy levels for certain positions e.g. the treasurer must be able to read and be able to keep accurate financial records. That would make it harder for anyone in the organisation to behave dishonestly.

I like your music!

Mary

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you

Hi Mary,

Many thanks for your response.

The women especially the ones in Soweto slums in Kayole have been trained on book keeping, but there is a very big room for input. We are trusting God to enable us have a website. We requested some friends but they are taking too long to finalize it. This would help in the plans to have online business. They are actually able to keep good records of their proceeds.

Thank you

Nyapaul

Mary S's picture

Hi NyapaulIf it turns out

Hi Nyapaul

It is good to hear they are well organised!

If it turns out that your friends are not able to create the site, you could post this as a 'need' in the Resource Exchange section of World Pulse.

If you are interested in having an online volunteer do it, there are many other websites where you can list your need for assistance.

Mary

Nyapaul's picture

FIDIPA Website - Thank you

Dear Mary,

Many thanks for your time and concern. Sorry for taking long replying I went home upcountry for a funeral of my Aunty. I have just back to the city.

Yes my sister we are interested in getting an online volunteer tell me more about it.

Concerning the website we did engage someone who has taken too long to design it. The other person willing to do even faster needs about US $ 500/= five hundred dollars including domain and hosting. Pray with me to be able to raise this so that even in less than two weeks our website shall be on highlighting our activities and wayforward. Your assistance is highly appreciated.

Thank you

Nyapaul

Mary S's picture

Hi Nyapaul You might want to

Hi Nyapaul

You might want to check this out

The Expression Non-Profit Website Fund
http://www.expweb.ca/en/fund/
Application deadline is 15 September
"Expression will be hosting its ANNUAL NON PROFIT WEBSITE FUND, selecting ne organization who will be awarded either a website, if non exists, or other needed web solutions up to a value of $15,000!"

For online volunteers, you could try some of the following:

Grassroots (links organisations in the US and Africa with volunteer web designers)
http://www.grassroots.org/

UN Online Volunteering (general online volunteering)
https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en/org/

Idealist (general online and onsite volunteering)
http://www.idealist.org/

Volunteer Match (general online and onsite volunteering)
http://www.volunteermatch.org/

Skills For Change (for small online volunteering tasks)
http://www.skillsforchange.com/

Manufacturing Change (for organisations focused on manufacturing and production activities)
http://manufacturingchange.org/

These and others are all listed on my site at http://links2help.wordpress.com/ which I add to as I find things.

Good luck!

Mary

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you

Thank you and blessings

Nyapaul

annamarie's picture

Online/Offline

Dear Nyapaul,

You are indeed a busy women and making a difference in the lives of others. As hard as it was for you, I cannot help but wonder, how your life would have been different if your husband didn't leave you... It may sound harsh but in my own life I also found that hardship often serves as the catalyst to take us to greater things - and you came through with flying colours.
You've been SO empowered by using the internet and it is wonderful to hear how the internet brought people from the USA to Kayole to meet and buy products from the ladies - internet exposure really empowering them as well.

I trust that you will keep on educating women and that more and more women will become active participants in community affairs, we can't keep on looking at men to look after us.

I am from South Africa and hope that you will have a wonderful ministry time here in mid September.

Best of luck

Regards

Annamarie

Dear Annamarie,

I trust this email finds you well my dear. I am well too. Sorry for delay in responding, I had gone upcountry for a funeral of my Aunty Canon Mary Ochieng was a powerful lady and extended with follow-up visits.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Yes I believe the stones that people throw at you can become a foundation for your destiny. Yes in deed it was difficult that time but God allowed it to happened that way for a reason.I became more stronger and empowered. I also wanted to prove a point that life can still move on sometimes even better especially when "they|" think they are the oxygen one need/depend on. I have pulled through and now the children are big. My girl is at the University of Nairobi studying Law she passed very well and the boy if a candidate for senior four, pray for him to do well also. He would like to do Civil aviation, he is too play but does well in school.

I will give you my physical address I am told it will be in East London to see the possibility of meeting briefly. Yes my dear we have to be strong and make a difference.

Thanks

Nyapaul

Sorry to hear about your aunty's passing.

You can be so proud of your children - proof of the woman you are and how you break old negative cycles.

Take care and stay strong.

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you and take care

Thank you and take care

Nyapaul

Jumi's picture

Keep up the good work

Dear Nyapaul:

Your story of how you are taking advantage of the Internet is inspiring. You also doing a great job of being an advocate and helping to build other people's capacity.

Keep up the good work.

Thanks

Nyapaul's picture

Thank you

Thank you sister you have no idea how your encouragement keeps me going. I love you more. Keep the fire burning and let light the world with online communication.

Thank you

Nyapaul

Hi Nyapaul!
It's great to read another of your posts again and I love so many things about this one from the varied stories to the pictures. I'm struck by a few things in particular. First, the story of the grannies/widows with AIDS who are now able to sell their crafts around the world. I loved when you wrote: "Who would have imagined that some of these widows in small villages could communicate with the international community and facilitate a life changing experience!" It's also great that they now have phones and access to the internet. Second, I liked your section near the end about trying to increase women's participation in various structures of governance. I agree that is an important priority and it sounds like you're doing awesome work on improving that! Finally, I loved how you ended your post: "I believe digital empowerment is important because of the area coverage. One can reach so many people in different locations at the same time."I think after years of going online and having friends and family living all over the world whom I can easily connect with online, I've forgotten that area coverage is one of the best things about the internet and is so so important. It was great to read examples of how you're reaching so many people with the internet.

Thank you so much for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Best wishes,
Julia

Hi Julia,

Many thanks for your time and comments. I do appreciate so much. Sorry for late response. I went to the village for funeral and was busy with funeral arrangement. Then went for some village follow-up sessions. I am just back to the city. In deed I am encouraged by you. I like your comment that the area coverage is one best things about the internet.That is so true and let us keep the fire burning.

Love you and blessings.

Nyapaul

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

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

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative