I have been transformed by technology; “Now I have the power to keep transforming women and girls with disabilities In grassroots communities”

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Posted March 13, 2020 from Cameroon
Digital empowerment for women with disabilities
Let no woman be left behind

I am a woman with disability who has been transformed by technology and lifted up in my community. I was first introduced to technology through a computer course in the university then I created my first email. After creating my email, I was able to sign up to face book and from that time I developed unlimited passion to continue to empower myself and grow my digital skills. From that time I have experienced a kind of transformation that has enabled me to transform other people. Technology has improved my communication with all categories of disabilities, especially the deaf who face communication barrier at all levels in the communities. This has made life easier for me in socialization, working and networking.

Technology has transformed me to be a role model not just among women/girls with disabilities but ordinary women and girls as well. They look up to me as a mentor who has a lot to give out to them and I am doing my best to mentor. With my ability to use digital tools and the internet responsibly, I am able to stay safe online and teach other women and girls to stay safe too. Technology is giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and create change that helps to lift up the voices of women.

Though I have access technology to an extent, I feel it is not enough because it continue to evolve. Also, my fellow sisters with disabilities have very little or no access to technology and digital tool due to barriers that generate from stigma, marginalization and discrimination. This has caused them to have limited access to digital skills, afford the internet and experience GBV in local communities. For those who have basic ideas on online activities like the face book, they have faced some degree of online harassment that has scared them off the digital world. In contributing to help my fellow women benefit from using digital tools I have the following ideas put in place;

  • I sensitize women, girls and communities on the importance for them to be digitally empowered.
  • I identify women/girls and organize training on the responsible use of the internet, social media and ways to stay safe online
  • I teach them how to download Apps to their android and smart phones which can be beneficial to their day to day living
  • Women/girls with disabilities who have limited chances of having formal education and access to digital tool are linked to donors and people of goodwill who can donate these tools to them and I train them on usage
  • Given the context of the sociopolitical crisis that my country is facing now, mobility is greatly restricted, there is high prevalence of GBV and I train women/girls to use their digital tools to report all cases of GBV that affects them or they come across.
  • I teach them about online networking, E-Learning, E-Marketing, scholarships, conferences and fellowship program around the world.

As a woman with disabilities I faced numerous barriers to accessing technology beginning with stigma, marginalization and discrimination. Other women/girls face the same barriers regardless of their disability or not. Due to my level of income, I am unable to have the right digital tools and regularly afford the internet. Paying for skills acquisition is very expensive and most women especially women and girls with disabilities are left behind. They have serious challenges accessing technology and affording the internet. With the above ideas, my recommendations in addressing these barriers are;

  • Let government and internet entity make internet affordable or free for women and girls with specific consideration to women and girls with disabilities
  • Create opportunities that can support access to digital tools for women and girls
  • Support women led initiatives that work for digital empowerment of women and girls in grass root communities and humanitarian context

It is due to technology that I came in contact with high profile women in CARE US and UN Women that gave me the opportunity to take my first trip on a flight to Addis Ababa and later on linked me to Geneva. I was also linked to a World Pulse Sister who gave me a recommendation to travel to Nairobi, Kenya.  Opportunities I never believe I will ever access in my life time; technology made it happen just by one click. These opportunities have given me a close relationship with the UN Women and CARE US, making me to belong to the Friends of Gender Group of the UN Women and my voice is heard from my little corner in Bamenda, North West region, Cameroon.

Veronica Ngum Ndi

Woman with disability

World Pulse Ambassador

Bamenda,Cameroon

This story was submitted in response to #SheTransformsTech.

Comments 30

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Anita Shrestha
Mar 13
Mar 13

good

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Thank You Sister.
Veronica Ngum

Jill Langhus
Mar 13
Mar 13

Hello Veronica Love,

How are you doing, dear? It's great to hear that your IWD event went so well. I'm not surprised that you're a role model and mentor for so many women there... you rock! Please keep up the excellent work. I hope that you stay safe and well. XX

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Jill
Thanks for the warm words.I am doing great and Looking forward to impacting more women and girls in the digital world an don World Pulse.
Love
Veronica Ngum

Jill Langhus
Mar 25
Mar 25

Hello there:-)

You're very welcome! Great to hear!

