Airyn-BEYOND HER IMAGE
Airyn R Lentija – The Philippines
I work as an Oversea Foreign Working for a Chinese family in Hong Kong. I have been writing poetry and short articles for various publications for several years now. When I was six years old my mother left home to work abroad. Being the eldest amongst three siblings I had to drop out of college to help my family pay for their schooling and nursing training. I am fortunate in that I come from a family that cares, not only for the immediate members, but the people around it. My parents have always impressed upon me and my siblings the necessity to be there for others as much we are for the family.
Since coming to Hong Kong I have met many people who encouraged me to write more frequently. A friend who works as an editor in a human rights NGO and who edits a weekly E-Newsletter, Human Rights & Culture, helped me to publish a collection of my poems and did his best to promote me internationally. It was through him that I was able to make contact with the Women's United Nations Report Network and through that organisation to several other international poetry forums.
From the many comments and emails I receive I know that my poetry helps people and I am very pleased about this. At first I started writing poems in my elementary school days as a hobby but now I have come to realise that my work has an impact on many people. I feel that I am contributing in some small way to bring important matters such as poverty, female genital mutilation, acid attacks on women and children and honour killings to the attention of the world through the media of my work. Poetry has its place in international writing and using the knowledge and skills that I possess I now want to continue writing and expand my work to other areas such as articles and summaries on the aforementioned subjects.
Asia has a great need for journalists and reporters who are not afraid to write and publish stories and articles on the many human rights abuses that take place on a daily basis. Whether I remain in Hong Kong or travel to other destinations within Asia I know that I will be able to contribute through my writing to making the world a better, and safer place for women, children and the marginalised in society.