Wednesday 13 February 2019

When women awake mountains will move...

My experience so far with The Next Chapter by Nancy Papafio

“Having just finished working in the Insurance Industry for 39 years I was looking to get involved in something completely different. I heard about this program through friends and was delighted to get accepted onto the training program. I am part of the Newtownabbey Chapter Hub which is made up of a great mix of young and older woman, some work in a mix of careers, students, public services or private sectors and all bring a mix of experience and talents to the group.

To be taken through the first stage of the training programme by Bronagh Hinds and Deborah Donnelly was so enlightening discussing the Good Friday Agreement and Bronagh’s involvement and the important role of the Woman’s Coalition working with the other parties in reaching the agreement and more importantly staying at the table.  I felt so privileged to listen to them and so proud of them both for having paved the way for the next generation of young woman. 

One of our case studies related to the peace agreement between the Colombia Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the participation of women in the peace talks. A  member of our group hails from Columbia so it was very interesting to hear her talk about her country and to admire her for coming to live in Northern Ireland and her motivation to get the opportunity to learn more about our country and to become part of her local community.

The Woman’s Ambassador Forum at Stormont was also a very interesting day meeting and listening to an electric mix of amazing woman talking about the challenges they faced throughout their careers.

As part of the course on ‘Decision Making, Politics and Public Life’ we were given some handouts with a website if we wanted to find out more about Public Body appointments. I have applied and been accepted to attend a workshop on the 27 February which I am very excited about.

The Next Chapter is opening up all sorts of opportunities for us women to take advantage of, regardless of age or abilities. When women awake mountains will move...

I am also looking to the next stage working with the rest of my group on our Community Project.” 

Thank you Nancy for taking the time to write this article.

Photo: Participants from Newtownabbey Chapter Hub (Nancy Papafio is far left)