Hope you have a safe, good week, dear.

XX

Metiege Noel Eve
Mar 13
Mar 13

Congratulations for a great job and thanks for sharing

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Thank you sister.God bless you
LOve
Veronica Ngum

Tamarack Verrall
Mar 13
Mar 13

Hello Veronica,
What a great photo and what tremendous work you are doing. I love this story of how you went from creating your first email, to all that you are doing for the women and girls in your area who have had extra barriers to face. You are truly carrying and contributing the true spirit of Wold Pulse - to women in your community, to women in the UN. May you continue to soar!

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Tam
Thanks very much,as a woman with disability it has not been an easy journey.But I am never giving up
Love
Veronica Ngum

yvoneakoth
Mar 14
Mar 14

Dear Veronica,

I am so so happy to see how you have embraced technology and used it to share your life. It is even more outstanding that you are introducing technology to more women. Well done and keep it up. You are a true inspiration to many women and girls all over the world.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Thank you Yvone.I appreciate your warm words
Love
Veronica Ngum

maeann
Mar 14
Mar 14

Hi Veronica, wow you inspired me :) keep it up and you look empowered with the t-shirt World Pulse logo :)

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Thanks Maeann
I honored with your encouraging words
Love
Veronica Ngum

Regina Afanwi Young
Mar 14
Mar 14

Excellent write up sister Vero. Doing a good job to get women and girls engaged with technology. Keep keeping up my dear

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Regina
Thanks very much.You are one wonderful World Pulse sister
Love
Veronica Ngum

Seka
Mar 15
Mar 15

Thank you for sharing this rich post.
Be blessed!
Seka

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

God Bless you Seka
Love
Veronica Ngum

Anne G
Mar 15
Mar 15

Hello Veronica, Thank you for sharing your story and your strength! You are a great example of how to use technology to lift yourself up! And you are generous with your knowledge so others with disabilities, or those without hope, can rise, too! I find this especially amazing given the difficult situation in your part of Cameroon. Sisters helping sisters, like YOU, will move the world in the right direction! Peace

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Anne
You are an amazing sister.Thanks for the warm words.
Love
Veronica Ngum

Fanka
Mar 15
Mar 15

Hello Sister Vero,
You rock! keep the awesome spirit of mentoring women on digital skills and empowerment.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Fanka
I was wonderful to have met you.You inspire me.My World Pulse Sister leaving next to me in Bamenda,Cameroon.
Love
Veronica Ngum

ARREY- ECHI
Mar 16
Mar 16

Dear Sis Veronica,
Congratulations for all the amazing strides you have made. Congratulations especially for not letting your limitations limit you in a world full of possibilities. In empowering other ladies with disabilities especially not to be left behind, you are a Shero!
Thank you for all you do. Keep on keeping on. Your are Amazing.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Arrey
You have said so much.God bless you
Love
Veronica Ngum

baganda
Mar 16
Mar 16

thank you for sharing this beautiful story God bless you

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Thanks my dear.God bless you too
Love
Veronica Ngum

Chidimma
Mar 17
Mar 17

Hello Sister Veronica. I like the great zeal and work you have been doing, empowering and mentoring women and girls with disability. As the saying goes "There's ability in disability. Great work.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear Chidimma
And the ability will always overcome the inability with supportive sisters like you. You are a great person
Love
Veronica Ngum

Hello, dear sister Veronica,

I am so proud of you! You are awesome in every way! You inspire me, really! Congratulations, dear. We are super proud of you! Love and hugs!

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Mar 23
Mar 23

Hey Karen
I loved it when you came after me in the premiere video and the way you said "Am breaking barriers for my sisters". I loved the confidence. You rock sister
Love
Veronica Ngum

Yes, I love that I came after you, too, dear sister. You did so well on the video, too. Thank you so much! You rock, too, dear! Please stay safe from the COVID virus.