What does Janelle Monáe have to do with My Girl TRIBE?
Dream Sponsors founder and president, Carla Neumann, MS LMFT, yesterday hosted the nonprofit's first, My Girl TRIBE™ session via Zoom, the cloud-conferencing platform. The beneficiaries were women from Dago Village in Migori, Kenya, who were specifically nominated to participate in the program due to their leadership, interests and abilities in community relations within their community. The Dago women were introduced to Dream Sponsors by One Way Out. Over the years, a collaborative effort has grown between the two nonprofit organizations to support and educate identified youth in Kenya, mostly girls, who are found to be most vulnerable. The Zoom meeting was also attended by Carrie Masterson, Women's Health Consultant and Lexy Sanguinetti (self), a Dream Sponsors board member.
Janelle Monáe, the famous American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress and record producer, has been quoted several times for these words of wisdom, “Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable." This sentiment was the lesson of the day with My Girl TRIBE's first online session.
Neumann led the group in discussions on self-esteem and self-love, sharing Monae's famous quote for all to remember. The women exchanged views on what self-esteem is and what role it plays in our lives no matter what trade or passion one is engaged in. There were moments where it seemed some women were holding back tears as they shared their stories of various life-happenstances that shaped their self-esteem. Due to privacy reasons we cannot share details of these stories, but during those moments, the energy and assurance of my fellow women proved we could trust each other, speak openly about our lives and find commonalities even though we were oceans and borders apart.
"Self-esteem helps you to understand yourself and encourages you to be strong in whatever you do." - My Girl TRIBE participant
The My Girl TRIBE™ is dedicated to all girls and women throughout the world who seek to fulfill their dreams and raise their standard of living while living life to the fullest. As Neumann says, "we (as women) must join together and recognize the power we hold as females. When we discover our own inner strengths, abilities and purpose and join with other women, our chances of reaching our goals are far greater. As part of My Girl TRIBE, we learn to value and love ourselves. We encourage and support our Girl TRIBE members while lifting each other up, as opposed to tearing each other down."
While the session was ongoing, there were humbling sounds and interruptions now and then, such as a rooster crowing loudly in the background to the rainstorm that eventually halted the Zoom meeting. Heavy rain in Dago caused a power outage and the meeting paused for a few minutes. Determined to get the benefits of the whole session, the Dago women chose to wrap up the discussion with Neumann over phone and later took to the hands-on session activities on their own. This session marked the first of many intended to uplift the women of Dago through My Girl TRIBE. The group has committed to meeting weekly to continue learning and training to be better equipped at self-motivation, self-empowerment and self-sustenance. We at Dream Sponsors are encouraged more than ever that this program is welcomed, needed and useful to women of all walks of life. We move forward with the hope, faith and gusto to propel My Girl TRIBE to reach more and more of them who want to be part of this life-changing movement. "My Girl TRIBE Transforms, Respects, Inspires, Believes and Educates ALL women, regardless of ethnicity, race, creed, religion, academic IQ or tribal heritage. My Girl TRIBE believes we are ONE TRIBE, My Girl TRIBE!"
Janelle Monáe photo by Tony Norkus via Shutterstock: GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN / USA - July 7, 2018; Janell Monáe performs live at 20 Monroe Live
Dago village photo courtesy of Suzan Adhiambo, Kenya