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Some of the "Butterflies" in the end of 1989. I am the first from the left in the down line.

Patricia had been mi friend and classmate since the age of 10 and in 1989 we were in the first year of High School. We use to meet Monday to Friday at 7:45 am, to make together the last blocks to the school. She was my close friend and my best study partner.

One day of June, I waited for her, and she never came. Patricia didn’t go nor that week. I called her and told me she was pregnant and for this she had been expulsed from the school. The laws of the country and the rules of the school said a pregnant girl cannot study. She never told anyone because the social punishment and discrimination that in those years supposed to become a teen mom.

I had been recently elected president of my class. I used this representation and influence to organize my classmates around Patricia‘s case. It was a rainy winter and we were in a conservative catholic school, but our feelings of justice and love for her, were stronger. Like butterflies in the storm, we fly around the students, teachers and counsellors, asking for support, collecting signs, spreading flyers, pushing hard to bring her back to the school. Some of us talked at the local radio, in the most popular music program, about teen pregnancy and Education as human right.

After one month of struggle, the Educational Council decided always not to allow Patricia in the regular classes agree with the idea of “The Bad Apple…”;but, they decided she would have the chance to finish the high school attending tutorial workshops and free exams.

We brook the rules, so we paid with 2 weeks of detention our “inexcusable lack of respect”. But…We Made it!!! I would never have again Patricia in the class, but my classmates and I were happy she could finish the high school.
This experience was a life-changing one. For me, it was my first approach to social activism. I felt first-hand the results of teamwork and organization around a cause of justice. I learned how important collaboration, empathy and friendship for everyday life are. More than any book, this experience taught me that solidarity is a gift we must make grow cause its fruits are abundant in every time and place.



Jan K Askin's picture

The Butterfly Effect

Dear Nasreenamina,

Thank you for this most powerful of stories. There is, in science, what is called the "butterfly effect." It describes how a small change at one place can result in large differences in another. For example, the presence or absence of a butterfly flapping its wings could lead to creation or absence of a hurricane.

By standing up for your friend Patricia, you educated your circle of friends about the power of solidarity, thereby creating a group of women whose lives were affected by this knowledge. Most likely, many of these omen have gone on to become a powerful force in their respective communities.

Thank you for this wonderful story.

Your sister,


Jan Askin

sallysmithr's picture


That is a great story! What you did is truly amazing and anyone couldn't be happier to have you as a friend in their life!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Sally Smith

ana hamuka's picture

we need more people like you

we need more people like you in the world—people who use their positions of power for good! thanks for sharing this story with us all.

xx ana

nasreenamina's picture

Thank you

I would like to say a big THANKS to all fo you for your kind comments. I hope we always can encourage ourselves and others to do something fot someone. Warms Regards

One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion

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