This assignment is supposed to be a personal testimony on my vision for improving the lives of girls in my community, but really what is my community ? Is my community where I live or the place that I call home? All two are such different places but yet all still part of me and define what I think and what I stand for. So what i have decided to do is write my vision in the two communities that are part of my life.
As I have mentioned before I am from Mexico City, my father is a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer, my mother is a business owner. As a child my family always told me that the most important inheritance that one can receive in life is education, my parents always made a great effort to send their children to best schools and to provide us with the best education they could. Traveling with my father was both a treat and also a lesson, when we travel we had to know what states we had been to, their capitals and what each state was famous. We had to taste the local food and know the history of each of place. In other words he gave us a history, geography and culture lesson on each trip. As I grew up I understood that he was also teaching us to discover the world and the great things that are out there, he was teaching us to be curious and aware, we always encourage us to ask questions and helps us discover answers. I was lucky !
I attended a catholic school for girls in Mexico city and part of our community service was to travel during Holy week to impoverished areas in the northern part of mexico and help them with the celebrations of Holy week. I did this community service 4 years in a row and it was an experience that changed my life forever. I had the opportunity to meet great women that took care of their families while their husband where in the United States as undocumented workers. I heard stories about many of them getting killed crossing the border. There was a lack of many things including running water and heating, but what caught my attention where the empty schools. I asked why the school was empty if there were so many children in town, there were no teachers. Nobody wanted to travel there and teach 10 or 15 children specially because they all belonged to different levels. The mothers did not have enough money to take their children to the bigger towns every day and take the kids to school. It was a tragedy. My school continues to do this community service and now it includes more that just helping them with the celebrations, we now help them by bringing in workshops where not only children but also women and men can attend. The workshops are on reading, hygiene, health, how to avoid violence in the home, etc..
It breaks my heart to watch the news and see what is happening in mexico right now and I definitely think that the main problem is the lack of education, ignorance is what is keeping us in the dark and the only way that we will see the light is by educating our people.
On the other hand I live in china, a communist country where education is available to all. Of course education here is what the government wants you to learn and you learn just that. I work at a school with 25 Chinese women they all have bachelors degrees, most of them speak English and play at least one instrument. in most countries we would consider that a very educated person. But what is knowledge is it memorizing a bunch of books? Is it memorizing music? What is their challenge? they have a really big challenge ! There is no individuals here. They have never been taught to challenge or question. Their creativity has not been developed and they do not own their voice. What are we if we do not speak our mind and we just receive information without questioning?
Can I improve their lives ? I believe I can ! I believe I do it every day by being a woman with an opinion and a mind of her own. Letting them know that it is OK to ask questions, to have an opinion and to make mistakes !
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Girls Transform the World 2013.