My very own unique story of fighting against old beliefs started when I was only 3 years old. My mother wanted me to admit in the best schools of the town. Therefore, she was under the sun for four hours in a long line just to buy the admission form. Things were going pretty well; she even took me to the photo studio with my old pair of shoes for having photos for the admission. That day, I was very happy until I saw my mother crying in a corner. All the women of our community came to our house just to stop my mother to send me to that school. Why? The reason was very simple: combined education. They told my mother that I will elope with a boy if I went to that school and leave the whole community in unbearable shame! However, my mother sent me to that school and I kept fighting for me. Well unfortunately, I didn’t elope with a boy (!). Instead of that, I completed my graduation with an outstanding result and became the first graduate girl of my community.
I always tell people that a woman in a developing country is like a circus elephant. What we see in the circus is how the mighty enormous elephant is leashed in a weak chain without knowing about his power of crumbling the chain effortlessly. Likewise, our life without education is just like the circus elephant. It might be tough for some people of the developed world to understand my statement because they take education for granted, but in our culture we have to fight for our education.
Anyways, I could have good a job in a multi-national company after completing my graduation in finance, but I didn’t because something touched the core of my heart. One day on my way to the university, I saw a very small girl about 3 or 4 years old selling candy on the road. A man kicked her very brutally because she was asking him to buy some candy! I was shocked as I discovered that they are treated everywhere like street dogs. I felt very sorry because I have a niece her age. She is going to school, buying any toys she wants.
I found that this discrepancy is only because of the financial freedom and education. After that, I along with my friends started a small initiative at my university campus. We went into slums where the poorest children live and started to convince them to get the basic education from us. We failed again and again. We had to make great efforts to convince the children and their parents to allow us to educate them. Instead of going to school, these children work in dangerous and illegal environments just to afford food to survive. They have no education, so most have only the hard life of a sex worker for their future. After a heart and soul endeavor we were able to convince six slum children to join us. We taught them essential skills for life: fundamental reading, writing and math as well as necessarily social and vocational skills to earn a living. In just four years, we have helped more than 250 children. To further meet their needs, we will begin by providing at least one meal a day. This is a top priority. Most of the students are girls.
As I also believe in personal growth, I started applying for foreign programs beside my work. Thus, I was selected last year by Watson University in the United States as a scholar. I went to the U.S. all by myself which was another epic story. As girls are not allowed to travel abroad alone, so before my journey, my relatives forced me to get married so that a man can take care of my security. But again, with their great disappointment, I denied and said “I am strong enough to take care of myself. I don’t need any man to take care of my security.”
Moving to the U.S. changed my life. I called it my rebirth. I learned so many things and broke my old shell of low self-confidence. Within a month from an introvert shy girl of 24 years old, I became an extrovert public speaker. At Watson University, with the help of my mentors, I bloomed like a flower. It was the place where I first realized that I want to help as many girls get education as I can. As a result, I founded my own non-profit so that I can help more under-privileged children in my community after completing my semester at Watson University. Our goal is to empower 150 children in 2015 and 500 children by the end of 2016.
I believe the best way of spreading peace in the world is by educating children. Therefore, I will keep fighting to educate underprivileged and street children until the last breath of my life.
Apart from that, I am a fun loving person! I love to travel and explore new places, tasting new food & making new friends. Well, I also love to dance and do some dancing when no one is around!
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