My Miracle, My People and WorldPulse

Iffat Gill
Posted February 10, 2011 from Pakistan

My perception of miracles could be different than yours. To me, every great idea that succeeds is a miracle. Every idea that generates change is a miracle. Every solution is a miracle. Procrastination is a sin. And so is aimless browsing. Or is it?

I stumbled upon World Pulse website back in September if I remember correctly. While browsing through the website out of sheer boredom, I came across the Systers Award opportunity posted by a pulsewire member. I read it. Left in one of the browser tabs like many other web pages.

Few days later, I was told that some young women from the local community had come to see me. They wanted to meet the ‘only woman’ who was photographing the protest of two thousand people in the streets of Layyah. I felt uneasy. Women want to see me? In Layyah? I was the least ideal a woman for the pardah clad ladies of the region. I went to meet them. I greeted them and sat with them on the woven cot ‘charpai’ under the ‘bairy’ tree. “I went for an interview at an aid agency today. They are working for flood victims near the river. The interview was successful but I need to feed data into computer system. We had seen you use a computer here,” one of them, who were also a neighbour, came to the point directly. She was referring to my laptop. “Can you teach us how to use a computer? That was the only thing stopping them from having the job. None of us have the skills.” the representative of the three ladies continued.

I was perplexed. I was in Layyah on a short trip. I apologized. I went back to working on a story for my new hobby; blogging. The incident preoccupied me a bit. Earlier, the local school principal I was helping had asked me how I managed to upload things on the internet. My ability to send reports, videos and photos through internet inspired other women to learn.

I do not recall how I went back to that tab I had forgotten about. Must be an argument with my husband. I had too many tabs open! It slowed down my system hindering skype calls. I should close a few. Within hours, I found myself designing a project to set up a ‘Community Technology Center for Women’ in Layyah. I submit my solution. That was September. In November, I get an email. “Your exemplary proposal has been selected for the Systers Award!” At first, I stare at it. Then I smile. I had re-discovered the 'solution designer' in me after almost two years! A small grant, a huge incentive to work for my people again. Thank you everyone who helped me find the vision of my life again. Vision for my people!

My Story: Miracles

Comments 10

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Jan Askin
Feb 14, 2011
Feb 14, 2011

Dear MariposaAsia,

Firstly, congratulations on receiving a grant from the Systers organization. You must be commended for taking the initiative to write a proposal. It is all the more touching that your proposal arose from the first hand experience that you had in Layyah.

Secondly, thank you for once again taking the initiative to write about this experience so that others an be inspired by your actions.

My wish is that more "community technology centers" become available in Pakistan.

Your sister,

Jan

Iffat Gill
Feb 16, 2011
Feb 16, 2011

Thank you for you kind message and words of encouragement. I am looking forward to commencement of courses of this project. Hope to have the project website up and running soon so that we can keep friends updated with what can be done.

Best wishes.

Frances Faulkner
Feb 15, 2011
Feb 15, 2011

Dear MariposaAsia,

I believe many daily miracles start with the simple act of people listening to each other. You are tuned in to your community, and look what you have done! It is so wonderful to read about this.

Thanks for sharing and best of luck with the new center.

Frances

Iffat Gill
Feb 16, 2011
Feb 16, 2011

Thank you for your good wishes for the center. It is a great feeling; to be able to listen, and to be listened!

Best wishes.

Anna McDonnell
Feb 16, 2011
Feb 16, 2011

Congratulations!

Iffat Gill
Feb 16, 2011
Feb 16, 2011

Thank you Anna!

Sally
Feb 17, 2011
Feb 17, 2011

Congratulations on the grant!!! Also, reading your story helps me, and I'm sure others, realize how important a tool a computer can be for us! I wish you well!

Thanks for sharing.

Sally Smith

Iffat Gill
Feb 17, 2011
Feb 17, 2011

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Technology is what got us so far and it is sad that in some parts of the world, where poverty is still the main issue, computer literacy is still not highest on the agenda, even though it can be a powerful tool for empowerment of people. I hope the initiative will empower some women to reach resources and opportunities they previously did not have access to.

Best.

Jensine Larsen
Jun 02, 2012
Jun 02, 2012

Hi Rose -

Was thinking of you today! How is your community technology center coming? Challenges? Progress? Love to hear how you are.

Warmly, Jensine

Iffat Gill
Sep 30, 2012
Sep 30, 2012

Hi Jensine,

Thank you for your message. A lot going on but the project was put on hold for some unseen reasons. Will fill you in on it soon.

Regards.