I would like to dedicate this blog to Annette Frost who has been working with the Peace Corps in Niamey, Niger for the last two years. She is my cousin’s oldest daughter and doesn’t really know me that well, but enthusiastically agreed to create Traveling Postcards with her community. She has been living in West Africa since 2008 and has a fabulous blog chronicling her work. http://thisispeacecorpsinniger.blogspot.com/ We have been getting to know each other primarily through Face book (and me reading her blog)! Here is a little of her story and please note how incredibly impressed and in awe I am of this strong, intelligent and beautiful woman and the work she is doing. I am also so proud to have received 24 handmade postcards from the young women in her village. The cards are cut from cardboard and covered with beautiful African fabric. Each card has an expression of hope and support for the women of the Congo. Traveling Postcards is eager to collect women’s voices from all over the world. Cards that are received will be collected, archived, exhibited and then given away. If you know of anyone working to empower women in their communities, please tell them about Traveling Postcards and the opportunity to share their wisdom with women all over the world!
“I run group de jeune femmes in my village and we basically discuss ways in which poor rural women can help themselves when they are not being offered outside assistance. My girls are all unmarried students between age 15-18. Many still do not have great writing skills. I tried to translate some of what was written on the backs of the cards. We used the resources available to us in a project aimed to make people realize that they are never alone in their suffering, and that there are woman all over the world experiencing all sorts of hardship. Niger has been ranked at times the world's poorest country, and most hard to live in on the UN index. These girls know essentially this and it is helpful to know they aren't the only ones. When I asked what they thought some of the hardships American women faced were, they laughed and said Americans don't know hardship. We took the time to talk about all sorts of woman all over the world and the struggles they face, and what women can do to help themselves stay above these struggles. After that we made these postcards to send a message of continuing strength and support to the women of Congo, and as a message of unity among African women.
Hope they arrive safely. Cheers, Annette.”