My Vision: My Light During Dark Moments

Keturah Shammah
Posted January 6, 2019 from Nigeria


Its is not discovered or created, but revealed.

It doesn't compete with others but complete others.

It is captivating, not optional, I cannot get it out of mind.

Its goal is not to make money but to meet needs.

Its success rest not on staying ahead of others, but on serving others.

Its purpose is not to feed my ego, but to glorify God.

Let me begin with these words from an unknown author.

" We all dream and imagine, but only those who believe succeed.."

Almost everyone can think of a moment where they needed to be hopeful or imagine a way forward. For me, my journey of hope began when poverty threatened to challenged my education pursuit and my vision to educate girls. I realized I was losing ground. I felt extremely less strong and successful. I was so irritated at how deprivation kept taking its toll on me. Even thou, I knew I don’t always succeed;I thought I ought to do what is right. I struggled to stay strong and believe in my ability to fight back with every punch because I know where I’ll be if I give up. My self-advocacy and determination made it possible for me to graduate with a bachelor degree in education against all overwhelming odds.

In 2006 during my compulsory degree project, I was moved to research on the obstacles in female education. Through interviews, observations and interactions, I became passionate to promote and defend the right to education of girls which I can confidently say, changed my life forever. It was actually not a funny experience starting something for girls. I had no resources, no experience and skills to go about. Nothing hopeful to behold! Frequently, I step out to grant the wishes of vulnerable girls. I made trips to visit the girls at their houses and whispering to them message of hope and possibilities. I receive hundreds of letters from the girls that said I changed their lives; and little did they know they were changing mine!

In consequence, my little passionate act began to draw more girls in need to me. The tsunami of girls includes: forced marriage, school-drop out, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and gender-related discrimination. Some of these girls came to me for support creating many exciting scenarios that prunes me for mighty task ahead. As I passionately given opened ears and hands to the girls, more become increasingly demanding for my help in various areas such as livelihood, literacy, skill acquisition, education etc. At this moment, I was left with no financial resources to meet up with the high demands of the girls. In my personal experience to breaking barriers, I managed to find solutions into the adversaries of these girls.

Having witnessed little if any success in my first years of commitments, I said to myself “I don’t think I am in this for personal gain,but for humanity”. I had no idea that in my own little way I was the only source of hope to many girls in my community. I was just one ordinary young woman who loves girls and their education and given opened heart desperately wanted to help those girls who need my service. The arena of services, some to be given school fees, cloths, counseling, sanitary pads etc. It was actually not a funny experience having no job, no sponsor and nothing just meaningful to sustain the hope aroused in every girl-child. It seems that’s not enough, I continued to be overwhelmed with extremely limited financial resources to meet the needs of the massive number of girls who only light in their dark moment was me.

Even when I discovered that an organization has been established without my awareness, I choose not to promote it rather; if it were to do so, it must be through the testimonies of impact I made in the lives of the girls. It was based on this strategy I witnessed self-life empowerment and personal transformation that excites the emotions of many girls whom I empowered to empower others. “Thus the motto of my organization; “To be Willing, Equipped and Serve...” Although I did not plan or anticipate it, a fruitful organization was born. My organization (Girls Education Mission International) was blessed with a growing number of volunteers who are committed to work with me to invest their time and energy in the life of girls. So far, I impacted the lives of over 2000 girls and women in Nigeria.By the touching testimonies of the girls, my organization continues to be recognized both at local and international scene we are experiencing an increased expression of interest from individuals, organizations across the globe who through our impact saw great need to reach out to girls and women with us.

Yes! My commitment to the destination of my Vision was tested with the journey far from smooth!. It became impossible for me to consistently meet girls’ expectations as expected. It was so challenging for me to maintain convictions. I almost deflated to lose every passion and zeal to go on. I paused for a while to think of it and find out that the step towards a breakthrough that sustained my vision was the determination and zeal of the girls who despite inadequate funds to support them they never lose hope, but they remained committed to their education. These girls inspired me to find no better way to be more hopeful than to let go of disappointments, failures and regrets, and smiling with gratitude and taking with me those special moments that helps break free from negative pattern within me and in the world of girls and how these moments enabled me create more impact in my community.

Reflecting upon my strategy to impact and transform more lives through Girls Education Mission International, I strongly believe in having big plans, but it's even greater for me to be realistic about my capacity and resource. Even with limited resources I hope to be the very best in all I do. I dream big with hope to thrive to consistently keep serve girls in the best possible way I can and continue to make profound difference in their lives than ever before.

Finally, I would say that my success is just a a long history of my failure culminating in the attainment of my Vision and goals.

Keturah Shammah

Executive Director

Girls Education Mission International


This post was submitted in response to What Gives You Hope?.

Comments 6

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Jan 07
Jan 07

Hi Keturah,

How are you? Thanks for sharing some of your background story and how you came to build your organization, its mission and goals. I admire your tenacity, goodwill and impact. What are your goals, dreams and aspirations for 2019?

Good luck with your story submission, dear:-)

Keturah Shammah
Jan 08
Jan 08

My 2018 Moments and 2019 Movement

For me, 2018 was a year of Reflection, Commitment and Adversities. I had learnt to work through the year #AloneWithGod, #Reflecting and living in total dependance to Him whom my help comes from. I remained #Committed in pursuing my vision of empowering girls to dream big, creating economic opportunities for young women to break the cycle of poverty, mentoring girls on how to nurture and safeguard their possibilities, advocating with government to take girls education and empowerment serious and many more.... I have lived in 2018 turning my #Adverse circumstances to great opportunities to be equipped for the mighty tasks ahead. The unspoken secret behind everything about me in 2018 was the belief that TIME IS A TRAINER, and thus my 2019 MOVEMENT is to #ContinuedWithGodAlone with hope for blessedness of Victorius life through deepening my dependence on Him, for I believe that my failures in 2018 will turned Possible Growth spurt this year 2019. I trust 2019 to be my year of Possibilities.
Happy New Year Everyone!

Jan 09
Jan 09

Hi there:-)

I hear you about 2018. I think that was quite common. It sounds like you were working hard toward building a solid foundation last year for future success. We all learn from failures and unfortunately have to go through them to learn lessons and to become stronger, which it definitely sounds like you have paid your dues. Yes, I think it is a year of possibilities. Happy New Year to you, dear, and good luck with everything that you are working towards:-)

Bettina Amendi
Jan 11
Jan 11

A New Year just started Keturah,what are you up to.You have a powerful vision that will change the community.Keep up the pace.I celebrate you.

Jan 13
Jan 13

Thank you for sharing, Keturah.
It is inspiring to hear of how you broke through your situation in lacking resources to help these girls through sheer persistence and desire. I hope to be one of the women in the world who can make it easier for you in the future by providing financial resources so that your impact can extend to even more girls. Thank you for being so supportive.

Jan 27
Jan 27

I am SO proud of you for doing this! Sending love and encouragement for your success.