Overcoming Challenges

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Posted September 26, 2011 from Nigeria

Creating change does not come on a platter of gold; so one must be ready to face challenges from different angles which could come in different forms. For me, the first challenge is acceptability of change by the community and beneficiaries of the project. This is because when you bring change to the people, they see it as a challenge to their culture and traditions.

Decision makers and some disgruntled politicians also see it as a challenge to their positions and authorities; they tend to frustrate someone who is trying to bring change to the community because they believe that one is indirectly telling them that they are inefficient.

A good example is when we told a traditional leader that we have established a School Based Management Committee (SBMC) in a school in his community; it became a hot argument between us and the government official that was there with us, who felt we are accusing them of inefficiency.

Another challenge is lack of funds; with funds one can do so some many things. Firstly, for now I don’t have steady source of income to subscribe internet connectivity to air my views or blow whistle on some gender issues for discussions online. Furthermore, No matter how small a project is one would definitely need money to implement it, without it I cannot really do much. It is the base on which any project implementation is built upon.

Secondly, I am also faced with the challenge of not having an enabling condition as my children are still young and getting a reliable hand to take care of them without sufficient funds is a herculean task. And the work requires frequent travels to my target communities.

On present solutions to overcoming these challenges, for now, I am having talks with some of the traditional and opinion leaders to sell my idea to them and see how they can buy into the idea. I am equally making an unofficial advocacy to some local politicians on the issue, to make them realize that we are not down-playing or underrating their work but to complement it.

To access the internet sometimes I go to my husband’s office or a friend’s house to surf the internet when my plan expires.

I try to plan my work around my children’s school calendar; i wait for my kids to be on holidays before I can travel, since their grandma lives in the community, so they stay with her while I go for field visits.

To use the PulseWire and other online communities to over these challenges is to post my needs online, learn through shared learning from the work of others. Get information on organizations that are calling for proposals, call for training opportunities, or online trainings opportunities as well as to get resources materials for my work.

Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change

Comments 13

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Hin Kunthea
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

You are so good to work for your community to challenges with old culture. I wish you could find fund to support your project .

kunthea

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Dear Kunthea,

Change just like death is inevitable, people will surely resist it at the initial stage but as time goes on they will embrace it. Thanks for the support.

Hin Kunthea
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

You are so good to work for your community to challenges with old culture. I wish you could find fund to support your project .

kunthea

Usha K.C.
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Dear Salamatu,, very beautiful post thank you for sharing. I agree with you as you said one of the challenge is accpetibility.

keep sharing.

Nezed
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Great Job Salamatu! More grease to your elbows...

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Thank you for the encouragement.

Titilope
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Working around your children's school calendar is a good strategy. As much as we want to make a difference our families must not suffer. We must be able to blend our work with our domestic shores. You are indeed a great woman. keep it up.

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Sep 26, 2011
Sep 26, 2011

Thanks, i was actually working far away from home and i had to resign because the kids were missing me badly, so i said to myself since they are all girls too (my kids), let me work from within. Since the project that took me outside Lagos was Transforming Education for girls.

For being a member of Pulsewire you are also a great woman.

Salamatu

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Sep 29, 2011
Sep 29, 2011

Thank you for the encouragement.

Salamatu

Anna Sontag
Oct 02, 2011
Oct 02, 2011

Dear Salamatu:

I know the need and the frustration: to have a goal and to know that the children must come first, so the need to wait, be patient, work within the available channels.

I was happy to learn that you are working to improve education for girls, since that is the way that so many things can change in the world. That was the first and so successful form of oppression of people and females, denying them an education. With educated women, the life of the community is enhanced, the lifespan of the girl and her family, her health and that of her family, and their likelihood of avoiding or escaping domestic violence and sexually transmitted diseases.

I also admire the fact that you are working within the channels of government and authority -- which means often having to swallow what one wants to say and maintaining one's access to the position to change things.

I want to hear more about what you want to do....I look forward to it!

Anna

Salamatu Yahaya-Musa
Oct 02, 2011
Oct 02, 2011

Anna,

Thanks for your comments, yes you have rightly captured all the issues that could affect girls when excluded from accessing education.

We are in it, and must ensure that education becomes all-inclusive. My last work in rural communities has really energized me. I shall surely keep you posted on my work.

Salamatu

Julie Tomlin
Oct 03, 2011
Oct 03, 2011

I enjoyed reading your post and hearing how you overcome the very practical challenges and the structural ones you face in doing your work. I wish you well.

char_lm146
Oct 03, 2011
Oct 03, 2011

Hello! I first must commend you in your attempts to challenge views via politics and advocacy, as well as through education, whilst also being a mother!What a task!! I particularly like what you say about complementing politicians working with rather than against, its a very diplomatic smart approach!IFrom this piece I feel as though you are aware of what is required to really succeed.

Keep up the hard work and all the best for the future.

Kind Regards, Charlotte