• ayooluwaoladiran3

The journey so far (2)

"... On Saturday 21st December , 2019 . I left the AHI Residence a new person "


The sixteenth day of December, 2019, turned out to be the starting point of a new me. That was the day I and fifty nine other girls began a worthwhile journey into the world of advocacy and leadership. All thanks to Action Health Incorporated, in collaboration with RISE UP.

The Girl Voices Initiative program has taught me several things. Right from the first five days when we camped and were all trained intensively.

To start with, sharing a room with my roommate, Adeola (Boss lady), earned me a new friend, taught me the importance of interpersonal relationship, tolerance, hospitality, to mention but a few.

Also, the daily classes, officiated by Angel, Bosbos, Goldmine and the rest of our lovely mentors taught me a great deal on advocacy. The different topics like Goal setting, Girl's leadership, Advocacy, Power mapping, Developing key messages for decision makers and the steps in implementing an advocacy intervention has broadened my horizon and helped me greatly especially in terms of relating with people, communication and passing a message across to my audience as a girl child advocate.

Despite being more of an introvert than an extrovert, I have been able to use my talents positively to speak for myself and for other girls. The intensive training we received during the camp boosted my level of inquisitiveness, confidence and problem solving skills.

Furthermore, the morning exercises has inculcated the habit of waking early in me. The morning and evening reflections has taught me to mind travel and use my past experiences as an inspiration to mold my present in other to have a glorious future. To sum it up, these reflection activities taught me to be focused in anything I do irrespective of the obstacles that comes my way.

On Saturday, 21st December, 2019, I left the AHI residence, a new person. I realized I was not the withdrawn girl anymore. Though, I still maintained my introvert traits, I was able to speak up, not only for myself, but for other girls as well.

After the camp training, we had subsequent trainings. Unfortunately, I missed quite a handful of them due to school activities and personal challenges. However, I made sure I received reports from my fellow advocates and they briefed me on the outcome of every meetings.

It took a new turn during the wave of the Corona virus pandemic. We could not hold meetings physically. As a result, most of our meetings were held online. I gained a lot from the online meetings as well. A major lesson I gained from these online trainings was how to advocate virtually. I was able to communicate with other girls online and we discussed heartily on the matters surrounding the girl child. I could say, each meetings I held with those girls, left us both fulfilled and attended to.

Recently, we participated in a self defense/martial arts class. This new experience taught me how to save and defend myself in times of emergency and to ward off unwanted advances.

©2020 by Girls Voices Lagos.