Community Update

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We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Just three weeks left!

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Hello Applicants!

In just three weeks, we'll be launching our application process for the 2011 Voices of Our Future training program. We are happy to see all of you here--over 330 applicants from more than 60 countries have signed up!

We are excited to hear your stories and listen to your voices. One of the best things about this process is your ability to connect with the other applicants. We'd love to get the conversations starting. If you have a few minutes, tell us about your personal hero and the impact they've had on your life.

Sincerely,

Rachael

Comments

usha kc's picture

oh!! nice to know your

oh!! nice to know your daughter love our country Nepal!! hope and wish to have her here along with you one day!!

I have may heroes and I think every person is since they decide to fight for their dreams and make a declaration of faith about life, that is always uncertain. But cince Hipatia from Alexandria until my own mother, my favorite hero is absolutely my daughter Constance. She was born when I was 18 and become a single mother. In a very conservative environment I was afraid about how to raise her. Of course, it was difficult, neither the laws, the social opinion, the strict catholic values was hepful. I've already seen the bad consecuences for the life of a teen mom in the case of my friend Patricia.

The worst part was for Costance anyway. She must to suffer isolation in the school, be pointed with the finger from the part of their classmates, bullying from some teachers cause I was not married. Finally, being a good student she was expulsed from the school, and all this before 12 years old.

But she had and has, a special way to see life. She never has accused me to put her in those bad situations, instead I've always received support, compasion and love from her. Even when I one day I had to leave her under the caring of my parents, to go work abroad. She never showed me hatred, to be resentful. I passed uncountable minutes blaming on myself. One day, being in Peru for work I received a Mother's day card from her saying:" Mommy: I love you and the most wonderful thing about you is your courage to pursuit happiness for both of us. Sometimes people is cold hearted and like to punish other for their decisions but that's the cost courage people must to pay to follow her personal and genuine path to happiness. In the distance I am with you and will never let you down".

That day I found out not onle I had a daugther,also a soul-mate. A companion, a friend and a wise human being.

When she was 13 she told me she wanted to become fashion designer and study in Buenos Aires. I promised here if when she was 17 she still wanted that I will help her. At 17 and still dreaming about that so we move to Buenos Aires. She passed a lot of burocratic steps and lots of interviews and talking with people not always with the willing to help her. She was more than one year going time after time to the Dean office, wainting for hours sometimes just to receive a "please comme the next month". But she never give up and she never shows anger. She took all with patience and faith. Finally she get an opportunity to study and now we are in Buenos Aires and she is going to the university to become Insh'allah a Fashion Designer.

I loved her a lot but also, I started to admire her for all this. I understood she was able to turn all the bad feelings and behave she receive from other in wisdom and lessons for her life. Taking every person as a teacher for good and bad but always useful experiences for life, has made of her a clear-spirit, generous, faithful,atrong,positive and balaced person.Being an adult, even until now, I have sometimes problems to be all that easily. I've learned from her about forgiveness, love and effort to achieve my dreams. And after all, she show herself thankful for her life. As she says: "Maybe we are afraid, but we must fight for our happiness, cause heaven is for everyone but we must to show we deserve it!"

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

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

Celine's picture

Hello dear

Hello dear Nasreenamina,

Accept my greetings sent from Nigeria!
I am emotionally touched by the courage of Constance and the support she stands for in your life. I wish her well in her career.

Celine

nasreenamina's picture

Thank you dear Celina

I am so glad to receive a kind comment from so far! thank you very much. 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

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

Heather Tucker's picture

My Hero: Sunny Jacobs

The first time I heard of Sunny Jacobs was when the small frame of a woman crossed the Amnesty International stage at a Lifelines conference. I had no idea that the next ninety minutes would have me riveted to my seat, yet primed to dash to the stage when the presentation was over to meet her face-to-face. Nor did I know that this woman was to become my personal hero.

In 1976, at the age of 28, Sunny and her partner Jesse Tafero were wrongfully sentenced to death for the murder of two police officers. Sunny was released from prison in 1992 after many years of solitary confinement in a cell that was six steps from the door to the toilet and just wide enough that she could touch both walls with her outstretched arms. She left prison a widow (Jesse was executed in an execution that went wrong), an orphan (her parents died in a plane clash) and with two children who were now 17 years older.

If anyone has a reason to feel “down on their luck” or mad at the world then Sunny Jacobs would be that person, in my opinion. Yet she is the total opposite. She has a fantastic laugh and a passion for living that bursts through the life story she has to share. It is this attitude and her determination to make the world better on a daily basis that has had the biggest impact on my life. When the desire to make a difference in the world becomes overwhelming, I remember Sunny’s advice – “do something as best you can to make the world a little bit better.”

www.cloggiecentral.com
Twitter: @traineecloggie

nasreenamina's picture

Wonderful Stories Ladies!!

