Check-out how you can attain your full potential, as a lady

MANY people react in different ways when faced with difficult situations in life. Some people may even wish they were not born while others just remain withdrawn.

But it is how one reacts or comes out of a difficult situation and move on with life that matters the most.

Women are mostly believed to be the most affected although others argue that women are stronger when faced with huge challenges.

Especially after going through a divorce some women break down and their lives look shattered until maybe after some time or after going through counseling of some kind.

This week I feature a woman who went through trauma in her marriage until she separated from her husband and moved on with her life.

Instead of mourning about the loss of her marriage, the woman instead thought of doing something for others who are facing varied situations in their lives.

“Personally I experienced physical and emotional torture in my marriage for one and half years. Had I not moved out of the marriage, I would have probably been dead by now,” she says.

The woman, Naomi Lungu, is 27 years old and after her experience she decided to form a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Girl’s Network Initiative which aims at championing rights for women and girls.

Asked to explain more on what form of abuse she went through, Ms Lungu said she did not want to talk much about the past because she had moved on and was looking for better things, especially helping people who were going through what she experienced.

But she was quick to say that her initiative would act as a voice for the voiceless women and to empower vulnerable girls with education so that they could stand up for their rights.

Ms Lungu said her organisation would establish scholarships for girls and offer affordable legal aid to underprivileged women.

Some embassies and institutions have offered to fund the scholarships once the vulnerable girls are identified.

She says her vision is to have a Zambian society where vulnerable girls and women are able to access education as a right and walk the streets in the fullness of their potential.

She says she feels hurt to see young girls losing hope in life at a tender age when there is something that can be done by those who care have the means to help.

The organisation would also seek to reach out to communities not covered by the Government and other institutions to increase access to education by deprived girls.

She says the initiative has already identified one 13-year-old girl engaged as a maid in Lusaka while others would be drawn from each province in the country before being taken to schools.

“When we talked to the girl who was working as a maid in Chilenje Township she said she was ready to go back to school because her parents could not afford to educate her,” she said.

She said once sponsors of the scholarships are ready the identified girls would be taken to various schools where sensitisation of child abuse would also be conducted for the benefit of all pupils.

On the provision of affordable legal aid to vulnerable women she said the Girls Network Initiative would partner with institutions such as the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) and the ministry of Gender who have all shown interest.

She said through interaction with vulnerable women she has discovered that most of them did not know that they could actually use lawyers in court as they only talk about local courts.

She said counseling of abused children and women was already being conducted and the response has been overwhelming as more people were seeking the services.

Ms Lungu says her vision was for vulnerable girls to realise that education is an instrument for access while women should also appreciate the fact that access to legal services is an instrument of ensuring that they get justice.

Ms Lungu has demonstrated a desire to help others and through her efforts she has invited four other women Saraphina Mambwe, Yvonne Sitwala, Mwenya Mambwe and Mwaka Banda who have all agreed to move the cause forward.

There is need for all those with means to help to clearly understand what Ms Lungu and her colleagues want to achieve in their quest to help the vulnerable women and girls.

Imagine if a group of vulnerable children are afforded an opportunity to access education and later lead a life that they currently cannot think of.

Perhaps at this stage I wish Ms Lungu and the group all the best in their mission to help even one or two of those hopeless, but capable young girls.

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