All posts tagged: Inspiration

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Being a Woman and an Entrepreneur in Malawi

By Mayamiko Chiwaya, Student Driven Solutions graduate, age 16 Starting a business in Malawi is not an easy thing. Most people think that once you come up with a business idea you can implement it right away, which is not always true. To start a business requires hard work and dedication. In this edition, I will share with you the challenges women and girls encounter while striving to start small businesses in Malawi. According to my investigations, the first challenge that women and girls in Malawi often meet is lack of recognition. Women and girls are not recognized as people who can develop Malawi as a country through business. It’s for this reason that they often fail to start small businesses because they are not given the chance. For example, in most banks in Malawi, women are given smaller loans than men. Pamela Banda, age 18, a successful young lady operating a shop selling fashion items once experienced this challenge when getting a loan from the bank, but still managed to get a small loan from …

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Refugees Are Welcome

A couple of weeks ago, on a grey, rainy Sunday, I walked up to my front door to find a little crowd gathered outside. There was music coming from speakers on the pavement and two young men stood on ladders, painting on the wall beside the Indian restaurant below my apartment. A few hours later they were finished. People stopped and looked up as they walked past and pointed it out to children who tilted little heads back to take in its scale. People stood and talked and took photos with their phones. The painting shows a mass of people and faces, in orange, yellow, black and brown. Around the people there are outlines of houses, or maybe they could be tents, and on those in thick black capital letters it says “Refugees Are Welcome”, “Support Calais Jungle”, and “Homes for Humans”. That last one is repeated several times. I Instagrammed it, hashtagged StreetArtLondon, and felt a pride that I knew was unjustifiable. I ignored that bit. I basked in the easy, cosy warmth of …

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Meet Wynter Oshiberu – Girls’ Globe Blogger from USA

Wynter Oshiberu has had a deep curiosity for languages and cultures from a very young age, and as she grew older her curiosity has blossomed into an appreciation for the mutual interests that individuals from various backgrounds share. Her recommendations for global leaders is to make quality education available for everyone and to put women and girls at the forefront of their decisions. These interests developed into her passions, thus she has earned a degree in International Affairs from George Washington University; and, she has worked with researchers, academics and thought leaders on various topics pertaining to the well-being and advancement of marginalized communities. She is most passionate about promoting and ensuring quality education for women and girls, especially in lower socio-economic settings and post conflict regions. As an avid language and education enthusiast, she has continued to augment her language skills by studying Arabic, teaching ESOL and completing her TESOL certificate at Georgetown University. She believes that educational and technological advancements will contribute to innovative solutions for a broad range of societal and global issues. …

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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 …

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Letter to A Young Girl

This letter is written by a young woman to her earlier self whose career is about to take a huge transformation. In this letter, she reflects on which characteristics and attitudes she wishes to retain and what she hopes to accomplish as she progresses forward to achieving her medical dreams. She also hopes that it will inspire other girls to go confidently as they pursue their scientific careers. Dear Me, I hope you’re well. I cannot tell you what you will encounter in the next four years, the people who will change your life, the experiences that will leave an ingrained memory in your brain. A lot of questions flood my mind as I think about the journey you will go through: Do you still keep your sense of poetry? Your creative writing? Does the idea of taking care of another human being terrify you? Do you still give humorous lectures of how things work in the molecular world? Do you still only eat fish and vegetables just to keep your mental faculties sane? (Please do relax sometimes! And …

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On Motherhood and Sharing Personal Experiences

Seven months ago I had my first child. After many hormone injections (including many hormonal roller coasters) and two painful egg retrievals, I was finally pregnant! I had an uncomplicated pregnancy, a quick and rather easy childbirth, and a good postpartum period. I have been able to breastfeed my child from the beginning and fortunately she has not yet had any complications in her life. She’s a very content and happy baby who sleeps well, eats well, and even pees and poops on the toilet. Of course, there are days when she cannot be pleased whatever my husband or I do, and nights when she screams and keeps us awake for hours. However, this is certainly an anomaly, and I’ve realized that I’m a very fortunate mommy. But I cannot fully settle with that. Based upon my experiences with my daughter, I’ve come to realize that it should not be a privilege to have a safe childbirth, to get adequate information regarding everything from pregnancy to the postnatal time and everything there is to it …

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How to Find Your Brave Space

1. Claim your seat at the table As I approached the Gender 360 Summit, I was momentarily overwhelmed and intimidated by the buzzing room full of intellectuals. The room was filled to capacity with tables of women and men chatting, debating and discussing their views about adolescent girls around the world. Then, I remembered all of the skills and lessons I learned while organizing leadership conferences for women. I thought about the times I quietly sat in the back of the room soaking in the incredible knowledge from the faculty and speakers. I channeled the eloquence of my first African American female supervisor and thought about the countless occasions she pushed me out of my comfort zone towards my full potential. I thought of my mother and the pure tenacity that engulfed her being. Then, I boldly entered the room and took a seat at the table. 2. Recognize education is the key and mentors, skills and self confidence open the door The women at the summit were simply fascinating. I had conversations with individuals …

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This Mother’s Day, Give the Gift of Kindness

I’m lying in bed awake at four in the morning, nursing my restless and sick son so that he can sleep. This is my second Mother’s Day, and I can honestly say that the last two years of my life, starting from when I got pregnant with him, have been the most rewarding, but also most challenging, exhausting, frustrating and at times heartbreaking years of my life. Why heartbreaking? Because I never knew that one single person, this tiny little human being, could make me doubt my abilities as a mother, a woman, a wife, a professional and a person so completely and utterly as he has. Obviously, it is not his fault. It’s not really him who makes me doubt myself, but the society around us – a society that constantly tells not only mothers, but women, that we’re not good enough. That we’re not performing to the standards set to us by others, that we’re not succeeding in “having it all”, that we’re not enough. The pressure is even worse on mothers, because of …

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Men Change When We Change the World Around Them

What works to engage men in achieving gender equality? This question has gained ground – and attention – in recent years, but do we know the answer? Globally, ensuring that women reach parity in political positions, receive equal pay, and live lives free from violence has often been approached by instituting quotas, kick-starting economic empowerment programs, and working with survivors. What do these approaches have in common? Although much needed, they often put the onus of achieving equality back on the very individuals who may lack the position to gain ground. How can we fully attain gender equality if we only call on half of the population? When Men Change tells the story of the other half. The film follows four men who, whether by learning the power of equality, the strength in non-violence, or the joy of hands-on fatherhood, have each embraced change. What do we need for this gender equality revolution to occur? What’s clear is that for both women and men, while grassroots change is powerful, by itself it will not be enough …

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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Paige McKenzie, young author and YouTube phenom, recently released her first book. Based on her incredibly successful YouTube channel, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl tells the story of Sunshine, a 16-year-old girl living in a haunted house.  Described as “Gilmore Girls meets Paranormal Activity,” The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is certain to delight readers young and old. A few weeks ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to read Paige’s book and I can say with confidence you will not be disappointed. Afterwards, I spoke with Paige about her book and her plans for the future. Find out what she had to say below: Q: You started your YouTube channel four years ago, a channel which now has over 250,000 subscribers and over 132 million views. What inspired you to create a fictional web series about ghosts? Did you ever expect your channel to have such a large following? A: I knew I had something special with the views (and the comments!) started rolling in. I was cautiously optimistic when I started. Now I am looking forward to the continued growth and …