"Nobody speaks for me. I speak for myself." I have never heard these words spoken with such sense of purpose and deep clarity...until today.
"World Pulse" was a strange name in my 2 decade old vocabulary until 10pm last night, when a dear friend informed me that the World Pulse Team would be convening a session in Lagos at noon today. After apologizing for the barely 12 hour notice, she strongly urged me to attend the programme. In her words "I am assuring you, it would be awesome".
Somehow (despite my super hectic schedule) fate took me to the Feminar Hall at LTV Ikeja, to attend the session today. A group of 7 energetic women constituted the panel for the day's session, including Smeeta Hirani - Global Community Impact Director at World Pulse. When the panelists charged up the room with a thought-provoking song about women's status as "moulders" of the society, I needed nothing else to convince me that I was in a dynamic circle.
One by one, they shared their amazing leadership stories, highlighting how the organization has contributed to scaling up their dreams, amplifying their voices, and connecting them with a dynamic global network. I was particularly inspired by the stories told by Vweta Chadwick and Busayo Obisakin, about their participation in the World Pulse "Voices of Our Future" programme. While Vweta transformed from an insecure young woman to a vocal and confident advocate, Busayo became a globally renowned voice through her laptop - all the way from a rural town in South West Nigeria.
Perhaps, my highest point of the day was listening to the passionate Chi Yvonne Leina as she engulfed the audience in her fire for social change. For about 2 years, I have read all about Chi's inspiring efforts to combat breast ironing and other socio-cultural shackles which hold girls/women back in Cameroon. Nonetheless, I felt something undescribable, while hearing her tell her story first hand in relation to the platform that lifted her voice.
Fired up and ready to go, I found myself registering on the World Pulse website and applying to volunteer as a Community Listener, barely 1 hour into the session! With the resources and opportunities available, I am amazed by the wonderful possibilities that the online community offers women all over the world. As a member of the community, I hope to stay motivated, learn new things to improve my pro-girl NGO, and spark global conversations about issues that I really care about while holding the hands of other young women across the world.
Dear World Pulse, thank you for keeping your promise. Indeed, I came curious and left super inspired. The journey has only just begun...