Author: Wynter Oshiberu

What Would You Say to Your 19-Year-Old Self?

There are moments in life when you simply need to remind yourself that you are enough. In order to do that, you have to have enough self confidence to come up with the words that are both comforting and inspiring. I’ve been told that nothing is impossible, but also that certain things aren’t meant for me. I’ve been told to follow my heart, but also to always be mindful of others. I’ve been told to say what I really want and to move in that direction, but also to move with caution. I’ve been told many conflicting things, but I am finding out that the most important words come from within. What do I tell myself when I am not sure of the next step, or when I am scared to articulate my thoughts and turn them into actions? I tell myself to move. Just move. Take a step, and move. Be bold. Forget your failures and mistakes because they are over. Sometimes we have to fail over and over until our failures are no longer setbacks; they simply push us …

This is What Democracy Looks Like

I started the morning bright and early at 6:40 and headed to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. The metro was packed with chatty passengers wearing pink hats, carrying signs and snapping pictures. Every time a new group of riders boarded the train erupted with cheering. The excitement was contagious, and we all cheered and clapped are way to D.C. They called it the Women’s March but it was evident that it was everyone’s march. We were all there, and everyone had a message to deliver, whether through song, chant, cheer or shouting. And we delivered those messages – with Love, Faith and Courage. Some called themselves Nasty Women, nasty like Rosa, Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle and Hillary, while others simply stated they were PISSED OFF. Regardless of the countless voices that were represented in Washington D.C. on January 21, 2017 we all stood together for equality. So if you ask me what Democracy looks like, this is it – An inclusive, reflective representation of all kinds of voices and stories.    

Potato Salad or Global Public Health: Invest in Something that Matters

I sat with Derek Fetzer, Co-Founder and Team Leader of Caring Crowd in a quaint café in the Johnson & Johnson headquarters during their Global Citizen Summit. He told me about the significance of this new crowdfunding platform and the various ways young leaders in the health sector can become involved. After explaining the purpose of Caring Crowd, he pointed out that Johnson & Johnson is genuinely invested as a sponsor and truly values the needs and wellbeing of those they serve. During his thirty second shark-tank-style pitch, he – the multimillion dollar investor – explained to me why I should donate to a Caring Crowd project. Among some of those reasons were: We are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Health workers are passionate about their involvement The sole focus is global public health  All projects are registered 501 © 3 The projects on the Caring Crowd platform highlight the power of people working together to ensure the wellbeing of others. In his interview he talked about the easy process for individuals to apply as well …

Hitting the Breaks on the Cycle of Gender-Based Violence

Physical, psychological or sexual assault is a treacherous act, and yet it happens to women and girls all over the world on a daily basis. Just the thought of another person taking the most intimate part of my being makes my entire body shudder and simultaneously freeze. According to UNFPA one in every three women will experience physical or sexual abuse at some point during their life.  Now imagine dealing with this type of horror and being separated from the comfort of your family, familiar surroundings and home. I asked several individuals that have worked or lived in, or reported on, post conflict areas various questions about the psychological and long term impact of rape within refugee and IDP (internally displaced people) camps. The information varied in detail but the overall response was grim and sadly similar. People around the world are suffering from the generational effects of war, violence and despair. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but I think that rape and GBV can leave a permanent mark on any woman …

A Seat at the Table with Indego Africa

We have all heard the battle cry for education from the first lady, Michelle Obama and the call for inclusion from GIWPS Executive Director Melenne Verveer. Both women have been in the spotlight for their views and work with women and girls, specifically individuals living in impoverished areas or post conflict zones. Both women are sending the same message: Women and girls need to be seen as active drivers of progress and development, and we need to be better at including them in these processes. We know the facts and we have the data, and it proves that women don’t just deserve to be part of the magical operation called decision making but it also makes monetary sense as well as humanitarian sense. We are here, we are humans and we are capable of playing an active role in our legislative, judicial, parliamentary and governmental bodies so give us a seat at the freaking table. Since we have all these facts and data that prove the importance of educating girls and including women in the …

