I am the founder of PROJECT AFRICA a Non profit organization promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in rural Africa. I wish to share with all of you a little about my story so that you can understand the passion I have to see women in Africa liberated from the dungeons of gender inequality that aggravate the spread of poverty and poverty related catastophies like HIV/AIDS.
Turning Vulnerability in Victory .
I lost both my parents to HIV/AIDS when I was 14 years. It is unfortunate that traditional customs of my people do not allow women/girls to inherit or own property so I was not allowed to inherit whatever property belonged to my Parents. In addition to this, I was subjected to abuse, homelessness and other insecurities as I struggled hard to protect my younger brothers and keep the family together. Today, this is the vulnerable state of many African girls and widows who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. The pain of my past life has been too much but as I always say to all audiences that get to hear my story is that I dont tell my story to gain pity but rather to show that each one of us can turn our painful pasts into powerful engines to start the wheel of change in our society. It is with this attitude that I find the courage today to share about PROJECT AFRICA and to be a part of this great network of women using the media to make a difference. I aim to be a voice for the Voiceles women of Rural Africa.
To let the world know that women in rural Africa play the greatest role in fight against poverty, HIV/AIDS and malaria, unemployement, illiteracy etc yet they remain to be the most vulnerable group marginalized in every sense and denied the right as well as the resources to participate favourably in sustainable community development. In every village where I have been priviledged to interact with the rural women whether she is a commercial sex worker on the border strips waiting for cross border tourists/truck drivers or a house wife/farm labourer with her bunch of children, the sentiments of their struggle to earn a living are the same. They Say to me, " I am doing this so that my children can go to school, have food or have a better life than that which I have been priviledged to have." I believe that My mother said the same before she contracted AIDS and died.
I think it is time that the world should start listening to women because they have many creative ideas that bring solutions to many social challenges. Development agencies should initiate projects bottom -up listening carefully to the needs of women and the solutions they propose before we can impose our ideas onto the grassroot women.
"We can overcome if we choose to turn every pain into power and our vulnerability into victory" This is the Voice of Reason.
To see women in rural Africa empowered with skills and resources for education and enterprise development To find development mentors who will partner with us in empowering women in rural Africa Mass communication, Communication for Development, International Relations, Gender and development, Public Speaking
That women in rural Africa will rebuild Africa from ruins