I feel a deep emotion and happiness to know there are lots of wonderful heroes around the world and each one of us has the opportunity to enjoy and learnd with them. That's a blessing. Is inspirating to become ourselves people that can share life changing experiences to others and imporve the good pulse of this world. By the way, I suffered and accident with my personal testimony about heroes, I was editing when I passed to submit the text so please considere the second as the last and definitive, sorry. Thank you. Twit me at @Nasreen_amina. Xoxo for everyone!

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

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

comfy's picture

tough one

Hello Rachel, everyone,
Greetings from Lagos, Nigeria. I am excited to be part of this programme and can hardly wait for September when the assignments begin. This is a tough question because I don't have any specific hero; I am a product of several heroes and heroines all of who I have never met but affected my life in several ways. I will mention a few who have impacted me the most.
I am a Catholic and in my teens, I was obsessed with the lives of saints. I was especially inspired by the life of St Catherine of Sienna who worked tirelessly to bring peace between the feuding powers in Italy and pushed for the reformation of the clergy.
There is also Nelson Mandela. It is rare to find someone so self sacrificing, who gave up his entire youth because he wanted freedom for his country. South Africa's independence was won at a high price.Mandela's life will forever be an inspiration to me.
Bertha M. Clay who through her books prepared me for a world especially here in Nigeria that is not totally accepting of women and their talents. T.D.Jakes is another great source of inspiration; he is all for women realizing their greatest potentials.
All these people are my heroes, they have inspired me to be the best I can be.

enamara's picture

James Wire Lunghabo - My Hero

When I first stepped in my first work place, I had no sense of direction, I did not know what I wanted to become as a young fresh graduate, then I met my then boss, Wire James Lunghabo, - A man with a big heart.

He opened up the doors for my success, he linked me up to various technical groups that were relevant to my career, he made sure I learned the newest technologies, including Linux from scratch, he created an environment that was so conducive for me to learn, and he believed that women had the potential to succeed.

He sent me to the biggest clients in our company to set up systems, sometimes I thought he was giving me too much work while the guys were not assigned tasks, but I later learned that he believed I was better than them. It is from this little company that I began my career, that I learned to network, that I met the most influential people in my life.

What more can I say, I moved on from Linux Solutions, but I can always say, James Wire Lunghabo was a big inspiration in my life, a selfless, knowledgable man that advocated - still does, for Women in Information Technology.

I can firmly say, James Wire Lunghabo is my Hero!

Derinho's picture

More than one hero!

Of everyone I've met in my lifetime, I wish I could pick only one hero. First on my list would be my parents for instilling in me the importance of integrity, honesty, impartiality, modesty, being of high moral standards and above all holding fast to my faith in God. They held nothing back in providing quality education for myself and my siblings (four of us girls and two boys.) My mum especially sacrificed time, money and energy to give us standard education when my dad's practice started to flounder.

Another very important person on my list of heroes is a paternal uncle of mine. Despite being a highly-skilled neurosurgeon, who rose to the rank of Major General in the Nigerian Army, his humility and respect for all continues to inspire me never to discriminate against people regardless of age or background. Unfortunately he partially lost his eyesight to glaucoma and is a bit reclusive these days. But my interactions with him as a young, impressionable child have stayed with me forever. He was 80 this year and I hope he lives much longer.

All my heroes combined have imbibed in me a certain will of steel and an impulse to reach out and help anyone whenever and wherever I can.
That said anyone who stands up for the helpless, gives fair judgement and fights for what is right despite overwhelming public outcry is my hero and I'm sure everyone knows that'll be a list too long to write here.

My name is Micheline Mwendike from Goma town in the Esten region of the Democratic republic of Congo
for now, I work in the media department of a humanitarian organization. But I am active in the actions that my friends, men and women committed to change our society ​​one day. In my country there are many things which revolted us and the misfortune is that many person start getting used to. what I think is important women have an important role to change the situation. first because in my contry they are out of the politic system, second, they are so realist in actions.

My motivation is despite everything , I think that change is even possible ...

My hero :

All those people who survive on this earth and do not forget the why of their life are heroes because the world offers us so many things that make us forget ourselves and make us live for him. The winners in this war of our lives against ourselves are true heroes.
This battle is won in each of our efforts and unfortunately the final outcome is that the end of his life. Examples of real heroes are in testimonies, stories of the dead.

