A BEACON OF HOPE
“…that past does not equal your future...”
That is a quote taken from one of the most sought after author and philanthropist of our time, Tony Robbins.
There is a possibility that you woke up today feeling like your life is a big rollercoaster ride or that things couldn’t get any worse than they already are. Life can be challenging at time; it can seem like you are moving from one trail to the other and at times you may find yourself asking why, why me?
Why you? Why not someone else. But who? If not you, then who?
Trials are there to make us stronger, to develop and to help us grow into that person people can draw inspiration from. Trials are there to serve as a testimony to others who will walk the same path as you. You can take your trails and turn them into an opportunity to serve other in ways you never imagined or you could mope around and cry about it. But remember, if you choose the latter, you will cry alone.
Fadumo Dayib was born in a catholic-run hospital in Thika, a refugee camp in Kenya, because her parents where refugees from Somalia. This baby girl managed to survive and her mother gave her the middle name Deeqo, which means "sufficient". She deeply believed that if her daughter could live, then she's sufficient, she's enough and she wouldn't need other children.
In 1989, Kenya began the "forceful" deportation of some 2,000 ethnic Somalis and Somali nationals living in Kenya - and Dayib's family was sent back to Somalia. In the early 1990s, a war broke out in Somalia, Dayib's mother had to sell everything she had in order to get her three children to safety. Her parents stayed behind because the money wasn't enough. Dayid was not from a well-off family so all they could muster was a visa and tickets to Bucharest, Romania. Now responsible for her two younger siblings, Dayib boarded one of the last flights from Mogadishu. She arrived in Finland with only 5 years of formal schooling and seeking an asylum.
Today Dayib is the first Somali female refugee to study for two master's degrees in Finland - as well as a third one from Harvard - before gaining employment as a critical nurse in a university hospital and going on to work for the United Nations including several years in Somalia.
More recently, she also became the first to gain admission to a doctoral programme in Finland, for which she is currently doing her PhD on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Peace, Women and Security) on top of her work in the private sector where she designs employment schemes for refugees and migrants.
But she is more than her academic achievements. She is a beacon of hope to many, a role model of hard work, a light to a nation that has been in a civil war for years.
After reading her story, one can’t help but feel that, there is no situation that you can’t come out of. If you woke up feeling like you just want to give up, know that if this woman could survive the environment she was born into, managed to get her first education at age 17 in a foreign country, so can you. Please know that you have all the strength you need to hold on just a little longer, you can make it and you will make it. Your trials will be a testimony to many. Your life will serve as a beacon of hope to other and they too will know that they can survive whatever life gives to them.
Dayib story doesn’t end with all the academic achievements she receive, but it continues to show how her trails have motivated her to become a force to be reckoned with.
In 2014, Dayib became the first woman to run for president in Somalia. In an interview she recently did, she said: "I believe my life is a vocational calling, there must be a reason why I survived when 11 others didn't," she continued to say that "My only goal is not to be the Somali president - but my ultimate goal is for us to have social change inside the country. I want to tackle harmful tradition practices (such as genital mutilation), to tackle a perception of cultural vice - the gender rights. I also want to challenge this interpretation of the Koran, the religion and say: 'No, this is not correct."
She is using her gained knowledge to serve others and to give them a hope that they had given up on.
Nothing or no situation is too hard, too deep, too complicated or ever too painful to come out of. You can do it! Just believe you can and surely you will. Yes, today things might look depressing, painful, demotivating, or even hopeless, but tomorrow they are sure to get better.
You have the power within you to create the life you dream of everyday. You have the abilities to change your situation from whatever it might be to whatever you would like it to be. You, my friends, have the divinity within you and because it is so great, wonderful things are coming your way. Just believe.