One sleepless night after I had tucked my girls into their cots, I turned on the laptop and began to browse the internet. The only sound in the room was the quiet whir of the computer and the occasional twists and turns of my husband who was fast asleep. The girls purred peacefully in their sleep, too. If anyone had been watching me, they would have seen my eyes light up behind the screen when I stumbled upon a post on PCDN that was asking for online volunteers to listen to women’s stories. This kind of interaction is what I had been looking for. The stay-home mom had found something she enjoyed doing and it would keep her engaged after doing house chores and the gorgeous girls. As I pulled the covers over myself to catch some sleep towards dawn, I could not wait for daybreak to tell my better half about the discovery I had made that night. I overslept and didn’t hear him leave that morning, so I waited all day and excitedly told him in the evening when he got back from work, never mind that his response was nonchalant. I nonetheless kept on reading and commenting on several stories. Then came an unexpected but uplifting accolade—I was given the Vocal Contributor badge! But for the Brownie badge I attained as a pupil, I had never worn a badge. It was fulfilling to be a part of a sisterhood, albeit a virtual one. Following a call to join the Welcome Committee, I successfully applied and had the privilege of welcoming and orienting new members. With my hands on deck, World Pulse was now a part of me. A sense of belonging. Purpose even. For weeks on end at that time, electronic and print media was awash with yet another outbreak of violence in Goma, my country’s restive neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reading those stories was as harrowing as it was haunting—especially because beyond breaking down and crying, I could not do much to end the suffering. But then it occurred to me that using my pen and computer, I could light a flame of hope to encourage, console and assuage the fears of these women caught up in the fog of war. This I did by telling them that they were not alone and that there is hope for better days ahead. The Voice of the Future Programme 2016 was another exhilarating journey that afforded me the opportunity and equipped me with the skillset necessary to venture into and impact the women in community. Even though I did not make it among the first three visionaries, I was a winner in my heart. Besides, I had already been recognized as a featured storyteller following a letter I wrote to my young self about life, its challenges and what I would have done differently. This recognition taught me that as individual women, we all have unique stories and peculiar experiences that influence our outlook to life—and that these should be shared with the world to inspire others, shape new thinking and inspire action. It did not and still does not matter that this has not come with any financial benefit; it is a singular honour to be featured on such a great international and cross-cultural platform! World Pulse is a secure haven; a safe harbour to dock at without any fears of being judged. It is a place where we as a global community of sisters can share, learn and be each other’s keeper. World Pulse is a place I call home when I want to be myself, away from all the stresses of work, home and from the world. I feel loved and cared for. I can confidently set my sights and reach for the moon knowing that even if I fall among the stars, they will stick pick me up and get me walking life’s journey again.
This post was submitted in response to #OurImpact.