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!

Comments

Dear Olanike - you are a shining star of determination, hope, empowerment and joy in the struggle.  We are so lucky to know you through our World Pulse community.  Plus you are a very skilled writer - your voice is articulate, passionate, factual, wise, thoughtful and written with such care.  Bravo! Your story from isolation to building a sustainable support network is filled with vibrant descriptions of the process women can take to become connected, inspired, supported, and focussed.  You are a brilliant example of everything World Pulse stands for.    With love and admiration, Natasha

Dear Natasha,

I feel so blessed to have you read my piece and also reach out with a feedback that made my day. It is such a delight to know you too! I must say that I was so wowed by your comment that I had to go back and read what I shared again. Haha! Thank you for standing with me and holding my hands high through your powerful words of affirmation. You are a darling indeed and in deed!

I sure look forward to getting to know more about you and your work. Thank you loads for also reaffirming and reassuring me that World Pulse is a magical connector. I am happy that we are connected.

Sending you my greenest love and loads of hugs!

 

Olanike (Greengirl)

Hello Gwei,

It is such a great pleasure to hear from you! Your line of thought means a lot to me as I remain committed to also seeing to it that more women become aware of the many supportive benefits that social media platforms like World Pulse affords women and girls. Thank you for been such an inspirational ally. Happy to connect with you!

Best wishes,

Olanike

Dear Olanike,

This resonates very much with me. I agree, solidarity and mutual support are catalysts in our battles.

Thank you for the good reminder: alone you go fast, together we go far (and enjoy the journey).

 

/Elvire

For their sake; for the women of today and the women of tomorrow: resilient, strong and precious beings!

Thanks so much Elvire for also echoing the important role that solidarity and mutual role plays in our lives. I ma so happy to read the illuminating quote you shared. Certainly, "alone one goes fast, together we go far!" Support such as yours, makes the journey enjoyable.

 

Hugs,

Olanike

Hi Olanike, 

I just read about you in the World Pulse email in which you're featured and reading about what you've done and do made me want to come on to World Pulse and read more, and comment on your post. I echo Natasha's comment in that you write extremely well. I was captivated by your words and found them very inspiring. I loved your overall message - it's so true in so many different things in life. We really can accomplish more when we work with others. I'm so glad you persevered (and I love your line about your passion keeping you on track) and that your organization grew and expanded.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

All my best wishes,

Julia 

Oh Julia!,

I feel truly touched and highly honored that the World Pulse feature story about me  drew you here. Wow!!!!! Thank you so much for also reaching out with your highly encouraging and soul lifting words of acknowledgement. Yipeeeeeeeee, I am so excited!!

Every time I get a pat on the back, something shifts for me in the right direction. Your feedback has the same impact on me, and strongly reminds me that "we/I can accomplish more when we/I continue to work with others."

I look forward to staying in touch with you.

 

Very warmly,

Olanike

My Dear Olanike! 

Your story inspires hope and courage. You are an embodiment of strength and l celebrate you now as always. 

Truly, we all need somebody to lean on.  And when women unite on a vision or mission, they are indeed invincible.

Continue of be a Shining Star!  You are unstoppable.

In Sisterhood,

Aramide

 

 

Heal the World; Make it a Better Place!

Dearest Sister Aramide,

You are certainly a woman of great strength pedigree, and I appreciate you and your solidarity for all time! Thank you so much for being there in inspiring and empowering ways. I am so happy that we are able to hold each other's hands from time to time.

Congratulations once again for becoming an advanced digital changing making leader. You are unstoppable too and I celebrate you!

How could I not send you my greenest love now and always? Haha! Here we go- Sending you tonnes of my greenest love.

 

Hugs,

Olanike

 

It has been such a privilege to share your journey with you. I am so glad that you have written about your challenges and the barriers your encountered along the way as so many community members are going through the same things and question their ability and capacity to continue. Your story gives them hope and demonstrates how a clear vision, determination, and connecting with like-minded people can help make dreams a reality. 

As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has".

Dear Janice,

I owe so much to you. Thank you for believing in me, holding my hands and sharing in my journey. You were there every step of the way too- encouraging, cheering, caring, and loving me in ways that kept me going too!

You sure hit it with Margaret Mead's quote; which is one of my top quotes.Together we will change the world. Yay!

I love you loads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Best,

Olanike

The questions and the challenges are what bring out the warrior in us. When you don't feel like carrying on (and there will be such moments of fatigue and discouragement and uncertainty now and then, it's only part of the process), think about why you began. A dream shared is a dream half fulfilled because then you get support from those who believe in you. You then build relationships, with strength and knowledge added to yours, and opportunities are open to you that you could only have imagined in the past. Beautiful write-up, beautiful personality. You can only get better. Greater heights to you, dear.

Dear Queen Virtuous,

Thank you so much for your heartwarming feedback, and deepest apologies that I am only just reaching out. Please be assured I have cogent reasons. Your thoughts resonates deeply,and I cannot agree with you any less that "moments of fatigue and discouragement and uncertainty now and then, it's only part of the process". Of course too, when one thinks about "why one began a journey", it sure energizes one to move on. I sure appreciate  your words of affirmation and encouragement. You rock dear sister and fellow compatriot. God bless you!

 

Hugs and and heartfelt gratitude,

Olanike

Dear Greengirl, It is always inspiring to hear such stories of success and endurance. Your story inspires all of us, we pray that you keep growing stronger and stronger and your impact reaches far places. A journey of a thousands miles starts with a single first step!

 

Great work

LVB

I say a big AMEN to your every word of prayers. Thank you so much for making out time to read my piece and also reaching out with your highly appreciated lines of thought. It remains a strong reminder to me that everything that is big or great starts small. May we always find the courage, strength and support that we need to propel us to take the steps we ought to take per time. You rock dear sister!

 

Blessings,

Olanike (Greengirl)

Sis i feel inspired by your sharing. You just confirmed the proverb "one hand can't tie a bundle". Truly team support makes our vision come true sooner than we expected. Keep going this is the beginning of the journey!!!!!

Sally Maforchi Mboumien

Founder/Coordinator COMAGEND Cameroon

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/women.girls.healthrights/

LinkedIn ID: Sally Maforchi Mboumien

Advanced Digital Changemaker 2017

Oh Masalien! Such a profound proverb: "one hand can't tie a bundle". I will keep this in my thoughts always. May we always connect the right people who would help us realize our vision and dreams. I feel energized by your highly encouraging words.Thank you for being there.

Best wishes,

Olanike

Beloved Olanike ~ what words of grace and truth.  Women rowing toward the common good is comparable to air and water!  I have re posted this article, may it ring out and become second nature.  Much love!!

Dearest Della,

I am so delighted to hear from you!!!! Yipeeeeeee!!! Thanks too for sharing your deep thoughts with me and the rest of our amazing community of game changers. I so so love how you put it that "Women rowing toward the common good is comparable to air and water!" ; even as I could never thank you enough for deeming the article worth re posting. Thank you so much my big loving sister. Sending you tonnes of my greenest love.

 

Much love and respect,

Olanike