A tribute to Joe Read

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Posted January 31, 2021 from Cameroon

As a woman with disability civil society leader, I have a strong desire to attend conferences where I can network and expand on my professional grounds. Due to the challenges women with disabilities face in professional cycles, I choose to invest 50% of my time on digital empowerment for self growth and to mentor other sisters with disabilities in my communities. I have registered and is participating in a good number of online professional platforms and they have been working well for me.

On one of the platforms called GBV Prevention Network Africa, an opportunity was shared for a GBV conference in Oslo, Norway. I applied and was accepted to attend the conference. But I did not go for the conference because I did not have an understanding on how to apply for scholarship. It was a three days conference and because my name was already in the participant mailing list, I received an email on day two of the conference from Joe Read, inviting me to attend a session GBV in humanitarian context. At first I ignored the mail, but before I closed from work on that day I replied to the mail telling Joe I will not attend the session because I am a woman with disability, with very little income and could not afford the cost to attend the conference.

At this point I celebrate the power in Joe because this encounter opened me a powerful door that will last for generations. Through this encounter, Joe has recommended me for opportunities to attend international conferences with sponsor from UN Women. She gave me the opportunity to take my first flight out of my country and i have connected me to high level panels with the UN and I have featured on UN TV several times. Opportunities I never will dream of having in my life time.

She did not see my disability but saw power in me and used her power to explode my own power. Joe gave me the opportunity to be one of the 20 women in the world who are members of the CARE Women Advisory Board in Advocacy (WABA) "She Leads in Crisis" Campaign. She encouraged me to create a network of women led and women's right organizations and together with other women civil society leaders we have created the Cameroon Humanitarian Women Network (CAMHWONET)

I cannot say more but say

I celebrate the power in Joe. "The Power in Joe exploded the power in me"


Veronica Ngum

CEO/Founder @ Community Association for Vulnerable Persons

[email protected]

This story was submitted in response to Her Power. Our Power..

Comments 8

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Jan 31, 2021
Jan 31, 2021

Helo Veronica,

I support and admire a person who have heart to help a person like you who has potential to bring change. We had a guest speaker from World Pulse PH, Ms Carmen, who is a an advocate of women with disability. Despite that she herself has disability, she pursue her dream. I applaud you and Joe.

Karen QuiƱones-Axalan
Feb 02, 2021
Feb 02, 2021

Hello, Veronica,

I am grateful to Joe, too, for seeing your value more than your disability. Wow, congratulations on being one of the 20 20 women in the world who are members of the CARE Women Advisory Board in Advocacy (WABA) "She Leads in Crisis" Campaign! No wonder you are such an unstoppable in championing the cause of women with disabilities. There was a woman who opened doors of opportunities to empower you. Thank you for sharing this story with us, dear sister. It's uplifting!

Feb 02, 2021
Feb 02, 2021

Thank you for sharing. Your story is very encouraging. Your power should not be limited by your disability. Joe is really great to help you to demonstrate your power. Please keep your influence on. We are proud of you.
Stay Safe! May Almighty God bless you!

Marie Abanga
Feb 07, 2021
Feb 07, 2021

Dear Vero,

Wow wow wow see how stronger you are now following that interaction with dear Joe which opened several other doors for you? And now you can impact many more and you are a leader. Keep it going and the golden word for me will be HOPE.
In deep sisterhood and solidarity,

Feb 12, 2021
Feb 12, 2021

Hello Veronica,

Bless Joe Read for opening doors for you and congratulations to you for not allowing yourself to be defined by your disability.

I applaud you for creating the Cameroon Humanitarian Women Network (CAMHWONET), and I have no doubt that you will use this platform to impact many more women in your country, particularly women with disabilities to reach their full potential.
More power to you and please keep us updated on your progress.

Paulina Nayra
Mar 11, 2021
Mar 11, 2021

Dear Veronica,
I celebrate you, too for your perseverance to serve people with disabilities. By having the opportunity to participate in international conference, you are making the vulnerable persons visible and their voices heard by policy makers and program implementers. Happy IWD! Happy Women's Month Veronica.

Prayer Nwagboso Ikegwuonu
Jun 29, 2021
Jun 29, 2021

This is an amazing
Thank God for Joe that saw potential inside of you and not your disability.

Well done sis
You are doing well

J Brenda Lanyero
Oct 31, 2021
Oct 31, 2021

Hello Veronica,
I really admire what you do and I am glad you met someone who saw what you are doing and creating in your country. I have a relative who has a disability and we have been working with her to reach her goals. It would be nice to connect you with her so that she can be more inspired.
Thank you to Joe for helping out.