Posted October 6, 2010 from Kenya

I have always wanted to do something for other people- to make a difference. I was brought up in a community where many people did not have much to live for. People did not have enough food to eat, enough money to take their children to school. I grew up and still belong to a community where girls drop out of school and get married at higher rates because they have no other choice for school fees is not available to take their dreams any far. I grew up in a community where children are abused and nobody speaks out because it’s a shame. But what could I do? A simple girl aimed only with one big dream of going to university, of becoming somebody one day! Now that I have almost achieved everything I dreamed of against all odds, I belief that other children from my community can achieve their dreams also. I have watched people give up, stop dreaming, stop struggling to make a living simply because the environment they reside in is too harsh, because all of their hopes are firmly hinged on the clouds above their heads- on rainfall- that never falls in the right amount nor at the right time. I know it will take extra ordinary person and a lot of resources in the form of money for any significant change to be effected. A lot of talking, “noise making” is needed- and may be it is the only thing needed- for others to take notice, for others to realize that a whole community cannot live on government handouts that come only when people have almost starved to death! And I want to be that Voice. Only last week, did our national television carry the story of a woman from Turkana District in the Rift Valley Province, who confessed that she had slaughtered the family dog-the only “goat” she had- to save her children from starvation. While people around me laughed at the sheer insanity of that, I realized it could have happened in a home next door-for lack of food is a constant reality for my people. I want to be the change that liberates my community from the constant pangs of hunger, from the silences of child abuse, no matter how small that change is. I joined Voices of Our Future Correspondent program to learn and to acquire the relevant skills that will make me an effective citizen Journalist. If I become a VOF correspondent, I will be at a position to tell the story of my community- for I belief that I will have gained knowledge and skills to harness the resources available to me. By sharing the problems that my community experiences, I will be making a significant first step towards effecting change in that community.

Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision

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  • Judy Schiller
    Oct 14, 2010
    Oct 14, 2010

    Hello, Dannie, Your passion, compassion, empathy, and determination to make a difference come through the page very strongly. I am glad that you have "achieved almost everything" you had dreamed of, and I hope you continue to dream because the world needs more women/people like you!

    I was particularly touched by your story about the dog/"goat" and that you chose NOT to laugh at her situation, as you know how easily that could be you or me. You didn't judge that mother for doing what she did. Being non-judgmental makes people great writers!

    Keep up the great work, Dannie! All the best to you, Judy

  • Rebecca
    Oct 16, 2010
    Oct 16, 2010

    Thank you for your story and for your vision for the future. You are right - it will take an extraordinary person to affect change. Even more important than money, though, is someone who believes in herself and her abilities.

    You have a strong voice! I hope that you continue to tell your story and dream for your future.

    All the best, rmweaver