Dailen Lorenzo Jacobs once quoted, “Behind every Successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who has her back”
Allow me to add: in front of every young, successful women there is an army of powerful women who has gone before her and paved a clear path for her to choose and walk in. Markers that says, “Jump over this step where I erred and go the shorter route.”
Today, and many days leading up to 2018, allow me to thank the phenomenal men and women who made this year a great success. I would like to introduce you to a truly inspiring woman Bernie Dolley. I remember the first time I met her she stood out like a bright light in a dark place. Her passion was undeniably contagious, and yet, she easily admitted her weakness in front of a group of people without lowering her head. Being the youngest in the room that day, and also new as everyone was acquainted somehow, I waited my chance to be introduced. Thanks to Wafaa Abdurahman we had a few seconds to talk, and the journey began. The following working day (Monday), I received this email, shocked as this woman just travelled from Port Elizabeth for a social media course and some other meetings, and had the time to contact me after a very brief meet and greet.
Bernie Wrote: “Dear Lynn, it was good meeting you on Friday at the Social Weavers workshop and I have no doubt that you will use what you learnt in no time as you seem to like Social Media.
I read through your newsletter and you are doing incredibly important work for young girls and women and I believe that through your work you can change the negative narrative that exists about yours and other similar communities in and around Cape Town.”
Lynn wrote: “Good Morning Bernie, your passion and love for the work you do surely exudes in everything you do and mostly when you speak. The pleasure was mine, being fairly new to the NPO sector I trust I can learn from masters like you that don’t only talk but walk the walk.”
Bernie Replied: “You must love this work or not do it at all as it is tough out there and raising funds is more than just money – it’s about friend-raising and building relationships, and once people trust the organisation they will support you but it takes a long time and the secret is patience, patience and more patience and resilience.”
By reading these responses, you can surely agree with me that passion + wisdom are key traits possessed by this amazing woman! Shortly thereafter I was invited to Port Elizabeth to attend ABCD training sponsored by Ikhala Trust.
“Start with what you have, build with what you know”
Returning home after the training, I did not really grasp everything I have learnt. Surely as time passed I realized more and more how much Daughters of Destiny is built on the ABCD approach. Here is just a short snippet from the Ikhala Toolkit:
“ Asset Based Approach. There is a long tradition of mobilizing community assets in South Africa, particularly during the liberation struggle. Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) (or citizen driven development) offers an alternative to the needs based approach. Assets in communities include: stories, knowledge, innovations, talents, associations and networks, local institutions, physical assets and natural resources; financial assets; cultural assets; rights, claims and entitlements. The Approach focuses attention on the strengths and capacities that communities already have and builds on from there. The intention is to surface hidden “gifts”, grow a shared vision and appreciation from which to move forward. ABCD is inherently optimistic and based on an understanding that:
- meaningful and lasting community change always comes from within;
- every person has capacities, abilities and gifts;
- local residents are experts and key change agents.”
Ikhala collaborated with Elamanzi in producing a toolkit called Asset Based and Community driven Development, generously funded by the Steward Charles Mott Foundation.
Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing, not only in the Eastern Cape, but influencing many other communities all over the globe.
Daughters of Destiny has surely started with what we have and built with what we know!
Ikhala we salute you! More importantly Bernie Dolley we are honoured to have met you.