“They are not going to come for the event “a young female mentor told me during our first meeting.
This was 4 years ago when I was greatly in need and searching for female mentors in the STEM fields. I was surprised when she told me that “Can’t you see that these ladies are not serious!”
I was amazed to the point that I could not utter a word. It was my first year of running a coding program for girls. This was going to be one of most challenging experiences I ever had in my work.
How did all these comments come about?
At that moment, I was planning a Tech event in which I had to train 30 girls on coding skills; an activity I was not yet good at. Being a beginner, I had to find some ladies to assist me with the training. It was also an opportunity for me to improve on my skills during the training.
I decided to visit the university in our town, where I could meet and invite some computer science students. Luckily enough, I met 4 female students who were very interested in the project. I then planned a meeting for us to talk more. On the day of the planned meeting 3 of the female students were present and 1 was absent. Our discussion went on well and they all accepted to participate as trainers at the upcoming event. They equally accepted to convey the proceedings of the meeting to the absent lady. I happily hugged them and we separated.
Two days before the event, with all excitement, I decided to make a call to remind the 4 the ladies about the event. Meanwhile, the lady who was absent during our meeting requested to meet me for more information.
I rushed to meet her for a talk. To my greatest surprise, she told me that the other 3 ladies were going to disappoint me and that they are friends and she knows them best. She asked me not to count on their support because they were funny ladies.
I was perplexed and looked at her straight into her eyes and pretended as if I had not heard her well. And I asked her to repeat what she just said. Off course she repeated with same words.
I simply thanked her for informing me about the other girls. I was however excited to experience her training session.
What happened next?
On the day of the workshop, to my greatest surprise, the 3 other ladies were present and this lady was absent. I was now more confused as her words kept on echoing in my head, and causing me to lose concentration. I began asking myself many questions that obviously had no answers at that time.
However, the training was a huge success and till date I remain thankful to these 3 ladies. I never bothered to get back to the other lady to know what had happened because I was very crossed by her behavior. I just could not understand why she will decide to black mail her peers.
Then came another event! This time I invited that same lady who was absent during the last event. She accepted again and I was still very happy. One day to the event she sent me a text message informing me that she will be absent.
“Again” I exclaimed. I was very worried and I sent a reply asking her what had suddenly happened? She did not reply me. I sent another message telling her that her presence was highly needed and that I could not replace her at the moment. I actually decided to mount some pressure on her so that she could speak out. She quickly apologized and told me that she will be there. On the day of the event she was finally there and she did a great job.
I had made up my mind never to invite her again for any activity and we stopped eventually stopped communicating.
Getting up one morning as I was checking my messages, I found this message from her “Dear Ma’am, big congrats for the work you are doing ….. Please I will like to assist you in any way possible.” She was requesting to serve as a mentor for our girls.
It was really amazing that this same lady now wanted to help as a volunteer. Searching for young women to volunteer as mentors for our girls was a real night mare. But I never got discouraged and I stuck unto my mission. I built a strong bond with my vision that is now unshakable.
However, I can’t reject any one because of the love of humanity and the passion for what I do. I replied her message expressing my joy to work with her because I know that together we will achieve more as silence breakers.