There is a bright spirit burning in the lands of Africa, a flame that lights the way for those with different abilities.
Her name is Lilian Dibo Eyong, CEO and Founder of Lilian Dibo Foundation.
I first became aware of Lilian when I began researching online, seeking new guests to interview for my Voice on Fire interview channel. The kind of person I was looking for embodied the principle of selfless giving, of being a Change Agent, a Voice for the voiceless, a beacon of Hope, and someone who was willing to do whatever he, she, or they could do, to make a difference in the world.
When I first chanced upon a write-up about Lilian, I knew immediately I wanted to interview her.
As a young mother, and as a woman meeting each day from her wheelchair, Lilian embraces her potential, gives of herself to the point of personal exhaustion, then graciously, and with utter dignity, readies herself to do it all again, every day, for the love of her community. Lilian is one of the most resilient women I have ever been blessed to meet (via zoom and social media), and is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities, for women and girls - for their safety and their health, and for self-love, self-acceptance, and for choosing never to allow disability to be about limitation.
Her Foundation is inclusive, and she always shows others that things are possible. Her mentorship toward those who have come to her attention lifts them up and encourages them to find their own way forward, and her skills are many. She never shies away from learning a new skill, especially when the result is something she can make to give to someone in need.
I asked her to make a mattress for a displaced family in need, and with only photos to guide her, she produced an adult mattress and a baby mattress, and they were gifted from us to the family -- and the joy this brought to the family caused tears for us all.
Intelligent, gloriously outspoken, strong-minded, amazingly compassionate, and so dedicated to her cause, Lilian deserves to have recognition bestowed upon her.
The world needs more Lilians, and I, for one, and thankful to call her a friend.