B1 Intermediate US 2717 Folder Collection
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Six years ago I was sitting in my car, parked outside a butcher's shop
when I saw an old woman, probably in her seventies
going through the feathers of a slaughtered chicken.
She took out the intestines, and other parts that we do not eat
put them in a plastic bag
got up slowly and left.
And that is when it hit me that she was looking for food to cook and take for her family.
I thought about that woman for days
and questions like, who does she cook it for?,
does she even have basic ingredients like salt?
maybe she cooked it for her grandchildren, kept going through my head.
What I had witnessed made me angry and sad at the same time.
Moreover it made me realize my greatest fear
which I will share with you after taking you all through two scenarios.
Scenario one:
You go grocery shopping and when you come back home
you tell your family that you bought everything for Rs. 8000
Now your help, whose salary is a mere Rs. 9000
overhears you and thinks
"My family of 6 people spend the entire month in the amount that they bought their groceries with?"
Scenario two:
You go to buy clothes for yourself
and on your way back home you call your friend in front of the driver
and tell her very excitedly, "You should go to ABCD store
They have an amazing sale, everything is so cheap.
I just bought a shirt for Rs. 12000
Now your driver, who is listening
thinks to himself
"I can't afford to buy my son a book worth a few hundred rupees
and she went and bought a shirt for Rs 12000 and is calling that cheap?"
As lame as it might sound, what goes on in the minds of the underprivileged
when they look at those from privileged backgrounds is my greatest fear.
Hopefully during this presentation you will feel that fear with me
The satisfaction that I get from my way of overcoming it
which is through volunteering
One of my first projects as a volunteer was with a Cameroonian non-profit
I worked for them as a grant writer and a fund raiser.
They asked my entire team to raise $100 each at a time when inflation was at its peak.
It was really difficult for me
to raise the amount, the money
and eventually in six months I was able to raise
With this money they plan on sending ten orphans to school.
$225 is a really small amount
but what it did to the lives of ten orphans is immeasurable
They were able to buy books, stationery and most importantly were able to go to school.
Back in 2010 I worked in an international project with the British Council
in which I taught English to children from under-privileged backgrounds.
One day in class I asked everyone to tell me what they wanted to be when they grew up.
One of the students raised her hand and told me that she wanted to join the police force and become an inspector.
This is a twelve-year-old girl who goes to a public school
Her father is a milkman in a dairy farm
but her dream is like that of any other child.
I only taught her English for six months and played a really small and short role in her life
but it makes me really happy that I did.
Currently I'm working on my favorite project by the name of "Ilm-Possible"
It is an action project which aims to create awareness about article 25A of the Pakistani constitution.
Now this article says that education is free and compulsory for every single child
in this country.
And the fun part which also happens to be my favorite part is
that if even a single child is out of school, the government can be held responsible.
Since I stand for education
I'm really excited to be a part of this project.
My journey as a volunteer has been wonderful, it's fun and adventuresome.
And along the way I've met
some great volunteers doing fantastic work to end poverty
like living on one pound for 5 days
to experience how it is to live below the poverty line.
Or teaching children from poor backgrounds before going to work themselves.
Moreover volunteering has helped me go beyond borders and form international linkages
by meeting amazing young people from all over the world, engaging in dialogues with them and breaking stereotypes.
A couple of years ago I was working as a volunteer councillor for a non-profit
I got to counsel this teenager
who was angry and frustrated at the state of the world
with the wars, poverty and the bad economy
She reminded me of myself as a teenager, who wanted to make the world a better place.
and had no idea how to except by arguing about the crisis that were close to me
It was not making any positive difference in the world
and neither was it changing anybody else's perspectives.
To feel what I feel about volunteerism I would like you all
to close your eyes and imagine with me
that this hall is the world and if everyone in here starts volunteering
at the grassroots level, we will be able to create an unimaginable impact
all over the world and my greatest fear would be conquered for once and for all.
Thank you.
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【TEDx】What Volunteering Taught Me: Hajira Khan at TEDxKinnaird

2717 Folder Collection
Sh, Gang (Aaron) published on August 11, 2016    Bruce Wang translated    Pei-Yu Wu reviewed
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