Oh, what a journey.
Sometimes, as I walk in the rainy streets of the vibrant downtown Vancouver in the winter- armed with a Starbucks chai tea latte in hand- I take a moment to sit down and observe my surroundings. I notice cars speeding by, men in suits dashing by, and women in pencil skirts clanking the pavement with their stilettos. As I see these women walk by, my mind starts to wander off in thinking of women who live 26 hours away by plane in the small town of Assassa, Ethiopia, where at that precise moment a poor woman might be enduring abuse from her husband by being tortured and beat up- merely a daily occurrence in her life. Then I start to think of the men who have brought this abusive custom to the United States and Canada as they immigrated here to live a ‘better life’. For the Oromo women in our own backyard who raise their arms up in fear and weak defense as their husbands beat them, knock their teeth out, and burn them with cigarettes- there is no such thing as a ‘better life’.
When I think of this, it makes me want to dump my chai tea latte into the garbage in disgust and fury.
There are 7 billion people in this world- and I’m only one of this large number; a simple girl who is striving to make a change in the global community and contribute to the global women’s empowerment movement. Making change is not easy- it’s a heavy responsibility, and downright overwhelming at times. So overwhelming it makes me want to run to the edge of a cliff and scream to the world “I JUST WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE!” From the top of that cliff, I’ll notice the rocks and trees and peaceful environment that surround me, and wonder why the earth is not peaceful at all. Why do humans in certain parts of the world not have their basic human rights? Why are people dying of starvation? Why are people flocking to refugee camps to survive? Why can’t everyone be as peaceful and harmonious as the environment that surrounds me atop that cliff?
Well, that’s a utopian world. And we don’t live in a utopian world. But we can damn well try to.
I can’t run to a cliff and scream as loud as I can in hopes of making change. Because no one will hear my voice. My only option is to turn to communities that can and WILL hear my voice. This is where World Pulse comes into play- it is an online community that provides the most powerful tool in creating change: a network of passionate people who listen, care, and most of all, take action.
I wish to see a world in which global decisions are not just left to top officials- but to everyone. A world where peace is more common than war, corruption is eradicated, and democracy flourishes. Most importantly, I wish to see a world in which women from all backgrounds and all walks of life have a voice, and that the abuse of women no longer continues.
I long to be a VOF Correspondent because it would contribute to fulfilling a life-long goal that I set for myself in grade 8: raise awareness and address issues in the community. I have chosen to make a change in the community by standing up to those who practice this abusive custom in the Arsi-Oromo culture. It’s challenging to work around that culture mentality and habit, and may even be threatening. Regardless, I wish to make a stand, but to do so greatly requires help and support. By being a VOF correspondent, I have the support of a Vision Mentor- a powerful and strong woman who listens, witnesses, acts as a nurturer and a catalyst: THIS is the avenue of change. Through this type of support, raising awareness and standing up to those who abuse Oromo women is actually POSSIBLE.
Being a VOF Correspondent would allow me to effectively be a part of the global women’s empowerment movement. It would honestly be a dream come true.
Thanks for the beautiful journey,
Journalist in the making