All African women who were able to provide us with pure love in despite of the suffering, frustration and objectification that they have suffered are heroes to me.

But to change a lifestyle, one must understand and develop it differently.
So, because I learn what is life and love I can manage the two things and make my own lifestyle.

Women have capacities.

polite switness's picture

My Hero

My younger sister is my hero.She is the last born in our family of 4.She got pregnant while in her 2nd year at the university and her boyfriend abandoned her just as she was about to deliver.She delivered successfully even though it was her first delivery,and that strength she had during and after to me is so amazing.She dint stop going to campus and infact resumed after just 0ne month rest at home. Even though the father to her child has never given her and the baby any support,she has managed to do all types of odd jobs so that she can atleast provide the very best for her child who is now 1year and a half and is very beautiful.She picked up the pieces of her life tht her boyfriend had shattered and walked right on.it has not been an easy walk but she acknowledges the support from us the family to her.She is too young yet very strong.I admire her.

VERA ATIENO
Voices of Women In Western Kenya

nasreenamina's picture

Of course she is...

I felt very touched for your sister history since is very similar what I passed with me and my constance. Sometimes even I tooke her to my classes and exams! Finally I graduate very well and be strong enough to get my piece of dream here. I would like you let her know, if possible,from the bottom of my heart, that I've learned of this experience of being a single mother that when life takes off something from you, when someone leave, is because you, as human, need that space free to fill it up with an enhanced and strong spirit. When you are alone, with a baby in your arms,feeling everyone is punishing you cause you dare to take the right decision, and give that little life a life, no matter what, you must to know you can, and you must to know is enough with your love and the love from people who cares about you. Because that's all what you need, trust in yourself and the kind support for those one really want to be close to you. Now, I am 30 something years old and my constance is 19. We live in a little apartment in Buenos Aires. We have suffered a lot but we are every day happier and closer to each other, and our bonds are strong and made of comprehension, patience and compasion.Ties of love between a lonely mother and her child are made sometimes from a lots of tears, but tears can come also from a brave heart full of hope. Since tears are water, it cleans, gives relief, nourishes and open new paths to happiness.Noone said will be easy but it worth it. There are some trees with sour roots but the fruits it gaves are the sweetest; is just a matter of time. Blessings for your sister and baby and for all your family from two kind hearted friends from Argentina, Vanessa and Constance. @Nasreen_amina

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

Follow me @DivinaFeminista

polite switness's picture

she is

Thanks alot Vanessa and Constance,i have shared your mail with her and she just broke down in tears.....she says she is gonna be stronger and live to the fullest for her and little daughter Tamara.

VERA ATIENO
Voices of Women In Western Kenya

usha kc's picture

Dear Vera my salute to you

Dear Vera my salute to you hero,,,she is hero indeed. my hug to her.

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Congrats Vera

Women are strong,we bear the brunt of childbearing and bringing up future Obamas.This world is ruled by silent women presidents behind all those clean shaven men.Remember in the bible, a wife or woman is the pillar of family and she can break or build her own homestead,so the power is in our hands,we only need to unleash it.Great day dear.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

parwana fayyaz's picture

Dear VOF:

Dear those who believe in hero's presence in their lives.
When I hear the phrase 'hero' there are many images in my head. My mother's, my two paternal grandmothers, two maternal grandmothers, aunts, school friends, and the young girl's dead body sleeping in the red ocean on the street. They are the heroes, because they have suffered but still they are living with the same situation with the smile on their face but pain inside their mind.
The young girl is a hero, because her image is alive in my mind forever, whenever I see myself in the mirror, I see her body and spirit in my own. My heroes are all the Afghan women, who suffer and have become like rocks with hard hearts and numb feelings.
Their eyes tell me that they need me, they want to live in peace in the last moments of their lives. Their pain and their passionate have had impact on me, and will have forever.
Thanks,
best regards,
Parwana Fayyaz

Okeny-Lucia's picture

My hero,my long time partner

If love be painful and free without borders so be it.The many nights and days of waiting for a partner of 12 years has been the epitome of my life.I know love is pure and without fault.It is only humankind who complicate things.Being a refugee for all ones lifetime is not easy.A refugee on the run,life filled with uncertainties.Not knowing what tomorrow holds.Nobody should joke with freedom of movement,being confined to one place for 7years,has made me love the strong character that my partner has had.The patience and the hope that one day freedom will come and we shall embrace as one soul and flesh.
That is my partner who has stood all sands of time.I have borrowed heavily from his humility and be this virtue I have survived where few would have.I have waited like a pregnant woman for that precious baby to be born.He is my hero my fountain of strength and power of truth and justice.Together we have fought a battle of unity,and one day the God of Love and humility will see us through.For this I bow down to my friend,my brother,my lover and a long time partner and for sure love conquers all.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

afrikangoddess's picture

How Touching...

