One Of The Best Decisions I Made This Year!
It wasn’t easy to #TearDownBarriers (the ones) around my heart and be able to speak up in the course of the social media outreach organized by Knit Together Initiative at Pleasure Park in Port Harcourt, but I did, for which I am glad. Although I am not an outgoing person, but much to my pleasure, I attended the event which was oh-so insightful, educating as well as entertaining, which prompted me to take the bold step of sharing my personal story along with some others participants, and the whole time, wishing I had been given the “talk” as an adolescent.
The event started with an ice-breaker (snow ball throwing). This activity helped to liven the event and also arouse the interest and attention of the participants, which contributed to making the outreach even more interactive and fun. The event also featured a networking and speed dating session, during which I made new friends. Being a social media outreach, I stayed engaged online tweeting pieces of the information that resonated with me using the hashtags #TearDownBarriers and #StoriesOfAdvocacy.
Knit together initiative is an organization that recognizes the value of young people in the society, and this particularly turned on me that until young people are engaged, we may not achieve the SDGs.
Among other lessons I learnt at the event, I was also taught that young people are critical stakeholders and shouldn’t be left out in decision making, especially on issues that concern them. Although young people may be seen to have contributed to some vices, we also have the energy and ability to make positive impacts, including advocating for adolescents and young people need, making sure that they have the right to comprehensive sexuality education.
At the open mic session, some people volunteered to share their personal experiences regarding their first-time experience receiving information and/or regarding their sexuality, and much more. One of the participants, Miss Blessing Ezirim, said her first sex education came from her mum.
I was moved to share my own story of the various forms of sexual abuse and life-threatening situations I have experienced. It was a big move on my part, in that it has always being an unpleasant story that I kept to myself, never being able to own it and summon the courage to open up to anyone. But thanks to Knit Together Initiative and the mutually beneficial platform they created that was free from judgement and discrimination, I was able to share it- and even felt excited about sharing!
I was inspired to learn from my mistakes, and to tell others about my mistakes, to enable them use it as a guide in making their own decisions as well. Because although they say experience is the best teacher, learning from other people’s experiences is a smarter move. Attending the social media outreach with Knit Together Initiative is indeed one of the best decisions I made this year!