ICT: A Key Transition In My Life

Ndongmanji Eunice
Posted April 30, 2019 from Cameroon

Growing up as a little girl, I felt contented and comfortable with what I had.

I played around, learnt what was passed onto me and felt I had it all.

All I had was what the environment could offer at that moment in time.

At one point my thinking limited me especially when thoughts came with fear, stigma and low self – esteem.

Then I thought certain things are to be known or owned by a particular group of persons or families in my community.

One of these things being ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) which was seen as a major setback.

Those with gadgets made a mockery of those without gadgets especially the girls, which affected me negatively.

Pride and competition took over and girls would use technology to show off, chit-chat, gossip, and lots of girls fell prey to peer pressure negatively.

In school, during ICT lessons in school, I was not able to try especially during practical lessons because of the fear of being laughed at, ridiculed, etc.

I felt left out of the happenings in the ICT world or the global village

The thought of me wanting to belong (for the negative aspects) and / or ridiculed, made me fail to recognize the strength behind ICT until later in life.  

With the little knowledge I had about ICT (especially practically), I failed to recognize that the world was fast becoming a global village. My fears and low self – esteem made it worse.

The world as a global village changed everything.

As a girl I had dreams and was determined to achieve all of them but was faced with so many challenges because the world had changed from a “manual world” to a “global village.”

At this point I told myself that change must come and it had to begin with me somehow for no one could do it for me.

I had to overcome my fears, I had to connect to people who could help me, and had to work hard in order to make it.

I had to develop my skills in ICT in order to be productive and achieve my dreams. As a matter of fact, I had to be part of the global village.

I put in more effort, faced my challenges and developed my skills in ICT thanks to some friends, classmates and lecturers.

With my skills developed, I realized I could do more than I thought. I had the following: easy access to information, communicate with ease, networking, connection with many others across the world, facilitated learning and passing across information, capacity building, empowerment via experience sharing forums, opportunities forums and networks.

ICT enabled me to secure a job, network with many others, share vital information, connect with people who share my views, create experience sharing and opportunity forums, report effectively with means of verification (gathered from my mobile phone) and has provided me with the platform to expand my horizons, connect with and motivate others. My mobile or android phone helped achieve all these. Yes my mobile phone, my mobile tech office

Thanks to ICT I have been able to brand myself properly.

Thanks to ICT, my attitudes changed and my horizons expanded

Truth be told with the world as a global village, you cannot excel or expand your horizons if you are not part of this Global village. As a woman in Tech, I am Global Villager in a Global Village.

I got a motivation to keep going: which is to inspire the next generations because we need more girls in ICT, and why not women.  For its never too late or rather it is better late than never. There has to be a gender balance in ICT.

Currently I work with adolescents (majority are girls) and parents/caregivers (majority of which are women) in communities. At the moment I work in a conflict stricken zone (North West Region of Cameroon) and there are no schools in my region as we are affected by the ongoing Anglophone crisis in my country. This has affected the whole community and knowledge acquired is being drained gradually from our adolescents and the community at large. Somehow with my motivation and little effort I have to keep ends meet. Even without formal education, we can still get both formal and informal education via Tech. Judging from the advent of android phones and other ICT tools, there are more girls/boys and women in possession than men. Thus, 8 in every 10 girls/women are in possession of at least an android phone. And I have taken this opportunity to pass across information and encourage communication verbally and via technology (using the android phones and other gadgets) to communicate information acquired. However, ICT is information, communication and technology and hence it is all about sending and receiving information through a medium of communication with the use of technology. My team educate adolescents and parents/caregivers during community peer – led group discussions (with adolescents), positive parenting sessions (with parents/caregivers) and home visits (with both adolescents and parents/caregivers) on issues of Early Childhood Development,  HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, gender, sexual and gender based violence and beneficiaries are always encourage to use technology (social media – whatsApp, facebook, instagram, LinkedIn, twitter, skype) to communicate information gained and remain updated and grow. Use your 100MB data to upgrade on tech rather than chit-chat and gossip all day. In relation to this the “Girls in ICT Day” was commemorated on the 25th of April 2019 under the theme “Girls in ICT: Inspiring the next generations.” Girls were encouraged to brave the challenge and take positions in the ICT world. Parents were encouraged to listen to their children especially the girl child in the domain they want to major in and encourage them to pursue ICT and contribute in boosting the world with their tech knowledge. Parents and caregivers were called upon to change their attitudes and allow/encourage especially their girl children to expand their horizons.

Tech changed me and thus can change you, you and you. Together we all will change our attitudes towards ICT, expand our horizons and booster development. #MoreGirlsAndWomenInICT.   

Comments 11

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Jill Langhus
May 01
May 01

Hi Eunice,

Thanks for sharing your inspiring and vulnerable story about how you challenged your fears and took on ICT:-) What was the tipping point for you? I'm so glad that you're teaching girls and women about ICT, and even training them in their homes. That's impressive, and that you're making it all work in spite of the current crisis there. I'm seriously impressed, dear:-) Please keep us updated on your initiatives. I will make sure that your ICT story gets included in the "Girls in ICT Day" call for stories that ended yesterday.

Hope you're having a good, and safe day, dear.

Ndongmanji Eunice
May 02
May 02

Hi Jlanghus
Thanks for appreciating my work. It serves as a motivation to keep me going. Will keep you updated.
Wish you a nice day

Jill Langhus
May 02
May 02

You're welcome:-) Glad to hear it!

Looking forward to it.

Thanks:-)

Ngwa Damaris
May 07
May 07

Congratulations Eunice :) Happy to hear from you

Ndongmanji Eunice
May 07
May 07

Thanks Damaris

Hello, Eunice,

What an inspirational story of persistence and determination! I'm glad that you learn what you needed to know about ICT and you use it very well. May you impact more women in your ICT trainings. I'm proud of you! Thank you for sharing your story.

Ndongmanji Eunice
May 07
May 07

Hello Karen
Thank you very much for your words of encouragement. I'm honored.

My pleasure, Eunice! :)

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Dear Eunice,
I held my breath as you described your shift from a happy girl to struggling with the dangerous unrest in your country mixed with low self esteem fed by girls who had internet access but chose to be exclusionary and mean. What a joy to read how you soared through not only to discover what IT could do for you, but also your loving commitment to teaching other girls. Big congrats, may the wind be beneath your wings.

Seka
May 09
May 09

Dear Eunice, well done! Keep on going! You are changing your world by ITC.
Be blessed
Seka

Ndongmanji Eunice
May 09
May 09

Dear Seka,
Thank you for your encouraging words
Kind regards