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.