I have every reason to thank God Almighty for the wonderful vision that he gave to me. To begin my "Empowerment Walk" round the impoverished communities of Cross River State, Nigeria, in search of the poorest and most vulnerable women, girls and children. The aim is to interact with them, share stories, experiences, resources and work with them, give them real sense of belonging and offer them psycho social support that gives them hope in life and restore their dignity.
On my first walk, I found many women, girls and children in dare need of care and support. But I am picking one woman at a time and not leaving her the way I found her. That was how I began the journey with a poor widow at Esekwe Irruan (Madam Martina Eja), with the powerful support of my lovely sister, Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale.
I cannot do the much for all of them alone, even as I am not waiting for other people to join me. I wrote the story on World Pulse, posted on Facebook and when some of my friends read it, they picked interest. A newspaper publisher, Mr. James Ebri called me to say, he would want the story published on the Median newspaper, where I once worked as Woman Editor. I gave him the piece, just as it is published on the World Pulse. He said to me, "Madam, I really like what you are doing. This is how people should demonstrate willingness to help people in need." And so, the story was published and the public is reading us (World Pulse), offline. Commendable start, I believe.
A primary school teacher called me from Ogoja, some 30 kilometers from Madam Martina's village to tell me that a retired Judge who was in Calabar saw the publication and decided to buy some copies to offer to Madam Martina Eja. Wao!!!! Great. I feel so good that people are demonstrating that my idea isn't a bad one all, after all.
This tremendous support has energized me. I am leaving for the village tomorrow. I hear that Madam Martina has sold all the locust beans we gave to her.
Esekwe in Boki local government area of Criss River State where I begun my Empowerment Walk is about 270km but I will not allow the long distance that takes up to 6 hours to get there be an obstacle on my way. I am going there, taking copies of the newspaper publication to the village. This will ignite interest in the service to humanity.
Oh! Another sad thing is that I would be out of network as soon as I arrive the village, but not to worry, things will definitely get better with time.
On the publication, I captured my sister, Olutosin, doing what she knows best; TTTTT (Tosin Turns Trash To Treasure)- her art work is used to support women get a better life.
See you all, dear sisters, when I come again with powerful stories from the mouth of women, themselves.
Love you all.