Twirling in my Wanderland with my Girls’ Globe Crew

I’ve always had a delayed reaction to events. For some reason it takes me longer than others to have an emotional connection to certain things. I guess that is why people often tell me I have a calm and soothing demeanor, but really I’m just twirling in my Wanderland lost in my own thoughts – trying to understand what everything means and how I can make a definitive impact in the world. On September 16th I met six remarkable women with completely different backgrounds and one commonality: we had something to say about women and girls. Some of us were more focused on health concerns surrounding women and girls in the Global South, while others were advocates for an increased presence of women in leadership positions. My main interest has always been within the education sector and finding ways to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to receive quality education. This is why I have such a keen interest in organizations like Indego Africa that work to provide sustainable outcomes for women through small business classes …

Remember the Forgotten Ones

On a brisk Sunday afternoon, I sat down with two true human rights advocates. These two women shared countless reasons why educating children particularly girls was important to the recovery and betterment of a nation. And why girls need quality education just as much as they need basic necessities even in volatile areas. Annette Scarpitta, Program Founder and Director of Rwenena Kids and Solange Nyamulisa, Communications Specialist at the UN, talked for hours about the countless reasons why we need to pay closer attention to the affects of conflicts on girls and women. I have never experienced the trauma of war, so I can only imagine the level of dysfunction in a country ravaged by a 20 year conflict. I asked Solange to explain to me exactly what was occurring in the Democratic Republic of Congo and she told me about the various rebel groups vying for power and wreaking havoc throughout the eastern portion of the country. But more importantly, she explained how a prolonged conflict tears the community and economy apart and leaves women …

Innovation & Partnership to Advance Global Goals in Health

It takes a little bit of innovation and creativity to use the same tools to solve a gray haired problem. Shirley Bejarano, Graduate Research Assistant at University of South Florida ,shared her thoughts on the various ways that innovation and technology have helped healthcare workers complete their jobs in a more culturally conclusive manner. While chatting she highlighted the use of technology to track certain infectious diseases as well as aid in the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. Technological advances are present in almost every aspect of our lives, but they are so crucial in the global public health field. Health workers in rural areas are now able to use mobile applications to receive up to date information which in turn leads to healthier and happier patients. So our phones are more than Twitter tools and Instagram incubators they are amazing tools for change. Johnson & Johnson and Caring Crowd provide funding for a unique combination of purpose based services.  Countless individuals throughout the world are able to help combat the spread of …

Braver, Stronger and Smarter – Sustainable Development Goal 10

“You think we can make it?” “We have 10 minutes and we are 6 blocks away.”  “I think we have to run.” “Let’s do it!” And so two women ran the streets of New York (with tiny heels on) just to make it to the United Nations during the its 71st General Assembly.  Some things are too precious to walk towards, you just have to run even in your heels. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 10 isn’t quite focused on running in heels, but it is focused on inequalities. And women and girls face a multitude of inequalities especially within the refugee population. In spite of their perilous situations, these girls have a thirst for education and eagerly run towards it. Women and girls need a myriad of things from love and support to opportunities and mentors. We need access to resources, quality education and initiatives that foster and highlight leaders within the family unit, the community, and society as a whole. Most importantly we need education – and by education I mean good education. …

Do you wake up Flawless or are you changed by Challenges?

As the 71st UNGA quickly approaches, we must remind ourselves of the various goals which were finalized during the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. Although there is countless work that still remains, there are still portions of the infamous goals that have been addressed. These 17 goals aim to ameliorate three major global issues: End Extreme Poverty, Fight Inequality and Justice, Fix Climate Change. These issues affect every individual despite their age, occupation or educational background. Many women have been tackling these goals before they were officially part of the SDGs. Women have always been one of the key factors in developing a strong foundation within homes, communities and society as a whole.  As women, we often play the dual role of nurturing caretakers and fearless lionesses. We are able to engage with issues from both an emotional and logical perspective thus achieving optimal results. However, many women and girls are never given the opportunity to fulfill their leadership potential due to socioeconomic factors. In order to achieve the SDGs, every woman, girl and …