I have a ritual I call a ‘personal retreat’ every quarter-I spend some time at the beach in silence and in solitude. This practice helps me to reflect on the course of the life I am treading and plan for the journey ahead. Today is one of those days for this ritual.

I am at the beach right now. I just move from sitting on the wet rocks where my feet were knee length drenched in the sea water. I am sitting in the sand and I can hear the roaring of the sea. I see the sea waves rushing and dancing towards me and I can feel the freshness of the water and the tickling of the sand under the sole of my feet.

As I think about the year 2009, my World Pulse experience especially the Voices of our Future Training Programme experience occupies my mind and I begin to think deeply and critically about my life as a Correspondent and about the whole programme.

Some of my favorite memories of the programme are -Meeting my mentor Kathy Castro right here in my home country and sharing my experiences with you all. -Hearing the different beautiful and courageous vices of beautiful women of vision across the globe for the first time through our Skype conference and personal calls -Having Mid-wives to gently encourage me to push out my babies (stories) as I go through labour in tears, heat and sweat finalizing assignments.

What I feel as my greatest success on this programme is completing all four assignments and meeting deadlines promptly despite the numerous challenges.

In the years ahead, I envision myself empowering other girls and women with the knowledge, skills, networks I have gained through this programme. I intend to write more to change the world and to continue to increase the voices of my sisters across the world by reporting on their behalf their heart burning issues. From the genesis, through to the metaphoric stages and to the future of the VOF, I see a beautiful world, a bright Future and a free world fit for girls and women. I feel some positive change and transformation in me that I cannot aptly describe.

As my memory digs deep, I remember the growing stages as we connect with each other across the ocean, develop writing skills and birth eye opening stories and scribble life transforming words, phrases and sentences. I personally honestly feel a sense of accomplishment for first of all myself and for all of you my sisters as we dared to voice out the dreaded issues in our various countries and continents

I am again inspired by you all by your present work, your courage, strength and aspiration I am confident about a better situation of girls and women in the world today and tomorrow because of the 31 visionary women World Pulse trained this year including myself. We are not only history makers but we are builders and shakers of the world.

I encourage us all strong women to wake up, dress up and show up in our various small ways to impact other girls and women with the knowledge, resources and skills gained through this programme.

Comment on this Post


Your words are so inspiring, they are the best christmas gift for my soul!

You know how much I admire you. You know how much you made me believe that we are meant to do something awesome and special throughout the world.

I bow to you and your great journey. I wish the best to you in the coming new year, and a loving christmas hug from the other end of the world, my dear and beloved friend.

Much love and gratitude,


Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

Hi Gifty,

I love this ritual of sitting at the beach in solitude, reflecting on life. I think we all need to take time out of busy lives to do this, in order to feel gratitude for what we have and the journey we've made, as well as prioritize for the future and listen to what our mind and body are trying to tell us.

It is a joy to read your reflections on the Voices of Our Future program and your highlights through the experience. And I want you to know that witnessing your growth and your power of voice, along with the other correspondents has been so powerful for me and everyone else here.

I am grateful for you Gifty! And your powerful vision that will take you and those who surround you - to great heights.

Love, Jade

dearest Gifty, How beautiful your words are. They touched me for their deep honesty and sincerity. I loved that you wrote "We are not only history makers but we are builders and shakers of the world."

What an amazing journey this has been for all of us and I know that you all will go on to touch so many lives for the better. No one is the same as when they started VOF. You have read your sister' stories, shared the pain and heartache, and learnt what it means to stand up and raise your voice. From now on, you will not be able to sit silent as you now understand the power of your words. Whether it be in standing up against injustice, offering counsel and advice to someone who has been victimized, or reporting on an issue in your community.

I know that many years from now, I will still be reading about you and hearing of how you are changing the world to be that positive place we all aspire to live in You are indeed the builders and shakers! Best wishes, Janice

Hi Gifty

You are an incredible woman and you have been so inspiring throughout the journey....I have enjoyed every word of yours. This post is no exception. I love the idea of sitting down and taking time out for oneself. I write in my journal once in a while, when i feel that my diary is the best way to express myself, and i enjoy doing that. I also indulge in self reflection in the year end, but i like the idea of doing it quarterly like you do. Your words are very powerful, and i re-realize what an incredible journey this has been for each of us. Like Janice says, we no longer are the same people we were before joining the VOF program. We have said NO to injustice, and we will stand for what we believe in, ALWAYS!

Thank you tons for sharing a bit of your journal.

Love Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

Dear Gifty,

I can imagine you sitting having such a wonderful reflection time on the beach just feeling the coolness of the sea breeze! I wish could have such time for my self. Thank you so much for reminding us the beauty of silence and reflection.

Indeed , our journey with the VOF program is such a lifetime experience and made us powerful women of our times. Christmas time is here and I think this is a wonderful time to look back on our year's life's journey and take precious lessons as our guide for the future.

I'm so glad reading your reflection. I do agree that as women activists we always need time to recollect all our joys and pains to make us always much better person in our quest for a better world.

The women and children of the world need us!

Wish you all the best and more power!

love, malaya

Gifty, You took me to the beach with you.

As for me, i am planning to take a short break and get closer to nature. The trees, grass, animals and insects. The flowers, rains, wind and mountains and the hot summer sun. I feel that i will learn so much about myself by understanding nature and appreciating the little things that bring joy in life.


Thank you for this beautiful entry. It is always wonderful to reflect on where you are in your life and where you want to go. Being a member of the World Pulse community has ment a lot to me as well. Especially because it allows me to meet beautiful inspiring minds like yours.

I hope that your next personal retreats are as lovely as this one.

Much Peace and Love in your journey!


Your ritual is agreat one. It is always great to reflect and chart a way forward. Your vision of the future is inspiring. I pray that the future you see in your heart will materialise. I pray that you will find the strenghht to bring these beatiful dreams to pass

Dearest Gifty. I loved this reflection of yours. In it you have dreamed a bold and beautiful vision... "In the years ahead, I envision myself empowering other girls and women with the knowledge, skills, networks I have gained through this programme. I intend to write more to change the world and to continue to increase the voices of my sisters across the world by reporting on their behalf their heart burning issues."

Go for it! Gifty! and good luck with your college applications. With love Tina