I CAN BE WHO I WANT TO BE
Written by ADEJIMI IBUKUNOLUWA IYIOLA-a girl child advocate.
The Girls Voices Initiative has impacted in my life positively. It has given me the opportunity to always be me and to always learn to tolerate and work with different kind of people.
During the five days intensive training, I was enlightened and educated on how to be a girl leader, the ability to create change, the attributes and qualities to being a girl leader, the ability to always set my values, not to judge people but to always respect their decision (value clarification), to always be time conscious and to always set my boundaries.
The programme has given me the opportunity to build better life skills like, effective communication skills, critical thinking, taking on challenges and making connection. Before I started the programme, I had no idea that if I had an issue and I go to the local government, I’d be attended to, but now I know that I’d be given an audience and even a solution.
My group, which I am actively in, is working on a project to end adolescent girls dropping out from school. Earlier this year my group went on a research in the Bolade community, Oshodi. During our research we found out that the rate at which young girls drop out of school in the community is really high. As Girls Advocate, we went on behalf of the girls and we successfully held a meeting with the stake holders, we were able to get the main reason why this is happening in the community. We were able to get commitment from all the key stake holder and very soon, we’d see an improved Bolade community.
The programme has exposed me to different skills asides being a girl advocate. I attended self-defense class, which is another great opportunity and very beneficial for me. In this class, I learnt to be alert and aware, to be bold, confident, set my boundaries and different ways I can defend myself in times of difficult situation. I also attended the Junkyard class, which was about fun and interactive education. I learnt to never allow my personal reality creates my individuality and to always be prepared wherever I find myself in life.
The programme has really impacted my life and I have lesson, skills that I’d carry on for the rest of my life and even pass them on to others. I have learnt to always be outspoken, to be a motivator and role model of other girls in a community. It has made me never to feel intimidated my anyone, it made me the girl of my world. It made me like a time-bomb going to explode positively somewhere tomorrow. Most importantly, the programme made me understand that “I can be who I want to be and not who they want be to be”.