Lucia, you are a brave woman and I applaud you. Thanks for sharing your story. It is heartwarming.

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Hello

Thank you dear friend,for your support.Live and let live.Our hearts carry burdens that can be dangerous to our health,so let live.You are a great woman to with free spirit.
Good day.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

usha kc's picture

Dear Lucia,, very nice

Dear Lucia,, very nice thoughts about hero. I admire your views. thank you for sharig/

much love!

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Thank you dear

Goodmorning Usha,
Hope the sun has shone brightly on your face.Great to hear from you.Much greetings to your daughter XoXo.What is the meaning of the name?Just curious,ahahah. Much love too

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

usha kc's picture

Dear Lucia thank you so much

Dear Lucia thank you so much for reply. by the way ,the meaning of my Name "USHA " is dawning( the very first light of the day) in nepali.
keep in touch sis.

Umme Mahbuba's picture

A Hero Among Many

For me choosing a personal hero is always a puzzling question as from my childhood to till now I could not shorten my lists of persons whom I like most and considered as a hero in my life. As time passed by and I am introducing with different people my lists is growing bigger and bigger. However, as a Bangladeshi girl, the woman whose name I heard from my childhood is Begum Rokeya also known as Roquia Sakhawat Hussain (1880 – December 9, 1932), the first activist who fights to establish girls’ education in undivided Bengal in the early 20th century. Begum Rokeya dedicated her life to the service of mankind. She was a prolific writer, feminist and a social worker who fight for gender equality and other social issues. She is the first women who talk about the gender equality in the undivided Bengal. She said “We constitute one half of the society and if are left behind, how can the society progress? If a person’s one leg is tired, how far can he go? The interests of men and women are the same. The goal of life is the same for both”. Therefore, due to her work, passion and philosophy of life she is one of the idol personalities in my life. The main reason that I would most want to have a discussion with her is to know the source of her courage to break the rules of the society and establish it successfully. At the time of 20th Century it was really challenging to take steps to change the society trough braking rules by a women especially in this part of the world, where women are still suffering for their basic right. The initiative and courage that she has shown was encouraging for me as I want to be an activist who will work for the gender equality, establish right of women and stop violence against women.

Umme Mahbuba

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Happy Ramadhan Umma

Go,girl be the woman you want to be.Being an activist is a huge task,there will be many times of victory and defeat,but as long as your heart is set to do that.So be it.Do not be afraid,few strong women in Asian and Arabic continent have done it.
I wish you well in this Holy Month of Ramadhan.Inshallah,be guided by Allah in your decision.
Good day.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Umme Mahbuba's picture

Thanks a lot

Dear Lucia,
Thank you so much for your inspiring words.

Best regards,
Umme Mahbuba

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Thanks dear

Thank you too ,Umma ,I hope Allah will make it known to your muslim leaders the siting of the moon soon.
By the way I was brought by muslim brothers and sisters in my village.
Happy Idd.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Kimmy D's picture

Oprah

There are many who have inspired me on this journey, and two in particular although in very different ways. My father has taught me self-discipline, persistence, staying true to my faith and myself. He is a man of his word, loyal to his family and a rock in times of storm. A wise man of few words that are meaningful and of substance.

Oprah Winfrey holds a place deep in my heart. I have never met her so I only know the Oprah portrayed on television. It is her whom I feel has made a real dent in this world that we live in. Her business sense has lended her opportunities to touch masses of people who have in turn paid ir forward. She seems to genuinely care about her community, her world and mindfully goes about making it a better place. And that is all I hope to do in my vapor of life.

Celine's picture

Hello dear

Hello dear Nasreenamina,

Accept my greetings sent from Nigeria!
I am emotionally touched by the courage of Constance and the support she stands for in your life. I wish her well in her career.

Celine

Celine's picture

Hello dear

Hello dear Nasreenamina,

Accept my greetings sent from Nigeria!
I am emotionally touched by the courage of Constance and the support she stands for in your life. I wish her well in her career.

Celine

afrikangoddess's picture

They are Many....

I have so many heroes; it's usually difficult to single in on a single person. For over 2 years now I have been meeting and profiling/featuring women who have overcome trials and who have turned those trials into hope and trumphs not only for themselves, but for others as well. These women are my heroes. Any (wo)man who thinks of others besides themselves, who fights on behalf of others and who shows compassion towards others - these are the people I most admire!

