I am native girl from West Pokot. My community is strongly attached to its traditional practices, and therefore as a woman, the society expected me to ‘seen and not to be heard.’ but I was different. I wanted to explore more, live free and to my full potential, to fight for this space in my society, I vowed I associated myself with women who perceived similar thoughts. Through these associations, I was able to go through school because my cap was never empty of words of inspiration and encouragement to pursue education. Besides they offered protection against negative norms, and therefore I managed to survive in a society where early marriages and female genital mutilation practices were forceful and popular.
Well, challenges are stepping stones, and from my life experiences I became very keen on the happenings in my surrounding. Through the right associations, I am thankful to be among young women I my community who were enrolled to The Global Give Back Circle – Girls of Vision program. This program was way above anything I had ever thought of.
The African Center for Women Information and Communication Technology in partnership with World Vision and Global Give Back Circle were implementing the program which aimed at empowering the young women of West Pokot with digital literacy skills, life skills and online work skills. The skills provided were almost inexistence amongst the young women in West Pokot. Myself, I had never interacted with a computer before, so I was very excited to learn of something new. I remember trying the QWERTY keypad for the first time, it was challenging yet interesting at the same time. Soon we taught digital literacy skills, how to code, and even trained on online work.
To this day, I am very grateful for the time spent learning digital skills, because through it I was able to connect with the world and learn from women just like me online. These are women who have survived scaring and challenging life experiences to overcome and become a source of inspiration to the whole world. From this reads, I derived strength to surge on and even encourage other women in the community to pursue education. Today, West Pokot girls sing a different song, a song of hope, a song that is changing the traditional norms giving women a voice and opportunity to be who they want to become.
The skills earned have also significantly improved the quality of life I lead; I now own an email account that allows me to communicate effectively with my mentors abroad. I have also gained competent digital skills that are highly demanded by the current job market. Most importantly, I have become a source of inspiration to other women in West Pokot, encouraging them to pursue education and shun traditional practices that oppress them. Thank you for realigning my goals.
Photo by Global Give Back Circle