|Guests painting at the Brunch and Rejuvenate Women's Retreat hosted by The Sunshine Series
Women across the world are doing it all. We are running companies, building applications, fostering communal and national development, reaching the most underserved, providing care to family members, and generally ensuring that everyone else is fine.
Sometimes, this can get overwhelming. It can take a toll on our mental and physical health. It can have us breaking down constantly as we navigate the rigors of being women in a world that sometimes forget that while we are powerful, we also need to be able to lean on others.
So when our Founder, Ramatu Ada Ochekliye, got the invitation to The Sunshine Series 'Brunch and Rejuvenate' event in commemoration of International Women's Day, we were pleasantly surprised…and excited.
The Sunshine Series is an organization founded by Aisha Abdullahi Bubah and is driven by a mission to reduce the inequalities in access to mental health care in Nigeria and to improve the quality of life of persons with psychosocial disabilities. They do this by training lay counselors who carry out mental health interventions within underserved communities. One of their goals is also to provide economic empowerment to people with psychosocial disabilities and their caregivers through vocational skills training.
Like most organizations, The Sunshine Series had planned an event to commemorate International Women’s Day. The major difference with their event was that theirs was a half-day retreat for a small circle of women in leadership to, as some would describe it, ‘take a load off’. The guests were Anna Ekeledo, the Executive Director of AfriLabs; Funke Adeoye, Founder of Hope Behind Bars; Chioma Agwuegbo, Founder, TechHer NG; Zahra Umar, the Founder of Haven Homes Foundation; Hauwa Bako, Founder of BKD Foundation/HB Green Acres Farm; Farida Yahya, Founder, Lumo Naturals/ The Brief Academy; Pelemo Nyajo, Shadow Country Director, Plan International; and Ramatu Ada Ochekliye, Founder, Shades of Us Storytelling Initiative for African People (Shades of Us).
|Executives and Leaders at the Brunch and Rejuvenate Women's Retreat hosted by The Sunshine Series
There were conversations around work, the stressors that affect our productivity, the emotional – and physical – support that keeps us sane, and the need for rest.
Let us emphasize this need for rest.
The conversation around seeking rest wasn’t words regurgitated because they sounded good. There was this empathic, calming feeling about being reminded that we – women everywhere – deserve rest. It was a powerful session that reaffirmed our strength and effectiveness but reminded us that rest helps us give better from a refreshed cup and a place of rejuvenated health. We understand that the place of mental wellness is key to achieving the third of the global goals: Good Health and Wellbeing. What we didn’t know however was how important it was to be mindful about our wellness. Rest shouldn’t be something that happens when we are burned out. It has to be deliberate.
Our Founder was especially glad to meet other women who are doing such amazing work in their fields: tech, business, agriculture, development, communication, etc. It was a much-needed reminder that women are doing so much and deserve all of their flowers. Our Founder couldn’t contain her excitement at the thought of telling the stories of these women who are great at their jobs, yes…but exceptional at improving the lives of the people in their circle of influence. You see, at Shades of Us, we are in the process of developing our ‘Everyday People’ and ‘Unsung Heroes’ video series where we celebrate the people in our communities who make life a little bit better. Meeting these women was the right spark to ignite a renewed desire to tell our stories because our stories are important, especially when women are the central focus. We know that women tend to minimize their efforts and barely put themselves out there.
It wasn’t just talk, however. There was a painting session, affirmation, massage, and good food!
|Calming session of working together and painting
The Sunshine Series 'Brunch and Rejuvenate' was such a beautiful, calming session to celebrate women, connect with people with shared values, and remind ourselves that we are deserving of rest. We must appreciate The Sunshine Series for putting this event together. Get in touch with them for events like this. Visit The Sunshine Series (https://thesunshineseriesng.com/) for more.