Hi everyone, my name is Linanuel Agbai, a new intern at One World Girl. I am currently in my second year of graduate school at Fordham University School of Social Work, Lincoln Center. I am originally from Nigeria in West Africa now living and working in Queens, New York.
The experience of growing up as a woman in my home country, as I have come to understand, shares unfortunate similarities with most societies, some audibly and some other very passively. Most are pervaded with a society of men that have an obscene fondness for telling women how to behave, when and how to speak, and even who to become. The number of women and girls who go through domestic and sexual abuse is one that I could not get over; only for a patriarchal society to regress by accommodating this deformed shade of masculinity, through normalization of the abuse, often going as far as pinning the blame on the victim. In the midst of this, I found my cause.
One of my favorite quotes is from Audre Lorde, she said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” This quote speaks to me and also acted as a guide when I decided to nurture this flame and passion into a career by becoming a social worker. I intend to equip myself with the ability to free as many women and girls as I can, through influence in advocacy, counseling, mentorship and leadership positions, from the shackles that hold them down, no matter how different and unique each person’s case might be.
Personally, I think it is imperative to channel this quote and apply it to our daily lives, that way we see ourselves as vehicles to a better society, helping one another, creating awareness of injustice around you and also advocating on an individual level, not just among the female population but the entire society at large.
When I came across One World Girl and the fantastic work being achieved by them, I immediately knew that being a part of this work is where I belong. OWG does the amazing job of laying a solid foundation that inculcates young girls with life long skills, through mentorship, service projects, art based programs and other educational programs. OWG starts young to train girls, and equip them with the right skills, making each girl child understand the uniqueness they carry within, thus building their confidence. It brings to mind another one of my favorite quotes from the bible; Proverbs 22:6,“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Just like the above quote says, when they are older and grown, they would indeed not depart from it. OWG is doing the work of freeing the girl child and equipping each unique girl with armour to overcome the world and also at the same time uniting girls by bridging the gap of diversity.
OWG is creating a generation of change to be reckoned with, and I am excited and grateful to be a part of this team.