We all desire and need support at some point in our lives. As a changemaker, I have faced and navigated so many challenges all alone. I can readily recall the palpable feeling of isolation, uncertainty, disquiet and/or pressure that greeted and characterised such moments. When I launched out into the world of social entrepreneurship in 2004, I was a self starter and self driven individual. I was my own accountability partner for a significant period of time. The truth is that the beginning of my work exploits was pretty overwhelming as I didn’t have the resources to recruit a team, nor was I aware of the strategic moves I could make to engage and build a pro-bono support team network.
My passion, however, kept me on track. Before long, I began meeting and connecting with individuals, groups and organizations who shared my interests and concerns for the women’s natural resource rights and empowerment. As my work exploits expanded, I knew I needed to find additional support. So, I began looking out for and surrounding myself with like-minded people who were open to giving me strategic assistance. It is worth mentioning that back then, some of these people eventually made it on/to the board of my very young organization while some others became ad-hoc employees, volunteers and partners. With the turn of events, I started feeling more empowered and took great pleasure in the new sense of shared support I had attracted.
With insights gained from Melinda Kramer, founder and co-director of Women’s Earth Alliance and a long standing professional ally, I widened my search for a sustainable support network for my evolving work. I began to include social media platforms like World Pulse. “Getting comfortable with social media and giving people a closer look at themselves is the first step for leaders to make the leap into adopting a network mindset”, writes Beth Kante (one of the most influential women in technology, according to Fast Company, and one of the Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media").
Of course, I am ever so excited about my World Pulse journey and the amazing community of tens of thousands of women from over 190 countries around the world. To date, I have benefited tremendously from my engagements in ways that continually enhance my capacity. This network also boosts my connections and overall reach in the communities that I serve. Among other World Pulse recognitions, I must say that becoming a 2016 Impact Leader has further afforded me these benefits and much more. Through the program I was given access to an inimitable form of timely support.
I became connected with a support team of two amazingly selfless community members—Ellen Wasyl and Sabiha Hasan, who possess extraordinary mentoring and leadership coaching skills. Once our training session’s kicked off, there was never a dull moment in our communication and interactions. They provided me much needed guidance, assurance, inspiration, encouragement, motivation, care and friendship. Together, we journeyed on a path to new discoveries and possibilities. The learning, sharing and bonding that has happened between us over the course of three months is unequivocally magical, as our connection now transcends the official 3 months WP Impact Team Sessions which wrapped up the last week of January.
The support received from my Impact Team and the successes we achieved together are reassuring and remains a strong pointer to the fact that when women rise, stand together and hold each other's hands in shared conviction they become unstoppable. Every spoken and unspoken dream becomes realizable. It was Helen Keller who said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
Indeed we are wiser, better and stronger together. Our Impact Team has an unfinished business that we are determined to accomplish together. On this note, our team’s journey has only just begun!