In Feb 2017, I set out on a trip to Sri Lanka to find my answers. After an intense one year of Masters in Social Entrepreneurship, it was emotionally overwhelming for me to picture my purpose, burning with a restless soul I wanted to find my place in the world. To explore what my heart connects with? way of giving back? the cause that I can take responsibility of and make it the reason for my existence.
UNDP – AIESEC facilitated voluntouring, training, travelling and hopping around Sri Lanka to schools, churches and village centres. I chose sustainable development goal 5 to teach the locals and create awareness about gender bias related affects ; if possible convince them to break out of the social stigma they are told to live with. It’s true, that by giving back to the community, things begin to settle down for an other start of what I call my independent introduction to social action !
Sri Lanka is a long long story for a single shot. Hence, I breakdown down my moments of Impact and share about my uniquely special expiriences. Here is one such story from Sri Lanka of a boy who wrote a letter to me after I gave the session on Gender Equality at school, for the 6 th grade. He was shy to speak out. Yes, even strong boys can be shy to speak up. I call him strong because of what he wrote in the letter. Below attached is the image of the letter from the boy.
What did you feel after reading his letter ? That it is a common teenage ritual which I am exageratting? Instead, lets look at the other side of the most common.
- The young boy took the initiative to write down his problem. He cares, thus, he is strong.
- He is feeling scared of being supportive to his female friend.
- At such a young age he is worried about society making up stories. Who is the society? What are we ignoring while providing education? Peer pressure is unavoidable, but societal pressure for a kid ?
- He is thinking about his friend’s trouble, dealing with his reputation, confused about right and wrong, holding back to speak up because he knows he might be isolated further and still able to balance himself.
- He did not stop helping his friend. He is perseverant and is ready to think about a sustainable solution.
- I answered him to do the right thing confidently and share with trusted elders about the situation in detail without being scared like how he came up to me.
Society means nobody if we don’t account ourselves into it. Children are continuously learning from surroundings. His letter showed me how it feels to reach your first milestone in life. But there are millions of children confused in the context of contaminating gender inequality.
Hope his letter gives you something valueble too that inspires you to act.Sahithi Divi
Written by Sahithi Divi ( source : http://www.impactscientist.com)( Feautured image of boy : pexels.com)