My teacher, my mentor and a true guide- Raju. His magical words and success mantra is to share the principles of his life embedded in the structure of stories. What is more interesting the hard core realities of life are being literally spoon-feed into pragmatic motivational tales without giving me a sign that it is his special approach to deal with difficulties as per the demand.
I still remember when i had a short quarrel with my parents and i was all blasted and enraged..Instead of giving further room to my mistake and provoking me, he carefully make me understood that whosoever was at fault in the argument, I should try to keep my cool, without losing temper. After all, they are my parents, the most respected relation whose love for their children is unconditional.
The fallout of the incident so much amazed me that as soon as i withdrew my salary from ATM, i purchased gifts for my parents in a way to apologize, without going into details that who was at fault.
I truly feel amazed in his mentor ship as he always encourages and provides a boost to be never ashamed of tears but in turn make them our power during trials and tribulations. The biggest part is he never absconds when i need any suggestion or advice and is always lends a helping hand even if he takes him to land in trouble to help us out.
Under his mentor ship,I learn that whatever happen, happens for best, but only a person should have an eye to see that...Lucky me.Mashallah.
Now I am really happy that I got a chance in my life to live in a way without succumbing before problems. He made me more mature and understanding person. Undoubtedly, t people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Thanx Raju for being so special and compassionate.

AB

Mutale kapekele's picture

My Mother, My hero, My friend

My Mother, Mrs. Sylvia Mapulanga Kapekele is my all time hero.
With parents that did not approve of girl child education, this 55 year old mother of mine, had to fight day in and day out for years to access secondary education.
My illiterate grandparents had seven female children with just one male child and they believed that girls should marry soon after their 13th birthday.
My aunties obeyed the directive from my grandparents and married early in their teens.
My Mother had very strong passion for education and she secretly enrolled herself into primary school.
She went to school for seven years without her parents knowledge and they only knew about it when it was time for her to move to secondary school.
To hide her enrolment into school, my mother moved in with her Uncle, who was a strong supporter of education for all.
Growing up in the 1960’s, when there were few schools, my mother had no choice but to pursue her secondary education at a boarding school, 400 kilometers from her home town Mansa.
During that time, it was impossible to be admitted into a boarding school without consent from parents.
It took begging, a lot of tears, hunger strike and threats from her uncle, for my mother’s parents to reluctantly permit her to proceed to secondary school.
My grandparents, in their effort to dissuade my mother from going to school, gave her a condition that was not allowed under any circumstances, to ask for money from them for her education requirements.
Determined as she was, and with the help from her poor uncle (who was just a charcoal burner), my mother raised the transport money she need to get to Mable Show Secondary School. To raise the amount needed, she had to work on people’s farms, doing odd jobs.
This became routine for the five years she was in secondary school.
My mother went through a lot of hardships to get to where she is today, a manager in an a huge organization, but what touches me most about her experience is the fact that she had no clothes during her school days and she made a dress from pieces of clothes that she picked up on garbage dumps. That was the only dress she owned for the five years of secondary school and she only wore shoes when a teacher who was impressed with her performance donated a pair.
Almost 40 years later, my Mother has managed to educate more than 30 nieces and nephews in addition to her five children.
And most importantly, she managed to lift her parents from chronic poverty.
My Mother’s story always keeps my strong and gives me encouragement to achieve my dreams, even when I am down, it pushes me up.
I am who I am today, a Journalist, because of the love and support that my Mother gave me.
My Mother is indeed my hero, my friend and my strength.

