This is how this journey began….growing up with a my Mother, I watched her stretch her hands back and forth, picking up her siblings after their Mom passed away, as well as young girls from her community.
She made efforts to send them to school or send them to learn a trade.
At the time, to me and my siblings, it was nonsense because we felt she was “crowding our space” with “strangers” but today I know better.
I realised that she was doing this for 3 reasons:
– 1st, when you are the Lone Fruit Bearing Tree in the forest, EVERY STONE is being Hurled at you.
This means if you are the only educated person or only person with a source of income, everyone in your community or family looks up to you. Therefore, it is better for you to plant other “Trees” to reduce the burden from your own self. This equally means “it is better to teach others how to fish instead of giving them fish all the time”.
– 2ndly , when you Educate and Empower other girls, you create “New Pillars” in families and communities. A girl’s education does not just empower families but the entire community…Girls have the power to change the world. An educated girl is an asset to her family, her community and the entire Nation.
– 3rdly, every time a woman is Empowered, she Empowers Others
You will agree with me that no matter a woman’s age, when she is empowered, she stretches her hands back and forth to raise others, irrespective of their gender. Therefore, there is need for the empowerment of more women.
At a later age other circumstances and experiences related to gender discrimination, stigmatisation and most especially the passing away of my mother fuelled the fire to pick up the relay baton and continue with the empowerment journey.