A few months ago, I got the news from Nobel Women’s Initiative that I had been selected to participate in the Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program. I was so ecstatic. My joy knew no bounds. I was like a little child who had just been handed her favourite candy. I knew this was going to be a life changing journey for me.
Upon arriving in Ottawa, my mouth dropped open as I stared at the beautiful buildings and the empty streets. It was nothing compared to the busy and rowdy city of Lagos that I was used to. I was delighted to meet three beautiful women from Canada, Mexico and Palestine. They were all kind and accommodating. It absolutely felt like we had been together for several years. As young activists coming from conflict zones, we shared our experiences and the struggles we faced working toward a peaceful society, free from violence.
My first week experience at Nobel Women’s Initiative was tremendous. It felt good connecting with an organization that truly wants to give young activists a chance to learn and excel in their chosen field. We had several sessions on self-care, storytelling and nonviolent communication (NVC) — which was my highlight for the week. Nonviolent communication is based on the principle that underlying all human actions are needs that people are seeking to meet. Therefore, acknowledging and understanding these needs can create a positive social change in our homes, societies, and the world at large. Imagine what the world would look like if we all practiced NVC?
The second week was at Coady International institute, at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. My experience at Coady was profound. I had the opportunity to meet the wonderful Eileen Alma, who is passionate about igniting leadership in young women. She completely believes that women can reach for the stars, do the impossible and still teach younger women how to follow in their footsteps.
I am totally grateful to the entire team at Nobel women Initiative for this amazing opportunity, and for empowering young activists. Thank you for amplifying our work. I have no doubt that this program will continue to break barriers in our fight for gender equality.