Mutale kapekele's picture

My Mother, My hero, My friend

My Mother, Mrs. Sylvia Mapulanga Kapekele is my all time hero.
With parents that did not approve of girl child education, this 55 year old mother of mine, had to fight day in and day out for years to access secondary education.
My illiterate grandparents had seven female children with just one male child and they believed that girls should marry soon after their 13th birthday.
My aunties obeyed the directive from my grandparents and married early in their teens.
My Mother had very strong passion for education and she secretly enrolled herself into primary school.
She went to school for seven years without her parents knowledge and they only knew about it when it was time for her to move to secondary school.
To hide her enrolment into school, my mother moved in with her Uncle, who was a strong supporter of education for all.
Growing up in the 1960’s, when there were few schools, my mother had no choice but to pursue her secondary education at a boarding school, 400 kilometers from her home town Mansa.
During that time, it was impossible to be admitted into a boarding school without consent from parents.
It took begging, a lot of tears, hunger strike and threats from her uncle, for my mother’s parents to reluctantly permit her to proceed to secondary school.
My grandparents, in their effort to dissuade my mother from going to school, gave her a condition that was not allowed under any circumstances, to ask for money from them for her education requirements.
Determined as she was, and with the help from her poor uncle (who was just a charcoal burner), my mother raised the transport money she need to get to Mable Show Secondary School. To raise the amount needed, she had to work on people’s farms, doing odd jobs.
This became routine for the five years she was in secondary school.
My mother went through a lot of hardships to get to where she is today, a manager in an a huge organization, but what touches me most about her experience is the fact that she had no clothes during her school days and she made a dress from pieces of clothes that she picked up on garbage dumps. That was the only dress she owned for the five years of secondary school and she only wore shoes when a teacher who was impressed with her performance donated a pair.
Almost 40 years later, my Mother has managed to educate more than 30 nieces and nephews in addition to her five children.
And most importantly, she managed to lift her parents from chronic poverty.
My Mother’s story always keeps my strong and gives me encouragement to achieve my dreams, even when I am down, it pushes me up.
I am who I am today, a Journalist, because of the love and support that my Mother gave me.
My Mother is indeed my hero, my friend and my strength.

We all know the story of Mr. Nelson Madiba Mandela so I will talk about my lady Winnie Mandela, in my eyes represents one of the utmost heroines and a Master when it comes to comes to unwavering determination and survival. I have learnt enducrance and long suffering through her life, and also that Im the best advocte for and believer in myself. She had to deal which so much pain and adversity during her entire life that I think this brief bio I’m giving is so far from giving a picture of her complexity and strength. It will be a little please read on you won't regret it!
Winnie Mandela commands attention when she walks into a room full of people. She is a beautiful woman always dressed up in designer African clothes; when interviewed, she is grace personified and comes across as a warm and intelligent woman.
She was born Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela on 26 September 1936 in Bizana, she was fourth of eight siblings . Winnie experienced her first loss at the tender age of eight when her mother died, she attended primary school in Bizna and completed her school career in Shawbury. She received a diploma in social work at the Jan Hofmeyer School in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Winnie had drive, swag and ambition even in those early years - remember this was during the apartheid years and during a time when women were still oppressed in South Africa: she was both BLACK AND FEMALE. Yet she managed to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in International Relations, at one of the leading universities in South Africa, The University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg. She was offered a scholarship for further study in the USA. However she turned it down and opted for a challenging position as the first qualified Black (male or female) medical social worker at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg instead.
During this time, she grew interest in politics, she met young people from the African National Congress and her political voice was first heard in the nineteen-fifties and later she was arrested and detained as a political prisoner for the first time in 1958. This did not deter her and she was heavily involved with encouraging the women of South Africa to stand up and refuse to be subjected to the laws of apartheid.
She met a young lawyer, Nelson Mandela during her early political years at the time he was on trial, along with 155 other people, in the now infamous Treason Trial following the civil disobedience campaigns of the early 1950s.; they married and during the years gave birth to children while he was still prosecuted. in the early years of their marriage, she had to learn to survive on her own , Mandela toured different townships, passing on the anti-apartheid message. After his arrest and imprisonment in 1962, she was banned - this meant that she became a prisoner within Soweto. In typical Winnie-style, she ignored the ban and visited her husband, Nelson, in prison in Cape Town in 1967. Her reward for this was one month's jail.
Over the years she was banned and jailed. At one time she was put into solitary confinement on the death row, probably, the then government's endeavour to weaken her beliefs. She was part of the newly formed African National Congress Women's League - a movement that till today has a powerful political voice. It was not long before the Women's League was banned as well but they continued to struggle against the apartheid laws.
Winnie was involved with the Soweto 1976 uprising and was sentenced to jail again - this time, she had to spend half a year in prison and after her release she was not allowed to go back to Soweto. The South African government re-stationed her in the town of Brandfort and there she remained for nine years, enduring assaults on her house and received numerous death threats. Being the strong woman that she is, she was arrested numerous times for ignore the ban and going to Soweto
After all these Mr. MADIBA was released, she went through slanderours rumours, dissing and prosecutions, he always had her back because he know she a woman of valour. They eventually divorced but this is their privacy. Today she is still has a very influential voice in SA. I just wanted to share with all you some of the reasons which make Mr Nelson Madiba Mandela and WInnie Mandela my heros.

