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A family of seven

I grew up in a family of seven in small town in Ontario, Canada. Some call this place “the middle of nowhere” but I call it home. I was fortunate enough to always have a two brothers and two sisters to share secrets with, play games and talk about life.

We grew up well below the poverty line. My mom supported all seven of us. My dad has been really sick, in and out of hospitals since I was a little girl. While he was always there to support us he was unable to work, which meant my mother supported a family of seven working odd jobs. We had our fair share of 'rough times' together and converted our garage into three bedrooms to facilitate the growing family. We were the family you would donate a turkey to at Christmas, the family you gave your clothing to when it did not look new anymore or the family who never ate out at a restaurant.

While we grew up in poverty, my mom always volunteered. She brought us up with the idea to always give back to the community by volunteering in any way you could no matter what you had. I have always kept that close to my heart, I think we all have. From my mother's inspiration, I have always made volunteering a big part of life. While I had always had strong views on social justice, women's issues, equality and equity I think that my passions were sparked through international travel. I have led three teams of volunteers for one month each to Tanzania, Nicaragua and Guatemala. While volunteering in other countries, I realized we are one big community and that while our challenges or issues might look different we are all experiencing issues that we can relate to. The epiphany for me was when we were meeting with a local women's group in Tanzania and I mentioned that there was rape, sexual assault and spousal abuse for example in Canada and they could not believe it. While I do not think that all of our issues are the same, I truly believe in the power of sharing our stories and building relationships.

I want to be part of a global movement, to create positive change and empower women and be empowered by the wonderful people in the relationships I build. World Pulse is a space to allow me to focus and articulate my vision.

I am a women, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and colleague. I am lucky to part of a global community of men and women across the world.


Nusrat Ara's picture

Welcome to the community.

Welcome to the community. There is so much we can learn from each other no matter where or how we live. I loved your post as it came straight from your heart touching mine. Keep writing and sharing.

Lots of love


Tawjna's picture

It is Better To Give

Hi Nicolemiseraward,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I agree with Nusrat, your post came straight from the heart. It had no bells or whistles and it did not need any but it sure rang true. There is just a simplicity about your story that makes it beautiful. Keep on talking.



YAOtieno's picture


Thanks for writing. and yes it is true most of us in the developing world find it difficult to believe that those in developed countries face the same challenges we do. thanks to web 2.0 most of this misconceptions are being cleared up.

I enjoyed reading your story


A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Nicolemiseraward's picture

Thank you for reading.

Thank you all for your posts. I really appreciate that we can share stories together.

meena-megha's picture


Your passion comes through so simply and beautifully. I enjoyed reading your story and I think you are blessed to have a mother who inspired you despite all the difficulties.
Look forward to reading more from you.

Diana's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for sharing your story! Just like you I also grew up with the idea to always give back to the others and that has given me a personal satisfaction that no words can describe. I feel your passion for volunteering is genuine and this is a great opportunity for you to raise awareness, build connections and speak out to the world about the many things that unite us. I look forward to your next post!


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