By Sira Sow
The fellowship has been instrumental in my career and personal development journey, instilling in me a wealth of invaluable experiences and fostering a strong sense of self-reliance.
Through its immersive program, I’ve come to realize that effective gender-focused storytelling demands genuine proximity to the survivors, listening intently to their experiences. Too often, victims of gender-based violence are left without a safe space to confide in, and the fellowship has equipped me with the necessary skills and competencies to navigate this sensitive terrain adeptly.
My interactions with numerous NGOs and courageous survivors have not only enriched my understanding of their plight but also empowered me to guide them towards crucial psychological and healthcare services. Additionally, I’ve collaborated with dedicated badienou gokh (Wolof for community auntie or neighbourhood godmothers), reference volunteers in our health district, actively contributing to the documentation and management of GBV cases within our community. I have helped some of the badianou gokh volunteers in the health district list the cases of GBV in our community.
As I contemplate my future career trajectory, the fellowship has undeniably equipped me with indispensable skills and knowledge, amplifying my inherent drive to support and uplift others. What initially sparked my interest in contributing to the sociocultural development of our community has now evolved into a profound commitment, as I actively strive to make a tangible difference within the realm of GBV victim advocacy. Witnessing the transformative power of survivor storytelling as a means of emotional catharsis has reaffirmed my dedication to this cause, solidifying my role as a compassionate advocate within our community.
Notably, the fellowship has not only augmented my professional capabilities but has also played a pivotal role in nurturing my personal growth, undoubtedly shaping my character in ways that reverberate positively throughout my career journey.
Reflecting on the fellowship’s structure, I would advocate for an extended duration to delve deeper into a diverse range of pertinent themes. Moreover, considering the predominant use of local languages among our community radio listeners, I would propose a greater emphasis on facilitating the program in languages that resonate more authentically with our audience, eliminating potential barriers to effective communication.