The Sun is rising from the east as I prepare to go graze my mother's goats in lulu back in my younger days. I was the only girl in the village dressed differently because I was the only school going girl in my village 1980s. Many times the forest was not safe for girls because of retrogressive culture and because of wildlife. Many times the sun was hitting so hard and with an empty stomach the family espected me to bring goats home safe and well fed or I might not get any pocket money for school. Hunger was a familiar friend and companion to me. Today am puzzled by where I got the strength to walk 60 kilometers every school opening and closing day from and to the village. My search for freedom and a safe space for women was so fresh in my mind every morning.
After heading to New York and getting into an eoraplane for the first time, drilling a borehole in my village, introduced the first clean water to our village school and the Community, campaigned to end Female Genital Mutilation, I saw a dream come true. A dream of a rejected stone becoming the main stone for a safe spot for women in my village. I remembered the elders called for a meeting to bless me after drinking clean water the first time. It must have tested like heaven to them.
Education is a game changer and I call upon members of our African continent to embrace education. Education frees women and children from danger and poverty.
When you have been educated you know where to step and where not to step, you know how to make your voice count in a patriarchal system and when to save your head from the enemies of women's development.
Education helps women to understand how to be healthy and create a healthy environment for their children. Education is a life changing tool.
I boldly campaigned on social media in Community forums to end gender based violence as well as retrogressive culture in my Community. Many insulted and violated my freedom of speech but I never gave up. Today women and girls in my Community can boldly speak and campaign against gender based violence and FGM. Change can start from anyone. Remember being a change maker requires you to have a big and strong heart. Be psychologically prepared to have shock absorbers and pain absorbers. Be prepared to cross valleys, climb mountains, drawn in waters and leave foot steps of strength and success for other women to follow toward a safe world.
Women and girls from pastoralist communities must step out of the grazing land and climb the hills of education and development for a better tomorrow. Every child must be a holder of a form of education that enables them access gender equality and development.
We must create this change we want to see. Like gold,we must be prepared to be burnt and shaped by challenges we face in this process of creating a better world to allow current and future women and children to walk the path of change without much struggle.