I am grateful to have physically met, most of my World Pulse Sisters and brothers that I interact with here and other online platforms. The joy, warmth and camaraderie is out of this world. It has taken so long for me to write this but forgive my silence, I knew a day would come. In reflecting on the past decade and how World Pulse has influenced the various aspects of my life am filled with joy that an online community cannot only drive change but also share so much more in real life.
Not many people are blessed to physically meet, and interact with their online contacts. It was both humbling and a pleasure to meet women that I had looked up to in this platform. I met in person my wonderful sisters in at the 2018 Imagine Global Conference in Morocco. Caroline Seaman, Busayo and Olanike!! Imagine a whole week with this power houses, there was so much to learn and share with each other including scaling our projects, resource mobilization, self-care, access to empowering opportunities and of course having fun while enjoying the beautiful scenes of the Atlas Mountains and the Moroccan culture. They are all intelligent and as beautiful in person.
2019 threw in a few surprises too, here comes a dose of World Pulse sisterhood. Stella told me she will be in Kenya for a few days before she goes back to India. She was so sweet and concerned of the long night journey I was going to make just to meet her. But she had made a greater sacrifice by taking a 7-hour flight from India to Kenya to visit her friends. This is what sisters are for. I didn’t mind taking the night bus to Nairobi. 2019 started off with Thai/ Indian cuisine with Stella Paul and Judy at the Urban Eatery in Westlands Nairobi Kenya. Meeting with Stella and Judy was Epic, we couldn’t stop hugging each other and laughing, sharing our World Pulse experiences. I was heartbroken seeing her off few days later. To date Judy is my friend whenever I am in Nairobi I drop by her place for lemon tea, she has been of value to me.
Feka a World Pulse Sister from Cameroon was visiting Kenya in April 2019, after several conversations I realized she was coming to a town 3 hours’ way from my home! The most sensible thing to do was definitely to catch up with her while she was in Kisumu. We spent the whole day together enjoyed a boat ride on Lake Victoria, shared a wonderful Kenyan meal of Ugali and fried fish at Dunga beach. We visited my friends’ Beldina nonprofit (AVFP) working with girls and vulnerable women in Kisumu on Agriculture, Education and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. The fact that we could squeeze in a bit of work in this single day was awesome. And just like that I know when am in Cameroon I have a sister that I can count on.
Here at World Pulse there are various people I follow and we have connected in so many ways. They have been mentors like Adanna who have witnessed my personal growth and career evolve. Thank You so much Adanna while Upasana is in the Advisory committee for WETEC. You have been great mentors, WETEC couldn’t be here without your input. I hope we meet some day too. Maybe I should come over for Nigerian jollof rice.
In June 2019 my organization was rapidly scaling and it was getting scary managing so much work and volunteers, as usual my support system lies in World Pulse. I reached out to my brother (whom I connected with from World Pulse) for moral support and advice on how best to handle a rapidly growing organization. Fash often writes on the human potential (You are Limitless Series on Facebook) and harnessing social media for growth, he also runs a social enterprise prickle Academy in Nigeria. When I reached out to him online, I had no idea he was on his way to Kenya via South Africa. I invited him to Malaba where he trained WETEC volunteers and worked with us for 3 days. He also introduced us to his Partners in Uganda whom we are working with to develop a Sexual reproductive health program.
And here is to more World Pulse power houses at the close of 2019! In November 2019 Kenya hosted UNFPAs’ ICPD25+ (International Conference on Population and Development 25) Celine and I attended a side event on ‘Inclusion of Women with disabilities in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. Just as the event ended, right across the room I saw a very familiar face, this was the most surreal experience as I wasn’t expecting to meet Celine Osukwu in this particular space. This was a lovely surprise. We both gazed at each wondering where we had met before. ‘aaah I know you from World Pulse’, we both knew each other but the puzzle was from where when the pieces fell into place. There were tight hugs, a hearty laughter, and everything about World Pulse. Celine and I have been in various World Pulse leadership zoom meetings and that explains why it felt like we had known each other for years yet had never met physically. We talked for about 30minutes and parted to attend other side events. Sadly, I couldn’t catch up with sis Celine as she was leaving for Nigeria at dawn the following day.
Meeting World Pulse community leaders in person has been exciting. Logging on World Pulse was the best thing that ever happened to me in the last decade, it has accelerated my growth, scaled my work and given me a circle of powerful sisters. Together we are stronger in amplifying women voices globally and advancing gender equality.
The pictures used were shared on World Pulse Sub Saharan Africa group on Facebook immediately after the meetings but not here. while Celine shared this pictures her FB wall.
Photos taken by our phones.
Follow Fasoranti Damilola ( Fash) to read more about our work partnership.