Hi, my name is Gloria and I’ll tell you a little about me. I am a Nigerian from the south-south/ south-eastern part where we have varieties of food, sea food, a rich cultural heritage and are known to be really hospitable people. For some general reason unknown to me, people have said that those from my side are lazy, uneducated, unheard of, have nothing to offer and usually don’t go far in life. On the contrary, we are really hardworking people who against societal indignities have decided to scale past the title tags we have been defined with- even before our birth. With this, we struggle to make ends meet, hustle against every factor that could put us in corners and not front seats, carve a niche for ourselves, model ways to bring others who share similar indignities like us on board and finally publicly re-introduce ourselves to those who defined us without even knowing who we are.
For this reason, I have decided to play my part by climbing ladders and speaking up in places where purpose and passion leads me to. For this same reason, I have embraced my language, food, attires, dance steps, skin color and every cultural symbol accrued to me in abundance. For this same reason, I have participated in activities that brings laughter, hope and smiles to the weary, lost and unknown faces; engaged in communal activities and empowerment programs; been an active storyteller of the different adventures and impact that have changed both my life and that of the children, youths, mothers and the community.
In my little way, I am happy and excited each day and each time I get a chance to work with teams who have a common goal of making better the life’s of others.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in French language and while prepping for my Master’s, I battle with choosing careers each time because I have a passion that is entwined in my purpose and choosing what path will lead to accomplishing both and finding fulfilment, sometimes puts me in a fix. In 2018, I participated in three social work opportunities as a volunteer. First was sewing school uniforms, renovating classroom blocks, decorating and supplying the kids with both food items, toiletries and stationeries. Next off was educating young girls and young women on health and hygiene- where hygiene kits and food items were distributed. The third outreach was more of a psychosocial support one because there were pregnant women, mothers, widows and women who had mentoring, coaching, check-up and educative sessions on education, business, family, health, need for prayers and community development.
Yes, I had fun through it all and I was excited being a part of the process and journey to impacting lives.
In 2019, I served my country as Youth Corps member and this gave me a platform to do even more- thanks to my Place of Primary Assignment- which was a Hub full of activities. Here, I took part in sharing skills, knowledge, creativity and learning how to develop personally, build capacity, network and build a community of young people who wanted to create impact and make change happen in their various capacities. We went on outreaches to teach the young and old digital skills, participated in the National Children’s Day and Worker’s Day events which gave us an even greater audience to reach out to and went to schools to teach kids on cyber-security. The goal was to build digital awareness by helping people tap into the different digital skills they were ignorant of and for some, never took advantage of. We had series of trainings and facilitation sessions for young people on digital marketing, web development, graphic designing, creative thinking hackathons and events where young people could gather, voice out their views on relative issues, collaborate and develop themselves personally in order to share the skills and knowledge acquired with others.
After my service year, I went for a graduate training program which lasted for 2months and started job hunting. I volunteered again to be a part of a safety training which was organized by and for the staff of the NGO I am currently interning with. This lasted for a week and after that, I got a paid internship opportunity with them which lasts for a year and expires in October this year- leaving me to pursue my career through another opportunity.
This INGO has a mission of building families for children in need, helping them shape their own future and sharing in the development of their communities. It has been in existence for 46 years and in different continents across the globe. To enable them achieve this, they invest for funding growth by growing federation funding boldly from diverse markets; creating a simpler, agile and digital organization; they create a movement to mobilize people for quality child care; advocate for children; empower young people through trainings and employability programs; strengthen families by supporting and preventing family separation on emergency response; innovate and grow alternative child care through the villages and support programs…etc.
Here, I am an intern who makes and receives calls, attends to walk in clients, receives and dispatches deliveries appropriately, supports in minor tasks from different departments in the office, works with the sponsorship unit sometimes to receive, document and dispatch sponsorship letters and items…etc.
Two roles and career tracks that have always been a purposeful and passionate thing for me has been communication and social work. For this reason, I participated in the above stated social activities in my own capacity as a facilitator, content creator, marketer, journalist, programs associate, speaker and campaign team member for the different platforms. For this same reason, I participated in youth conferences and seminars by different groups, joined online groups of several other forums like Alpha Ladies, Mental Health, African Youths in Diaspora, to name a few.
I went to Jos in 2019 for a military-security-journalism volunteer job and also took up a customer service job at a company which ended up changing my job role even before I got there- yes, I resigned after working for a month. For this same reason, I have taken up communication courses on public relations, marketing and creative writing. Also, I have taken up courses on sociology and social work structures.
Yes, I want to own an NGO or foundation in the nearest future and for everything I do, from appreciating talent on Cocoa Series magazine, sharing inspiring words of encouragement, making a free-12 pages e-book on personal development, writing a not yet published book on personal development for youths, participating in community service, working in an NGO, volunteering and being in groups, blogging, making animated videos of different stories, writing film scripts about this and that, starting a women prayer group, all encapsulates in my love for community service, team work, collaboration, support, mentoring, communicating and engaging in social work.
I do not know what the next few months and years holds for me as far as my career is concerned. And sometimes, when it gets difficult to link the dots and draw the lines, I simply encourage myself with these words: Trust the process…It’ll all add up. So, this is me telling you a little about my life because I won’t stop following up on opportunities that will let this little light of mine shine so bright to illuminate the path for others to walk on. Now, if you ever get an opportunity to share your life’s journey with others, please don’t hesitate to do so because it just might be more than enough light to help others navigate. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.