Showing posts from February, 2016

Marriage can wait, Dreams don't

By Shucheesmita Simonti, SAFIGI Volunteer

I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh. In 2011, I got ICCR scholarship to pursue higher studies in Pune University, India. 

Many people discouraged me from going abroad on my own because I am a girl. According to many, it is not a good idea for a young girl to go far away home while she is still unmarried. 

Such discriminatory remarks I have had to hear only because I am a girl. But I decided not to pay heed to them and went ahead to fulfill my dream and I must say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Leaving the comfort zone of one’s home and family teaches a person a lot. 
I learnt to fend for myself without calling my mom every now and then. Three years in Pune were transformative years of my life, as from a shy, introvert person I have gone on to volunteering in several youth festivals and conferences and even presented papers, anchored and took part in cultural programs. 
After graduating in commerce with first class, I moved t…

What didn't kill me, makes me stronger

By Marie Therese via UN Online Volunteering

I was, 15 almost 16 years old when for the first time of my life I was going to study in a boarding school in an environment and a country that was not my own. I was from Burkina Faso and would be studying at a boarding school in Paris, France.
I saw it as a new experience and an opportunity to make new friends. That was my belief until the day things started to take a different twist. At the time, which was 7 years ago; I was sharing a room with 3 other girls.  
We didn’t really get along because I believe that we did not even at that time view things the same way.  I have always been an authentic type of person. I always say what I believe in and what I think. Frankness I believe is a necessary quality most particularly in the world we live in today.
One day, that I was asleep I felt like I had been soaked with water. I woke up in pain and saw that my clothes were sodden. There was nail polish all over my hands and clothes. This seemed like a …

Bullying and Abuse At School Should End

By Muhkamat Anwar via UN Online Volunteering

Bullying exists in our society. Physical and psychologicalviolencevictimscan feel alienated by society, and can causea person to beunsocial.
Childrenandjuveniles are mostly the centerofbullyingbehavior. Unwittingly, the victimreallyfeels hurt. Thisismystory, and of course, it must havebeen experiencedby many children andjuvenileworldwide.
I am now21 years old working in my country in Asia. When I was inelementaryschool, Iexperiencedbullying, although it was not severein my opinion. By 6thgrade,Ionly hadtwofriends. My otherclassmatesdid notthink of me astheirfriend. This casestarted becauseIdid notwant to givemy homeworkto them. The ill treatment caused to me by myclassmates started atthe beginning ofthe first semester in grade6and went on until graduation.
My worst year was in ninth grade at junior highschool. Withoutany cause,Igot aharsh treatment such as beatingsusing alarge piece of paperorother objects in the class. I was insulted and this …

My clothes do not define who I am

By Debayani Panja, via UN Online Volunteering

While growing up in a metropolitan city, I had learnt the nuances to always dress up in style. I never wore anything too revealing and my choice of clothes never pricked my family’s eyes. 
This helped me to develop a carefree attitude to what people gossiped, about how I dressed. I never cared what people said, how they talked about me or the way they looked at me. I always made fun of it saying, “How would you know that you are looking good unless you are stared at?” 
Not changing the way I carried myself, was my way of being rebellious, it was my way of mocking at those who talked behind my back.
But there was a small incident which almost broke me. Two years ago I had joined an Islamic university at the heart of my city. Although the environment of the university wasn’t conservative, the students studying there believed themselves to be decent, cultured, upholders of Islamic conservatism and sophisticated.  
Not seeing a reason to change, I …