Deborah Benjamin: Save The Girl Africa
I moved around in Onitsha on Sunday. Everywhere was neat, roads were free, and the air was so refreshing. Somehow, people on the street looked more relaxed, and the motorists were friendlier. It was, in the sense of the word, a new Onitsha.
Before the transformation exercise, Onitsha was a community of refuse dumps. Wastes blocked the drainages, and you could hardly see a street without a hill of refuse. We, the residents, knew how hazardous it was to our health, and complained about it in our little circle. Yet, we did nothing.
Things go wrong in our society when we fail to stand up. We end up complaining among ourselves, while all we need is someone to say: ‘May I have your attention, please?’
It doesn’t matter how old you are; when things are not going the way they should, anyone could be the Messiah.
I met a young girl two weeks ago. She is a 19-year-old girl that lives with her parents in Ibadan, Oyo State. She spoke and exuded confidence endearingly. This Deborah Benjamin, for that is her name, could not keep quiet when she noticed that girls in her school felt powerless and lacked self-confidence. Deborah was eager to share her confidence with them. Then, she was just 12.
Things Work When We Take Action
One day, Deborah and her friend left the classroom together. Both parted ways to their destination. On her way, Deborah’s friend was assaulted, and she opened up to Deborah. It saddened Deborah. The threat was not too far. It could be another girl or could be her, Deborah.
She could complain, but she opted to say: ‘May I have your attention, please?’ and started an organization to address the challenge.
Today, Deborah is a symbol of change. Her organization, Save A Girl Africa, focuses on raising young girls and boys to feel safe and empowered to stand against gender-based violence in Africa.
Whenever you notice things are not going the way they should, just know that the universe is asking you for help. It is an opportunity for you to stand up and be the change you want to see. It is human to murmur within our little circle of things that are not going on well.
However, in our circle, we influence very little, but when someone takes the center stage, the pieces will fall into place.