CHAMPIONED TO GREATER HEIGHTS THROUGH WORLD PULSE

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Posted November 14, 2019 from Nigeria

As a victim of Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse I struggled with low self-esteem and inner shame. I could go for an event and even-though I am well dressed I would hear inner voices telling me Toyin you do not fit in, you are ugly and would never amount to any thing. I married my husband one year after I met him and four months after the marriage and three months pregnant, he started to beat me. In a bid to avoid him I started to apply for professional development programs in my country and abroad.  I got two scholarships to study abroad for an Executive Certificate and for my Masters ‘Degree. While completing my Masters’ Degree one of my class mates suggested to me that I set up a Non-Profit organization on return back to my country as she saw that I had a strong passion for the socially excluded.  Reluctantly on return back to my country, my husband did not change his abusive nature so I decided to set up the Women and Girl-Child Capabilities Enhancement and Empowerment Organization a conduit pipe for my emotion (WGCCEEO-VISION To be a Pan-African Organization consistently promoting the Empowerment of Women and Adolescent Girls’ with the objective of strategically contributing to growth of the African Continent. MISSION-Promoting the empowerment of women and Girls' through programs which promotes social inclusion and stimulate social participation thereby creating avenues for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.) in line with Amartya Sen’s principle of Development as Capabilities, what I learnt during my sojourn abroad. The organization provided an avenue for me to meet and interact with diverse group of professional women as well as Women and Young Girls who were affected by the Boko-Haram insurgency crisis. I am happy to mention that less than 5 years of establishing WGCCEO I was featured on Nigeria Television Authority, Channels Television and 99.9 Kiss FM Radio Station, December 2018 I presented my Pitch on Effectively Meeting the Family Planning Needs of Displaced Persons at the Family Planning Youth Pre-Conference Abuja Nigeria, GirlsnotBrides made WGCCEO one of her partners in Nigeria as well as Sanitation and Water for All, Water and Sanitation Collaboration Council and we were selected as a member of the Technical Committee on Ending Child Marriage in Nigeria.

Little did I know that in a bid to avoid my abusive husband I was developing my skills and building my professional network, at a program on ending Child Marriage in my country I met Caroline, I told her about my writing skills and little about my problem. Then she casually said join World Pulse. I joined world pulse and gave my self a target of getting 3 medals six months after joining. Through World Pulse I realized that I could set very big goals for myself and achieve them as few months after joining I had earned 3 medals not only that I realized that I belonged to a network of people who genuinely cared about me, for instance when I post any story I am deeply encouraged by the number of people who not only comment but send me a private message to appreciate the work I am doing in my community but also ask me sincere questions which I am very grateful for. Through world pulse I am no longer ashamed of my past of being a victim of Gender Based Violence but I am now using my experience to promote Women and Girls’ empowerment as well as their Sexual and Reproductive Rights and the need for them to speak out against issues which concerns and affects them. As through my marriage experience, I understood that if a Woman is not empowered, a man looks down on her and treats her as garbage and a baby making machine impoverishing her the more.

 I established the Girls’ Safe Space which surprisingly United Nations Population Fund Nigeria Country Office agreed to fund and the impact has been overwhelmingly as between July and November we have impacted the lives of 500 Girls to speak out against every force which wants to limit their capabilities. I would not relent in what I am doing, I know I have an inner power and every opportunity I have,  I would continue to encourage Girls’ to believe in themselves and to own their future by pursuing an education, dream big and not waiting for any man to be their savior as marriage does not complete them. I would also continue to work with Women on recognizing Domestic Violence and how to run away from it. In my country because of traditional and religious stereotypes women are compelled to stay in their marriage forgetting the psychological effect a violent environment has on not only the Woman but also on the children.

Lastly I am so grateful to World Pulse for providing a platform to interact with Women from all over the world and  for putting in me a very big dream which I am confident would manifest one day-The Choral Leadership Academy (Creche, Nursery and Primary) a school for developing the leadership capabilities of young people and also the WGCCEO shelter for victims of Gender Based Violence.

This story was submitted in response to #OurImpact.

Comments 30

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Lisbeth
Nov 14
Nov 14

Dear Olabisi,
What an awesome post as regards your past and your present fulfillments for your community. I relate to your family, as an abuse family takes away ones dignity and self respect.

I like this your statement it's an undeniable fact:
"would not relent in what I am doing, I know I have an inner power and every opportunity I have, I would continue to encourage Girls’ to believe in themselves and to own their future by pursuing an education, dream big and not waiting for any man to be their savior as marriage does not complete them.".
Thanks very much for speaking up, we all here send out our love.
Hugs

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you
I appreciate

maeann
Nov 14
Nov 14

Hi Olabisi,

Thank you for continually using your power as a woman to encourage girls to believe in themselves. Thank you for establishing a safe space which is a very amazing initiative.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

Sometimes I wonder where these ideas come from,then I realize I draw strength from my challenges.Thank you

RavensDaughter
Nov 14
Nov 14

Hello Olabisi, what a wonderful story! Only through education can we achieve true freedom. The change you create will have a domino effect throughout Nigeria. Stay safe and keep breaking the cycle of abuse!

