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Vision – Free to be me…

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“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.” (Edward E. Hale)

Closing out this Voices of Our Future journey returns me to my first assignment – Freedom, Power, and Change – Web 2.0. My vision is simply summed in 4 words “Free to be me”…that is my vision for my life, community, and the world. Women and girls emboldened to dream, create, live, and inspire. Who are able to overcome barriers towards personal development and self-fulfillment. I see a world where stakeholders on feminine affairs are constantly being engaged to develop and enforce policies and programs that protect the fundamental human rights of women and girls globally.

Hale’s quote keeps me encouraged and reminds me that change always starts small. An idea birthed and nurtured to reality. One individual who dared to be free. Ruled by the heart and not reality. History has shown time and time again the power of one: Mother Theresa’s modeling of love to the poor and helpless, Abigail Adam’s revolutionary letters that spoke out against injustices, and Marian Anderson with an amazing contralto voice that broke open doors for black artists. I believe that if you read the biographies of such amazing women, you would find an underlying theme of passion for pursuing what excites the very core of their being complemented by a strong sense of personal intuition that is alive. Ordinary women with an extraordinary courage to dream, create, live, and inspire. I certainly do not equate myself with them, but hope to someday like them leave a legacy in my community that inspires girls dare to be themselves…

Throughout this VOF 2010 journey, I have shared with you the Threads of Our Fabric Project that was borne out of my personal experience as a first generation African teen immigrant and the subsequent adaptation process. As I continue collecting data and conducting interviews, I am amazed by the personal stories of women and girls who have transitioned to a new world. It has been one of the best experiences of my life! I have interacted with women who are heads of their households, young ladies with aspirations to be ballroom dancers, stay-at-home wives, professional photographers, budding architects, travel enthusiasts, engineer gurus, and fashion models. The passion with which each spoke about their journey thus far has inspired me.

I plan on starting an acculturation program for recently immigrant adolescent girls that transcends sensitization to the American system; providing them a safe environment to address important issues such as identity development and cultural values. A salient topic that has emerged as a result from the project is the profound internal tension that is created when attempting to process the differences in values between opposing cultures. How do you stay true to who you are in a new environment? The effects can be extremely overwhelming! Imagine this psychological strain on a young immigrant teen in addition to already trying to navigate the tumultuous period of adolescence. I remember feeling very isolated and all alone for a significant portion of my early years in America. My mother worked constantly and my school peers could not relate my situation. The lack of a support network would send me into bouts of severe inner withdrawal and home sickness.

Being a Voices of Our Future correspondent will provide me a platform to turn my immigration experience into action. With the increasingly transient nature of our global community, adolescents are caught in the translocation waves. I believe that they are a marginalized population, whose needs often go unrecognized because they are disconnected. Unable to seek help, unfamiliarity with one’s new environment, psychological stresses of adolescence…how do you cope?...As I have highlighted in past assignments; the support from being selected for this program would be priceless. It is an investment by World Pulse in the personal lives of women; empowering them dare to be their true selves. If I selected, I know that World Pulse will equip me with the training and skills to have a positive impact on the lives of recently immigrated African girls in the United States.

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alia's picture

My vision is simply summed in

My vision is simply summed in 4 words “Free to be me”… yes i agree with you my friend , this is the most important thing for all of us to be free from bad tradition , wrong ideas about us , to feel safely any where we go , to have respect from all men around the world and to express our self in the way we want .

thanks SAsong for this wonderful assignment

my love
Alia

SAsong's picture

Hugz Alia

I agree...life is too short to be constrained by the external environment. We should be able to play, discover, explore, create and sooo much more...I do dream of that day. Thanks for your support :-)

AmyM's picture

Thank you for all you are doing!

Hello SAsong,

Your positive spirit and hope for the future comes through so beautifully in this post. Having gone through the immigrant experience yourself, you know how much young women need mentorship and support when they too become immigrants. It's wonderful that you have such a clear vision of what you want to achieve and are so excited about the VOF program. I have no doubt that you would do a phenomenal job if selected for the program. Thank you for your uplifting words -- that Hale quote is going to stay with me!

Warmest best wishes,

Amy

SAsong's picture

Thanks Amy

I appreciate you taking time to read my journal and offer words of encouragement. The more I look into the psychological impact of immigration, the more I see the need...it's soo difficult coming of age in unfamiliar surroundings and worse if you do not have a support system. I will keep you posted as I develop the program. Thanks again :-)

Daydri's picture

so excited

to hear about your visionary project!
wishing you all the best

songs of freedom,
d*

SAsong's picture

I sing a song, my song = freedom

Thanks for your support. I will be posting more on the project as I get the key players together and as it develops. HUGZ!!!

deltaqueen's picture

My sister

Your soul touching words have encouraged me to keep striving, to keep pressing, and enduring no matter how dissatisfied I am with my environment. Your speak so inspirationally about your past, present, and your future. Hope is still alive. I can hear it and feel it in your words.

Continued Peace,

Shawanna
"Let your speech always be your grace"

Deltaqueen

SAsong's picture

Dare to be...

Thanks Shawanna...I write as I see it...Love, beauty, and grace always win. I am excited about the future wrapped in all its uncertainty, because when I look back at my trail, the tracks may not have always been straight, there may have been a few backtracks and a number of side-steps, but overall it's a beautiful mess and the story is still unfolding. I wish you a life seasoned with uncertainties, love, joys, and surprises. Keep living, life is free and worth living. Thanks for reading my post and sharing some love.

Hugz!!!

IvanaG's picture

Dear SAsong,

Amazing post! So beautiful flow of words at the same time showing your vision and tendency! I can definitely see your vision and I find it very important. Like you explained, adolescents are marginalized and as immigrants they are facing troubles to keep their identity. I've been reading a lot about this in the past and can relate to the significance. Thank you for being here and showing your work to us and I wish you all the best on the path to achieving your vision - you're already doing that by the way!

Best,
Ivana

SAsong's picture

Hi Ivana

Thank you! Thank you! I will be posting more on the project as I develop it and your feedback will be much appreciated :) Hugz!!!

Singmila Shimrah's picture

Dear Sasong I applaud you for

Dear Sasong

I applaud you for your courage and strength to stay true to urself and to ur roots...it's good to stay connected with ur roots and I do believe that you'll be a voice of ur community.. Being an immigrant, we can imagine the kind of issues and traumas that a teen might go through in life..As you've rightly addressed the problems and issues that confronts immigrant adolescents, hope you'll continue to be a voice for them and be a light.. Ur writings moved me!! thank you for sharing ur vision.. You'll be a changemaker..All the best!!

Singmi

SAsong's picture

Hi Singmi

Thanks so much for reading my blog and for the supporting words. There was a period when I struggled with that sense of self and being I guess comfortable in my skin. Trying to develop my own values but being overwhelmed by a new environment was devastating. Simple things like coming from a new culture where teachers are addressed as Sir or Madame...to one where you speak to your teacher by their first name. To be honest, I still cannot do it...now I'm ok with chosing not to :-) I appreciate your faith in the vision and I will periodically post updates, your input would be much appreciated.

HUGZ!!!

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