When we talk about challenges and barriers in our way towards creating change in our community then it varies from individual to individual, culture to culture, society to society etc. so here I face challenge of society which is more influenced by religion and mostly at grass root level your work doubles and triples to influence lives e.g. whenever you take a step to create change you need to involve influential religion personnel or you should be competent enough to answer the raised questions in the context of religion which takes extra time, energies and even resources. And we cannot ignore this as most of the residents in rural community lack even basic education so they are hugely influenced by the religious personnel so we have to target them before going to the masses. And the second thing is being female you cannot travel freely around to places due to societal, religious, security issues etc. which is also a significant hindrance. The solutions we exercised are that we gather youth in the targeted areas and formed there youth groups so that the masses can trust them and develop a comfort level to openly talk about their issues and work towards their solutions on community level. This saves not only time and resources but also builds a trust level and confidence among community members on their efforts and develops ownership whatever they do. Which than leads to minimize the travel issues for females up to a significant level. The second solution is definitely the social media which is economical and easily accessible by most of our target groups so it makes it easy to communicate, raise your voice globally and be a global citizen. As we are using social networks to unite for creation of change which make people connect globally without any huge expenses and they can get to know what is going on around in the globe so that even if they are not physically present there still they should be creating huge impacts on other locals towards quality of life and they are sharing resources to alleviate inequality no matter which back ground they belong to. This is also a great tool to promote diversity and pluralism which can prevail through tolerance towards one’s beliefs. Ultimately this will be the reason for peace, economic growth, social values and humanity.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.

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Dear Maria

You are speaking out, isn't that wonderful? As women in societies which carry heavy religious and cultural attitudes of our place as women, women like you who are seen out there are making a statement of great strength, just by being there. Your encouragement to other women and young people (young men included) can never be overstated. They know you come from the same society, have to obey the same religious and cultural norms, yet you are there with them. They will remember your presence, they will remember how you made them feel, even if they do not remember your words.

Recently I met a young lad who had just been discharged from prison, who thanked me for not reacting when he was spewing out abominations years ago ... I can't even remember the incident ... but he remembered, and he has now gone on to change his life, and he remembered to say thank you to me. I am still walking tall from this small incident.

With respect to you and what you are doing from Monica in France

Monica Clarke, Writer & Storyteller, bringing human rights alive. I wish you 'Nangamso', that is: May you continue to do the good work which you do so well. (A blessing from my ancestors, the Khoikhoi, the first people of South Africa).

I appreciate all your encourgment my pulsewire community is giving me to recharge me towards my goals :-) and you are right about the people they do remember us and whenever i do a bit of mine to help out someone it inspires them and they also start to practice helping others and this ggives me immense pleasure and self satisfaction that you do not really need to be the king/queen to influence others or to make a difference.

Diversity is our Strength towards Peace & Harmony :-)

Well done Maria! I like how you have been able to overcome the challenges of educating the people and limited travels because of being a woman. Good thinking!

Thank you for the response Adepeju. when you are going through the problems then you are also amoung opportunities surrounding you to be explored so we have to keep our eyes and minds open towardz the opportunities we can creat out of the current situations.

Diversity is our Strength towards Peace & Harmony :-)

Hi Maria,

You are not alone in the challenges of religion and culture. Religion and culture pose great obstacles to women all around the world. Congratulations for breaking even - using education and youths to break barriers. I will like to add that you encourage other women to form organizations and more networks. With collective voice and action, women can break more barriers.

Keep up your good works


Hey Maria, Keep on moving dont stop because of religion,or societal norms.You are a human being worth the salt.You are as good as any citizen in your country.Speak up dear,dont be intimidated we are all the same in the eyes of God.

Lucia Buyanza Nurse-Midwife Clinical Instructor

Maria Jabeen-

Beautiful entry! You gave me a brief look into the basic freedoms that people in many countries take for granted, but that community leaders like you need to negotiate to be able to make your impact. Thank you for sharing! These details-- the details of your struggles and triumphs -- are so important to the world community. Good luck!

  • Daniela

Hi Marie,

I especially like that you have targeted youth groups and social media to share your message with the community. It sounds like you have a good understanding of the people in your community and what it takes to get your message beyond the societal barriers. Keep up the good work!