Ekitah
Nov 14
Nov 14

Dear Olabisi!
Great efforts you have being putting together to make your dream come true. May WGCCEO shelter continue to grow from strength to strength. God bless you as you bless Nigerian girl children and women.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you

Njemo Naomi Mabuh
Nov 14
Nov 14

Beloved sister Olabisi,
If there's one thing I have learnt from your story, is we can always decide to turn our pains into gains.
I want to so much appreciate you for having the strength, and staminance to use what hurt u to inspire thousands....and that....... is the part of your story that matters..
We can never undo the past.....but we can always change the course of the present to give us a better future...and that's what you do.
Let the world hear you. Keep being an inspiration to the world.
Thank you❤️

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

Yes, thank you

Asaad Ali
Nov 14
Nov 14

Yes, this the stronger women i always want her keep up and challenge her bad past situations , riasing up her self and comunities spiring from her .
Go ahead and thank you for this great story.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you Assad.

Asaad Ali
Nov 15
Nov 15

Welcome Olu.

IjeomaSO
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you so much dear Oluwatoyin! You are in deed a blessing to the world.
Don't give up, never be deterred on what you are doing. I personally relate with you on this.

Keep up the good job! Much love.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 15
Nov 15

I won't give up.
Thank you

Rachana Singh
Nov 16
Nov 16

Dear sister Toyin,
Very encouraging account of your life and the milestones which you've achieved with your never say die attitude towards it. You have proved that for a woman marriage is not her final destination. Relationships can be good or bad and they come and go. The mere idea of what society would say isn't enough to keep a woman choosing what is good for her and further advancing in the life. I very much appreciate the initiative you have taken to guide the younger generation and girls specially in the right direction so that your message will be carried to the future and definitely bring about the change in your community. Girls need to be vocal.. vocal from very early age.
Thank you for posting your story.

Sending you love ❤
Rachana

River
Nov 17
Nov 17

You are AMAZING! A powerful soul with ambition, kindness, resilience, and intelligence. The girls you are empowering will be change makers because of you. Thank you for sharing your story—you are inspiring me to keep doing my work too!

Amonge
Nov 17
Nov 17

No human is limited,
We are the ones afraid to walk out of the zone,
But if we take great steps, we become better/best of what we are.
At some point in see my self in this story,
I believe someday am going to come out strong the way you did, my inspiration today is you.
Keep going, we need you .
It's Amonge from kenya.

Tamarack Verrall
Nov 17
Nov 17

Dear Toyin,
So many moments of celebration while reading your story. That you escaped violence, that you became empowered realizing all that you are capable of offering, that your envisioning always included all who still face different, unfair struggles, that you through it all recognize how you as a woman were unfairly treated, and made commitment after commitment to create change for women and girls, for everyone being unfairly treated. Within all that, your tribute to what World Pulse offers us all through ways to connect with each other and work together touches me deeply. It is all so true, and how you continue to expand your work is an inspiration.

Tarke Edith
Nov 17
Nov 17

Hi olabisi
Thanks for sharing this great work of yours .l am greatful you work very hard to achive your gold's .keep up dear.

Dr Jackie
Nov 17
Nov 17

Dear Toyin,
Your story is that of success! Thank you so muc for sharing this with us! Congratulations as well on your many awards

ANJ ANA
Nov 17
Nov 17

Dear Oiabisi,
Thank you for sharing your motivating experience.
I agree with you that World Pulse is providing a platform to interact with the women from all over the world and creating a safe network to work and achieve our goal for gender equality together.
Keep sharing and sharing my sister.
love and regards,
anjana

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 21
Nov 21

I am so grateful. Thank you

Tumanjong Miranda
Nov 18
Nov 18

Dear Toyin,
Thanks for sharing your personal experience with us. Personally I admire women like you who use their experience as a springboard.
We are really tired of men looking at women who are not empowered as baby making machines.
Thank you for your work in fighting these ills faced by women.
You can always count on sisters here on world pulse. We are here for each other.
Hope you're doing ok?
:-)

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 21
Nov 21

I am humbled.Thank you

Mercy Kusi
Nov 18
Nov 18

Hi Toyin I applaud you for owning your narrative and for using it to impact the lives of other women and girls.May you never lose your voice

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 21
Nov 21

I appreciate.thank you

ARREY- ECHI
Nov 21
Nov 21

Dear Toyin,
What a beautiful story of courage and resilience. Congratulations for all you have done, achieved and keep doing. Many more heights of impact.

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 21
Nov 21

Thank you so so much

Spiritedsoul
Nov 23
Nov 23

Im sorry for what you went through. I love your resilience and attitude. Keep up your anazing work!
Hugs,
Jess.

Wendy Stebbins
Nov 30
Nov 30

Dear Toyin,
You are far beyond amazing. Amazing doesn't begin to touch who you are.
The story you wrote should be read by EVERYONE everywhere, daily. Like a prayer. Because that's what YOU are.......A PRAYER .

And LOVE doesn't begin to touch how I feel about you.

Ubuntu,
.Wendy Stebbins