I am an approval seeking machine. A well oiled machine that never breaks down, it just keeps on going. Even when I think I have flicked the switch and turned it off, there it is, clanging away, getting in the way of me doing what it is I am here to do.
I have been having an ongoing conversation with Mark about what do I want to do with my life, what do I love, what am I passionate about and my response is always the same – I don’t know. But I do know, I think I have always known what it is that lights me up and inspires me. But THE machine holds me back. Hmmm… I really must find out where that OFF switch is hiding.
It is simple really – I want to make a difference. I want girls and women worldwide to have an education, to be empowered, to be in control of their lives, to be able to be and do whatever they choose and to love who they are. I want to be involved in projects that fulfill on this. Recently I have joined a sponsorship program called Women for Women International which is about becoming a Sponsor Sister to a woman in Nigeria. This extraordinary program gives people like me the opportunity to support a woman who has lost everything, who has been socially excluded, often uprooted from their homes, experienced brutal physical and sexual assault and often have watched their children and husbands been killed. They live in extreme poverty and have very little. I was inspired to become part of this program not only because my financial contribution will give Martina, my beautiful Nigerian sister access to clean water, food, medication and shelter for herself and her family but it also allows her to participate in the Women for Women International Program. This program means that she can get an education and learn skills that will help her earn a living and help build her community. I will be able to write letters to Martina and if she is able to, she will write back. This connection and communication with another woman is something that these woman treasure just as much as the support.
When I was reading my information pack a few days ago, one section in particular jumped out at me. What else can I do to help women survivors of war? (which was a question already on my mind). The next paragraph read “Perhaps the most important thing you can do for women survivors is to tell their stories to others and let them know about their extraordinary challenges”. Well in my last blog post I shared that I was up for writing a book about women doing extraordinary things. As I read this paragraph the first time it was like they were speaking directly to me. All these ‘signs’ have been showing up in my life for a long time now and I keep turning away, changing direction or closing my eyes – refusing to do what is next for me. Or maybe I should say, I have done all those things – past tense – and now it is time for something else… it’s time for action.
So this week I am going to get in touch with Women for Women International and find out more about the stories of these courageous women. This book is also going to be about being a part of a global community. The women in Nigeria, Australia, Fiji, Africa, Asia, Europe are all incredible and have stories to tell. This is not going to be about any one group. The book, my book will be as diverse as the women it celebrates and it will make a difference. Bring on the journey!!