Rosie PIOTH's picture

My heo:Mummy Yvonne

Hello,

Who is my hero? I would say heroin, my mother!
To my mother, a black African woman .... you who first taught me to walk step by step into my arm! "

While not perfect, but I refer to it when I go through moments difficiles.Oui, this lady, Yvonne, has a strength of character as any small, when my father lost his job (he was professor at the University ), it did not look at his social status, she ignored the eyes of others and that we will say no, she retrouché his sleeves to fight against the stagnation of his household .
Facing unemployment of my father's schooling enafnts, food, clothing, medical care, she agreed to stoop to a level where you could see the wife of former Secretary General of the academic University of the city, considered one of the city authorities, selling coal to provide for his family.
She sold the palm oil for all, eight children, can finish our studies either primary or secondary.
Cope with the disease, she held his head high and beat!
Faced with taunts of her friends, she replied "for life and the future of my children, I accept your derision!"
This woman used to the receptions, praise and other high society, is seen from one day to ledneemain always stripped of because her husband is now declared persona non grata!
She fought and defeated because today all my six brothers and my only sister, had got our bachelor's degrees, plus those obtained after our studies.

Despite its imperfections, despite its faults (it has I assure you,we even had affectionately dubbed Saddam Hussein or police because of some of the features of her character), she had to score my mind with its strength to fight for the happiness of his people. She sacrificed herself for us because it loves us. Yes, love is having someone who died! She was ready to do it.
She inspired me and continues to inspire me!

In Africa, Nelson Mandela is one of the images and icons for moi.Gandhi strong in Asia, Thatcher in Europe, is an example of a woman of flesh and not of iron, but who knew what she wanted and knew how to get it. In the Americas, Martin Luther King is the epitome of non-violent struggle.
Did you know that when you talk to someone, even if the person does not respond right away, know that your words were heard, and that despite appearances, they will have the effect of one day or the autre.Alors what's taking up arms? we have a weapon stronger and more powerful than all existing ones, the WORD.

Congratulations Mummy!

Rosie

There are two personal heroes in my life. My mother and my first school Principal sir. If it is talking about my mother her courage is wordless. She is so much dedicated, patient, hardworking and gentle. Actually I do not have at least 50% of her qualities in me. She complete very well any work she wants to do. And there is utmost faith in her of the success of anything. She is highly positive. Actually sometimes I cannot believe that, when I was so much depressed and disappointing she declares she knows things are getting correct; yes it is like a miracle really things are getting correct. I cannot believe her power. What I think is that inner power comes from the true feelings from her heart. She loves everyone, her kindness is given to every single creature. She id not angry with anybody around her. She is capable of warmly welcome her rival too (which is difficult for me in sometimes, but I'm learning from her). As a girl in my country I'm much forward in facing challenges and my mother is the path for my stability.

My principal sir; he is the person who started my school with 128 students and 8 teachers, and I was the 32nd student of the school, now which have thousands of students and a popular school in my area within 15 years. Thus he was great in managing, governing and developing my school. We ; the students loved him as a father. I can remember one day a little kid (I think about in grade 1 or 2) was going to her classroom with a very heavy bag, dragging her legs. My principal sir went to her helped her to take the bag. What a kind heart! He was so much eager to teach us English language always telling that it opens a door to a new world, and implanting discipline. He experimented new education methods. He always tried to give opportunity to every kid to present something in front of a crowd, which made me the Best Announcer in Sri Lanka in 2009.

What I learned from them is limitless. Because of them I'm here.

lewisfamily1908's picture

My friend, my mentor, my HERO.

My hero is an amazing woman from rural northern Louisiana who is painting her way to a better world. 'Mrs. Chris' is the founder of CULTURAL CROSSROADS, a 501(c)3 (non-profit organization) devoted entirely to bringing art and music to the rural schoolchildren in northern Louisiana who need it most. After the majority of our local art and music programs were cut away from our local public school systems, Chris saw the importance of teaching our children to be creative. 'Mrs. Chris' set out to use art and music as two handrails on a bridge that overcomes the racial gap between two cultures in southern society. And she has definitely accomplished her mission.

