NEON MOON'S WOMEN WEDNESDAY
We love how women are changing the world and making an impact to their home countries that we're talking all things awesome and new every Wednesday!
(Mustafa Quraishi / Malala Fund)
After a long, dangerous walk to school led many girls in her village to drop out of school, 21-year-old Zainab decided that things had to change. When she became the first girl in Chandora, her remote village in northern India, to graduate from high school and college, the chief minister of her province presented her with an award for her academic achievements. She turned it down, telling him: “Build a school near my village instead." Today, thanks to Zainab, the new secondary school is under construction. And, her example is already inspiring more girls to pursue their educations and their families to support their decisions: “Twelve girls have completed their class 12 so far, while 16 are in class 10,” says Zainab’s former teacher, Waeed Khan. “And all the credit goes to her.” Today, Zainab, who is currently completing a master's degree, is proud that the new school will allow many more girls to pursue their own dreams. “Girls can do anything,” she asserts. “They will earn more money, support our economy and there will be more jobs... If a girl is educated, then our nation will progress."
(Sam Lane Photography)
One year ago, 13-year-old Amineh Abou Kerech didn't speak English but recently the young Syrian refugee won a prestigious British award for young poets! Amineh's poem, "Lament for Syria," won the 2017 Betjeman Poetry Prize, the grand prize for a poetry competition focused on providing “a platform for new voices from the next generation." After living with her family in Egypt for four years, Amineh moved to Oxford, England with her family last year. She says that writing poetry helps her process her sense of loss and dislocation: “When I remember my Syria I feel so sad and I cry and start writing about her,” Amineh explains. “I take words from anywhere. I take them from songs and films, from what I see on the computer or the television. And I put them all together.” This year’s judges for the prize say that Amineh’s entry stood out among over 2,000 poems submitted. When Amineh heard the announcement that she had won the prize, she was overwhelmed with emotion. And, while she still hold hopes for her birth country, she says she is grateful for the opportunities her new home provides. “I feel so happy here because I have a future and things won’t be scary any more,” she says. “Everything will be good and we will always be in peace.”
In 2012, Proscovia Alengot Oromait made history by becoming the youngest individual in Africa, and globally, to be elected as a Member of Parliament. At only 19, Alengot won the Usuk County with 54.2% of the vote. She came into the limelight after the untimely death of her father, Michael Oromait, whose sudden death triggered a by-election. Keen on fulfilling her dad’s dreams for her to become a politician, Proscovia submerged herself in politics. Oromait was born in 1993 in Katakwi District, and was the second born in a family of ten children. In 2013, Oromait was honoured by Forbes. In fact, she was among the Top 20 Young Power Women in Africa. She admits her father was a major influence in encouraging her to take interest in politics, as he praised her for being talkative and educated. Alengot won her seat under the ruling party’s National Resistance Movement. At the time she became an MP, she had finished high school and was waiting to join the university. She later joined Christian University in Mukono, where she studies Mass Communication while balancing her legislator work load. That’s some hard-core time management skills we wish we had!
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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