VOF Week 2: The Trek to Rediscovering Myself

Martha Tholanah
Posted April 8, 2009 from Zimbabwe

I was one of the lucky people who were selected to be the first reviewers of the website before its launch. I enjoyed it immensely and it was one that I decided I would want to remain connected to. The website grew to have a lot of interesting groups and sharing information that is vital for ordinary people’s lived realities.

I had not visited the PulseWire website for a few weeks when the announcement for Voices of our Future landed on my desk. Part of it was procastination, and part of it was to do with the maddening frequency of power cuts and the disruptions in internet connectivity. The announcement, calling for applications for the Voices of our Future project, was written in such a way its beckoning was irresistible. I just had to be part of this. Those skills that had lain dormant, and were crying out for release, just shouted louder. I felt this was the time I should speak my word, be heard out there. What a way to say the issues from deep down my heart, while at the same time sharpening my skills.

I am a perpetual volunteer, deriving immense satisfaction from doing things with and for disadvantaged communities. My work has always involved mobilising communities, and as I currently do work around health, HIV & AIDS, and women’s and children’s rights in general; I feel I need more and more information, and also need to share. With the current challenges I face – ever busy, frequent power cuts, limited or no internet connectivity most of the times – I am attracted by the prospect of getting all the information I need, and sharing mine, on one portal. The fact that I had started sharing with the communities using my lived experience as a mother, grandmother, woman, consumer of health services, and woman living with HIV, and seeing the impact and response from the ordinary people I interact with, encouraged me to participate on any platform that encourages sharing information without taking me away from my working base.

The PulseWire website has been very appealing in that it is addressing the issues women are concerned about.

Comments 3

  • LauraB
    Apr 15, 2009
    Apr 15, 2009

    Hi Martha,

    Do you know that you are an engaging writer that draws me,the reader into your perspective, your mind, and a world outside of myself? I think you have this gifted way of writing that combines intellect with personal narrative. It's that mind/heart balance. To me a gifted citizen journalist uses their experience, background, and research to inform and relate...like you say sharpening skills lain dormant, speaking your heart, and drawing on your wealth of experience as a mother, grandmother, consumer of health services, and woman living with HIV. I really enjoy your writing style and your voice! I hope this experience has been a great one connecting you deeper to a worldwide global community giving voice to women!

    Warm wishes and happy blogging!


  • Jade Frank
    Apr 15, 2009
    Apr 15, 2009

    Hi Martha,

    It's wonderful to see one of our founding community members still so active on PulseWire and leading fellow members to share their voices. You have such a big heart and a wide base of experience, as a mother and grandmother, as a volunteer and leader, as a woman living with HIV. And through these experiences, combined with your powerful voice and positive vision, you are vital to your organization, to your community, to PulseWire and to the world!

    Warm regards, Jade

  • Emily Garcia
    Apr 19, 2009
    Apr 19, 2009

    Hello Martha,

    Thank you for your participation in VOF and for this journal entry in particular.

    I am so happy you are a part of PulseWire and that I have a chance to extend my gratitude toward you here! Your voice is an encouraging one. Your wisdom and positive attitude come through in your writing and definitely inspire me. You are doing wonders for your community at home with your volunteerism and joyful spirit and you are doing wonders for the world by speaking out through PulseWire. Thank you, thank you!

    All the best,


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