“This program made me believe in myself again.” Hummingbird, 2012 Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Syria
Halfway through the third annual year of Voices of Our Future, 31 courageous women across 30 countries are lifting their voices and speaking out on issues affecting their lives. Their new-found knowledge in citizen journalism, new media, and empowerment has brought an abundance of life-changing experiences to their doorstep.
“I appreciate World Pulse for making me realize how important my voice is and how much it can make an impact in affecting lives in my community. Realizing the importance makes me more committed. I owe it all to World Pulse!” Celine, 2012 Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Nigeria
Voices of our Future assignments from Gambia’s Amiesissoho and India’s Stella have been published by local newspapers and their skills have caught the attention of the editors who have asked them to submit more frequent stories. Correspondents are also being published in Panos, the United Nations Development Programme, Women’s News Network, and the IRD Development Daily. Their leadership is increasing the volume of women’s voices on a global scale.
“To expose myself through my writing isn’t a simple task, but the Voices of Our Future community has made this unforgettable journey absolutely liberating! I can feel the power of the feminine grip the earth in one great big hug through your writings, and it gives me so much inner peace!” Rahel Weldeab, 2012 Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Eritrea
Correspondents are dreaming up ways to put their innovative skills in new media to work. Amiesissoho is planning on using her strengthened writing skills to enhance the content of her organization’s website. Nasreenamina from Argentina has expanded the online audience for her blog by 4,000% and her Twitter account by 400%.
“I have courage to say things and to take things on with a forcefulness that comes from a knowing that I am not alone.” Neema, 2012 Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Connecting with an international network of grassroots women leaders and their advocates has fostered knowledge about global issues and provided an important support system that is encouraging Correspondents to continue speaking out.
“I am not only a better writer now, I am a more committed activist and a better person.” Nasreenamina, 2012 Voices of Our Future Correspondent, Argentina
As Correspondents work closely with their personal mentors, they are increasing their confidence and leadership, and solidifying their visions for their communities. Valeria from Brazil is launching a support group for the personal and professional development of women in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Nasreenamina’s confidence has become so great, that her community now regards her as an opinion leader and is helping to further her vision to increase communication about gender inequality.
CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE: VISION MENTORS AND EDITORIAL MIDWIVES
“To hear the stories of these women and read their posts has given me renewed hope for the future!” Nancy Cosgriff, Vision Mentor
The program is not just having an effect on correspondents, but on the women who have generously donated their time and passion to support them. Each Correspondent is paired with a personal Vision Mentor and Editorial Midwife to help them hone their unique vision and voice. The personal journeys of transformation and friendship over the past three months have been breathtaking.
“It is awesome to hear the views of so many different women on diverse issues who are spreading the gospel of empowerment, strength, resilience, and the impact of sisterhood no matter what our circumstances or nationalities are. When I have read some of these accounts I literally break out in goose bumps. They touch my very soul. These stories give me hope and demonstrate that women can indeed change the world if given the opportunity and platform.” Barbara Bracewell, Editorial Midwife
“I am re-examining my commitment to international work, and more specifically work that helps women find the empowerment they need to effect change in their own lives and in their communities. I have been away from this world for a long time and am now beginning to imagine how I might find my way back.” Amy Kessel, Vision Mentor
What effect does a program have after it ends? At World Pulse, we see the lasting changes in the women’s lives who have participated in Voices of Our Future on a daily basis.
- Dando Mweetwa, a 2009 Correspondent from Zambia, was recently nominated by program partner Global Press Institute for a Pulitzer Prize.
- Chi Yvonne Leina, a 2010 Correspondent, won the 2012 inaugural Women Have Wings Courage Award which is given to outstanding female activists living in the courageous spirit of Amelia Earhart.
- Gertrude Pswarayi, a 2009 Correspondent, won the prestigious Reuters Kurt Schork Award for her reporting on political rape survivors in Zimbabwe.
- Busayo Obisakin, a 2009 Correspondent from Nigeria, has achieved her dream to open up a Women’s Inspiration Development Center. She has already held multiple empowerment trainings for women and girls, visited local schools to help end gender violence in her community, and is planning on opening a women-only cyber café to increase women’s participation in new media.
- Achieng Beatrice Nas, a 2010 Correspondent from Uganda—whose story about the importance of girls’ education touched the hearts of audiences around the US during the World Pulse Live tour last September—has started her own project which pairs 35 Ugandan girls with mentors from around the world who help support their education and visions for the future.
These amazing women are spreading the wave of empowerment across the globe. Several correspondents have secured positions in civil society and government as a result of our program and are leading over 1 million people!
This program has been made possible by the contribution, entrepreneurial spirit, and generosity of our program partners The Global Press Institute, Op-Ed Project, Sehrish Shaban, Ellen Wingard, and Frank Smyth. From our entire team, a heartfelt thank you!