My name is Carolyn Seaman. I am a trained lawyer with experience working on gender and development issues. I would like to direct you to read more about me in my introductory journal on World Pulse at https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/carolyn-seaman/posts/32042. My experience working on women's issues with little or no progress, led me to trace the historical challenge to the lack of education and personal development that characterizes our girls from a tender age and keeps them perpetually marginalized and inaccessible to the opportunities available to their male counterparts. I ask the question, "How can a 13-year old girl who is uneducated and has no self-esteem, no life ambitions and has zero life skills rise up at 28 years or 35 years or 43 years to start up a successful business enterprise or establish a successful career in the corporate world or engage the political sector of her community or nation?" It simply does not follow. Achieving such success requires early investment in formal education or even non-formal education (vocational skills or life skills acquisition) that is able to equip and sustain the success. This gap consistently fuels my passion to engage girls and expose them to platforms that can build them up and equip them to join their male counterparts to be tomorrow's leaders. I am building a Community for girls called Girls Voices and my vision for this Community is to pool girls together to connect and share conversations around issues that affect them. Realizing that inspiration is a huge element that is absent for our girls today, I have already set up social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter to share inspiring stories of girls success in entrepreneurship, entertainment, fashion, science and technology as well as stories of development efforts to make the world better for girls.

World Pulse presents a huge model for my vision for the girls in my Country and I intend to apply the learning from my digital empowerment journey here to strengthen my leadership skills mentoring these girls and establishing an interactive and effective community the girls can engage.  Also, I hope to learn a lot from participating in this group so I can further hone my leadership skills to support my mission. I am looking to address the issue of girls finding their voice and exploring spaces to make their voices count. This would help them challenge the perception that 'girls are to be seen and not heard'. I have some media skills and commendable experience producing documentaries and other quality videos and I am working with girls to tell their stories so that their voices can begin to engage within their communities and abroad. However, it's quite demanding solely coordinating all of these activities (managing the social media platforms effectively, creating stories and producing videos, establishing an effective virtual and physical community for the girls). How do I source passionate young women who would join to pursue the mission selflessly from the start? And how do I mobilize funding to support this work to build a safe space for girls to engage and be inspired to make their voices count? I am still very passionate and working hard to achieve this great vision because I believe girls voices count - I just need to mobilize the girls to believe same.

Comments

Hello Carolyn,

Wow, you're doing such important work! I truly believe that educating and empowering girls WILL change the world. It is the key to so many of the problems we face together, and the key for these girls to lead the lives they wish to lead for themselves. I love your emphasis on bringing girls together, inspiring one another, and sharing their stories with the world.

I'll just share a few resources with you in case they migh tbe helpful:

Girl Rising is a movement based around a documentary film about the power of educating girls all over the world. The film - and more specifically, the girls in it! -- are incredibly inspirational, but so is all of the work that has happened since! They are now bringing together partners who are working on girls' education, and starting initiatives to get more girls in school in many areas. Perhaps they, or one of their partners, could be a good resource to you?

In regard to fundraising, there was a fantastic post in our Economic Empowerment group this summer about fundraising. Perhaps it will give you some ideas of where to start? There are also many websites that you can use to try to raise funds for your project (eg. Kiva.org, Kickstarter.com, and many many others).

And if you need any virtual volunteers to support your efforts, the U.N.'s online volunteer portal could be a helpful place to post your opportunities and get some help for your efforts.

I hope you will keep us informed as your work continues!

In support,

Sarah

 

PS -  You mentioned a background in film-making. If you ever have video to share, I hope you'll feel free to post it here as well!

Hi Sarah,

I apologize for my delayed response to your last mail. I missed your mail in my track of mails. I totally appreciate all that you have shared with me here and I would review each of the links and explore every opportunity I can access. 

Most definitely, I would continue to share my videos with the World Pulse Community and keep posting my progress as I move on.

Once again, accept my gratitude for all that you shared with me.

Warm regards,

Dear Carolyn,

It was a pleasure to get to know you through your writing.  You are a powerful voice for women in your country, and I think your work has the possibility of reaching far across the world.  You are so correct that education is the key to the success of the women of tomorrow.  There is no way they can achieve anything, especially breaking the bonds of their current situations, without it.  You are very clever in using modern technology--Facebook and Twitter--to capture their attention!  I will follow your Facebook posts as well.

It looks like you are off to a great start with your Girls' Voices.  You are getting the support and suggestions from World Pulse that you need to keep on this path.  I am so proud of what you are doing.  Keep up the great and most important work.

Barbara

Dear Barbara,

I love your writing! I am reading your comments and it feels like I already know you. I am also pleased to connect with you on this platform. 

I appreciate your kind words and I love your interest to follow our Facebook posts. I appreciate your support and encouragement as well as same from so many wonderful women on this excellent platform, World Pulse.

Thank you loads,

Another great post to read on World Pulse! Thank you for your leadership on this issue. You have an interesting background and a lot of solid professional experience. I like how you mention the importance of non-formal education. Reaching out to these girls does present some obstacles and I am glad you are really thinking through the best and most effective methods of engagement. You have a plan that focuses on the long-term impact and a vision to make that happen. I will look for you on Twitter (I am @amymorros). Thank you again! 

Amy

Hi Amy,

Thank you for another encouraging and inspiring feedback. 

You have rightly identified my interest to employ every form of education (formal and non-formal) to engage and transform girls' lives. We need effective and sustainable platforms for engaging the girls so that we can achieve a long-term impact and I believe that this is possible with hard work and persistence.

I have followed you on Twitter (I am @carolyn_seaman).

Many thanks,

Dear Carol , You are doing such an amazing job and the girls you are advocating for are surely blessed to have you as their leader. Continue with the great work and continue to share your stories because you are changing lives. Stay blessed

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi Head of Legal and Advocacy Centre for Batwa Minorities a.kiddu@gmail.com cfmlegal@gmail.com Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Hi Anita,

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your encouragement. 

I would definitely keep sharing stories about my work because I learn a lot from the feedback too.

I am also curious to learn about your work as I am looking to build strong networks with other women leaders across Africa. I have a dream to work on an Africa Project soon. I have sent you a skype invite (I am carolskypeme) and I hope to keep in touch with you as we get to know one another better.

Stay blessed yourself,

Hi Carolyn

Thanks so much for sharing with us your work with girls and young women through Girls Voices. You're so right that in order for women to be empowered, we need to ensure girls are empowered. I think the way you are going about this using social media and centreing the voices of girls is great. A similar venture (based in the US I think) is Smart Girls at the Party, which may provide you with ideas on how best to engage girls and young women through social media and through Girls Voices.

Wishing you all the best

Dani

Hi Dani,

Thank you too for thise kind, encouraging words. I truly believe in the power that lies in amplifying girls voices; first to inspire the girls themselves and next to change the perception of our society towards girls and women.

Thank you for sharing about the Smart Girls at the Party. Is it the same platform with Amy Poehler's Smart Girls? I try to follow similar organizations working in our area so that I am inspired and I don't miss any opportunities to network and collaborate with such organizations so that we can do great projects that can reach out to a significant number of girls. 

Once again, thank you for your encouragement and I look forward to learning about your work too.

Warm regards,