The Internet is an Enabler;Oh how I used it to Impact my Community.

nelsa nabila
Posted June 1, 2018 from Cameroon
The internet enabled me.
Speaking to hundreds of people on adopting healthy practices.
The internet enabled me.
The internet enabled me.: Youths benefiting from knowledge I got with the help of digital tools. (1/1)

Growing up was not all sugar and honey, I was considered weak and vulnerable because I will get sick at regular intervals. I saw in me a strong girl who wanted to bring change, who wanted to be an example, who wanted to be a leader and be at her best but my body was so weak and my health will always fail me. There was even a point in my life where I got paralyzed and doctors could not address the problem. I did series of tests but medically nothing was found I could not walk and saw myself as a burden to the family because they will spend money and take care of me like a baby; oh how I love my family . It affected my studies because I was a student then, it attracted pity from people, it brought down my confidence and made me feel like I was not able to do anything. After few months my legs became strong and I could walk again.I never wanted to be called weak or vulnerable or sick, I knew I wanted to be different and change my world, but I asked myself how possible can this be; am I able to be different from the normal trend? My mates kept calling me weak and my family had fear. I had a small local android mobile phone and a computer at home and knew they were tools for information but thought; how can I use these? I started downloading many apps and getting enrolled in different social media platforms. On these social media platforms like Facebook, whastApp, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and many more, I will see irrelevant pictures, fake news, people who looked for fame rather than impacting lives, people who scandalize others, share nudes and many more time wasting activities. Initially I also shared photos of me just so people will like and say I’m beautiful but I thought to myself see people who are strong and healthy, who can impact rather they are spending and wasting their time on things that have no relevance. No I did not want to follow that trend. I knew I wanted to be different but how will I go about it? I asked myself severally. I thought to myself, will I not be scorned even more if I decide to be different and share relevant information? What will people say, will they even read or look at my stuffs, will I be able to take the negative reactions that may come? After so many deliberations, I finally decided to be different and use the internet to my advantage. This determination in me began in 2017, I was motivated, an inner strength I didn’t know was hidden suddenly came from within me. I used my phone and sometimes my computer to do some research, through the internet I got to learn many healthy habits I could adopt to stay healthy. As I started practicing those habits like eating healthy, doing exercises I realized I was very strong, time passed and I didn’t get sick. I danced, I screamed out loud because I found solutions to my health problems. How could I allow this to myself? I thought. I remember with my small android phone I will write small articles and share. Articles of motivation, education, sensitization and awareness of healthy practices because I imagined some other person was going through the same issue. I was passionate about health and the youths and discovered the role of healthy lifestyle (which included; Healthy eating, physical exercises, no to abuse of alcohol, no to smoking) habits in health and prosperity of a community. Technology and the internet for sure had its bad sides but I decided to stick to the better side of it. I will have sleepless nights reading, goggling and researching on different things and information I could share and educate the people. I wanted to be a voice speaking out change, strength, confidence, health, prosperity and wealth. With my very small low quality android phone, I will do short unedited videos and share. Given my age and what young people were sharing, I seemed to be on the wrong track but knowing how what I was sharing helped me I kept on and didn’t give up. I remember my friends will laugh at my write-ups and videos calling them boring and out of fashion. But this didn’t stop me. Months and months passed and it seemed like I was wasting my time but I knew the information I was giving out was relevant and what the society needed. I didn’t know some people were following, I didn’t know I was changing thousands of life, I didn’t know I was admired secretly by some young people, I didn’t know many were waiting for one person to lead for them to follow. One morning, I woke up to an email from an unknown source telling me my write ups and videos were inspiring and encouraging. Soon after friend request on my timeline was plentiful, people will call from different angles asking me questions. When I didn’t post for a while they will tell me they miss my write-ups and funny but educative videos. From what seem to be crazy and out of fashion, I was being invited by organizations to speak to people, radio stations and conferences as a guest. Girls older than I am will come to me and tell me they wanted to be like me. Wow!!! That will always be my exclamation. Most of the opportunities I get now are because people followed my write-ups on facebook. I am currently volunteering with an NGO called Value Health Africa (www.valuehealthafrica.org) which is focused on reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and fostering sexual and reproductive health. I will do these write-ups and videos on their page and a single post will have over 3000 views within 24hours(Verifiable at the facebook page :Value Health Africa ).Churches will call me to speak; parents will ask me to mentor their kids and many more. My vision is to build a healthy society where people are conscious of their daily lifestyle habits and where women have a voice. The internet and technology as a whole was and is an enabler and with it I was able to discover hidden secrets and simple methods of staying strong and healthy am gradually seeing my vision come to pass and that’s how I used the internet to bring a positive change in my life, family and my community.

Comments 2

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AbdulRaheem Dirisu
Jun 01, 2018
Jun 01, 2018

Perfect.You have internet connection in all rural communities in your country?

nelsa nabila
Jun 02, 2018
Jun 02, 2018

Hi Abdul, no not all communities have internet connection