Behind every great leader is a great story, and Chris' story captivates me. She had her first moment of enlightenment before she was twelve. Her father was in the US Army and her family lived on the outskirts of Paris, France. Chris was on a school field trip to the Louvre when her self-awareness was altered forever. "I was not a good student. Poor grades, bad attitude, anger issues-- you name it, I had it. And I had yet to come to understand what this art thing was," she wrote of the experience. "When we entered the massive building with the huge staircase, we walked down a long hall that seemed to go on forever. We walked right up to a portrait of a woman. The sight of this painting stopped me in my tracks. It was the Mona Lisa. I was surprised at my reaction. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I stood there in a trance while my classmates ventured on. I remember what my next thought was as if it were yesterday. At the tender age of eleven, something inside of me changed. I felt drawn to the genius of this creation. This piece of art seemed to have a special message for me. I remember thinking that I wanted to be a better human being. I wanted to be a part of this creative thought process. I never forgot that day. And things did change for me. My grades improved, along with my desire for learning. The transformation had begun. Now, nearly fifty years later, I reflect on that time with a new appreciation and sadness. I realize how fortunate I was to have had that experience in the Louvre, and how unfortunate it is that very few children in my community will ever have that chance."

Mrs. Chris Broussard has definitely made an impact upon the culture of rural northern Louisiana. Through her tireless efforts, she has inspired and encouraged thousands of our local children to dream big, and to achieve even bigger. She is making an enormous difference in the culture that influences my life, and I am proud to call her my friend, my mentor, my HERO.

usha kc's picture

Hello dear all I am just

Hello dear all
I am just feeling happy to share this with all of you. As I mentioned before about my one of hero Miss Jhamak Ghimire. She has got Madan Prize which is like Nobel prize of our country Nepal. She is the second woman to get this honor with the amount 200000 NRs.( approx 2800 USD)
I am always proud of her. I would like to remind you she is by birth patient of cerebral palsy so she uses her toes to write.
http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=... tsee the link.

cheers!

Sista-kenya's picture

My Heroes & Sheroes of Inspiration

There are many people whom I regard as mentors who could fit the description of heroes.
Ones who had an effect on my life and of whom awe was created for.
Someone who I aspire to be like, when creative works are mentioned, my thoughts are on them. My mother and father who, I am because they were, that of gratitude has to be mentioned, their impact all good , pioneers at the time leaving everything they knew and were accustomed to in the Caribbean to start a new life in a strange and often hostile country, the UK

But They had each other and then us, and for that I really give thanks, as it helped me develop patience.

There are many other people, with admirable qualities, women in particular, during my lifetime have witnessed actions of one Sister, which, changed global world views, raised the conscious of nations, and changed perceptions on the value of all life as human. To this day she is not free to enjoy it.

But to this day I remember that,the Sheroe of my time is Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela the symbol ( in my view) of liberation in South Africa without whom there would be no change. She encapsulates the spirit of Queen Nanny of the Maroons, the durability of Sojourner Truth and sustainability of Harriet Tubman .
I pay homage to her on my facebook page, to enable my global connections and new friends who were not aware of what she achieved to eradicate apartheid.
My Sheroe is my talking history of change, and a reminder that no matter how you may suffer hardships there is always someone who has to overcome more. This keeps me active volunteering and committed to the cause.
As long as we speak about them and the changes they made possible we can attempt to walk in their footsteps,

mirette's picture

My Grandmother

I have a photo of my grandmother shaking the hands of Abdel-Nasser- former President of Egypt- in an awards ceremony. She was a Professor at the Faculty of Science, Cairo University, and was the a graduate of the first class in the Faculty that included women students. Besides her exemplary career success, she was the best mother and housewife- as described by my father, in addition to her outstanding services in the church and the community.

My grandmother is my hero because she is a symbol for the strong woman that has a mission and a vision in life. May she rest in peace!

Mansoora's picture

It is not him

For more than three decads, which is nearly the time since i started experinced life (I am not giving an exact number for that) I have been thinking that the greatest person in my life and the person whom I can call a hero is my father. After all, lots of the people in my country think so. Well, yes, he was a hero, a political leader, a person who gave alot to his country and indeed did a lot. I am still proud of carrying the name of this man and will always be, but what I have found out recently, is that the hero who made all this happened, or who made this man great, is in fact my mother, my beloved mother. This woman who lived for more than 40 years whih my father was the real reason behine the "idea" of having such a great man. She gave love, care, support to him all through the years. She put up with all the difficulties he went through or even put her through. He was a loving husband and a caring dad but we all agree that sharing life with an opposition leader can never be easy. My mother was there supporting not just my father but even the cause he sacrificied himself, his life and our life tp protect and raise. During the worst times in her life with him, when he was in jail for months, and she was there not only suffering his absence and not knowing the wherabout of him, she gathering the family, their family our family, of 10 kids, 2 of them, a young man and a young women were in jail, as a punishement for their father, leaving their families to this women to take care of them. Other members of her family were also in jail for shorter times, others were prevented from returning home. It is along story with bitter details but for me this woman who took all this and who was always supportive to all of us during all times is my personal hero.

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