My story of unleashing the elephants

Esrat Eve
Posted April 27, 2015 from Bangladesh
Never stop dreaming!

My very own unique story of fighting against old beliefs started when I was only three years old. My mother wanted me to admit to the best schools of the town. Therefore, she was under the sun for four hours in a long line just to buy the admission form. Things were going pretty well; she even took me to the photo studio with my old pair of shoes for having photos for the admission. That day, I was very happy until I saw my mother crying in a corner. All the women of our community came to our house just to stop my mother to send me to that school. Why? The reason was very simple: combined education. They told my mother that I will elope with a boy if I went to that school and leave the whole community in unbearable shame! However, my mother sent me to that school and I kept fighting for me. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t elope with a boy (!). Instead of that I completed my graduation with an outstanding result and became the first graduate girl of my community.I always tell people that woman in developing country is like a circus elephant. What we see in the circus that how the mighty enormous elephant is leashed in a week chain without knowing about his power of crumbling the chain effortlessly. Likewise, our life without education is just like the circus elephant. It might be tough for some people of developed world to understand my statement because they take education for granted but in our culture we have to fight for our education.Anyways, I could have good a job in a Multi-national company after completing my graduation in Finance but I didn’t because something touched the core of my heart. One day on my way to university, I saw a very small girl about 3-4 years old selling candy on the road. A man kicked her very brutally because she was asking him to buy some candy! I was shocked & discovered that they are treated everywhere as street dogs. I felt very sorry because I have a niece of her age she is going to school, buying any toys she wants.

I found that this discrepancy is only because of the financial freedom and education. After that, I along with my friends started a small initiative at my university campus. We went into slums where the poorest children live and started to convince them to get the basic education from us. We failed again and again. We had to make great efforts to convince the children and their parents to allow us to educate them.Instead of going to school, these children work in dangerous and illegal environments just to afford food to survive. They have no education, so most have only the hard life of a sex worker for their future. After a heart and soul endeavor, we were able to convince six slum children to join us. We taught them essential skills for life: fundamental reading, writing and math as well as necessarily social and vocational skills to earn a living. In just four years, we have helped more than 250 children. To further meet their needs, we will begin by providing at least one meal a day. This is a top priority. Most of the students are girls. As I also believe in personal growth so I started applying for foreign programs besides my work Thus, I was selected last year by Watson University in USA as a scholar. I went to USA all by myself which was another epic story by itself. As girls are not allowed to travel alone in abroad so before my journey my relatives forced me to get married so that a man can take care of my security but again with their great disappointment I denied and said “I am strong enough to take care of myself. I don’t need any man to take care of my security”.

Moving to USA changed my life. I called it as my rebirth. I learned so many things and broke my old shell of low self-confidence. Within a month from an introvert shy girl of 24 years old I became an extrovert public speaker. At Watson University, with the help of my mentors I bloomed like a flower. It was the place where I first realized that I want to help as much girl for education as I can. As a result, I founded my own non–profit so that I can help more under-privileged children in my community after completing my semester at Watson University. Our goal is to empower 150 children in 2015 and 500 children by the end of 2016. I believe the best way of spreading peace in the world is by educating children. Therefore, I will keep fighting to educate underprivileged and street children till the last breath of my life.

Apart from that, I am a fun loving person!!! I love to travel and explore new places, tasting new food and making new friends. Well, I also love to dance and do some dancing when no one is around!

The Path to Participation Initiative from World Pulse and No Ceilings

Comments 12

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ruthibelle
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 28, 2015

What a story!! You are an inspiration to women everywhere. What is the name of your non-profit?

Blessings.

Esrat Eve
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

Dear Ruthibelle,

Thank you so much for the kind words. The name of my non-profit is AMAL- AUTHENTIC METHOD of ALTERNATIVE LEARNING.

Here is the link-https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMAL/1555706408004746?fref=ts

Keep in touch, dear as I have more fascinating story to share.Take care.

Keep in touch, my email address is - eve.karim@watsonuniversity.org.

hugs,

eve

libudsuroy
Apr 28, 2015
Apr 28, 2015

What amazing life journeys you have undertaken! A free elephant unfreeing hundreds and thousands of younger elephants. Good luck and may you continue to do your benevolent work of enabling children to get an education. 

Esrat Eve
Apr 29, 2015
Apr 29, 2015

Dear Libudsuroy,

Thank you so much :) You are amazing! Thanks for the inspiration.

Here is the link of my organization-https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMAL/1555706408004746?fref=ts

Keep in touch, dear as I have more fascinating story to share.Take care.

Keep in touch, my email address is - eve.karim@watsonuniversity.org.

love and hugs,

eve

vrclark
Apr 30, 2015
Apr 30, 2015

Esrat!!  Truly, a powerful, EMPOWERING, story of compassion, courage and fortitude to follow your own dreams, belief in yourself, and to make the difference in others lives!  What a story!  It makes us wonder where do we get the strength and ability to confront fear and being unsure of our own futures!  Taking steps forward regardless, then returning to build bridges for others to cross.  Splendid path you've chosen, Esrat... and appreciation goes out to your mother who in the face of her own community chose for what she believed would be best for her daughter. Then you broke all cultural tradition and flew to the US alone!  Very amazing and impressive, Esrat.  And now, you continue on with your non-profit to reach and empower under-privileged children. You have a shining light, Esrat, the world benefits from your care and generosity in choosing to share it and extend it out in order to make such a difference to so many others.

I have to smile, as when I read your father said you needed to marry to have a man protect your security and  you said no, I don't need a man for that!  In the US, I'm not sure if you ever read or heard of this bumper sticker... but it comes to mind and is one of my favorites!   "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle"

I hope this gave you a smile.

Keep on your path!!  You are a force of good will!  Much continued success with the children!

Esrat Eve
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Dear  Veronica,

wow! I felt so enthusiastic after reading your kind inspiring note. Take warm gratitude from me and my mother.  

I really liked the statement-"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" and I am going to use that in my social media accounts :D

If you don't have any problem then I would love to connect with you more. Here is my Facebook Id-https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008883992070 , My twitter-Esrateve  , My non-profit-https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMAL/1555706408004746?fref=ts

Thank you again. take care :)

Pouring lots of love and light,

Fatima Waziri - Azi
May 01, 2015
May 01, 2015

Wow Esrat! That is resilience right there! Oh! You mother, God bless her for wanting the best for you. Life is all about opportunities. Sometimes we let opportunities pass us by, just like that but not you, you did what you needed to do so that you could do what you want to do; you worked hard in school, remained focused and was very resourceful because of that you were selected for the Watson program and now you can help hundreds and thousands of girls.

Keep up the good work, remain focused and undaunted.

Esrat Eve
May 02, 2015
May 02, 2015

Hey Fatima,

Thank you for the kind words and appreciation. Keep inspiring me, my dear.

If you don't have any problem then I would love to connect with you more. Here is my Facebook Id-https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008883992070 , My twitter-Esrateve  , My non-profit-https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMAL/1555706408004746?fref=ts

Sending you lots of sister love and hugs,

Esrat

Olivia
May 03, 2015
May 03, 2015

Hi Esrat,

Thank you for sharing your story and WOW that is so inspiring. 

As Nelson Mandela once said "Education is the most powerful sword to eradicate powerty" and it applies to both woman and man. Gender should not be used to segreate education level.

Just like you, I also came from small town where the community perceives that man is more important than woman and that women could not protect themselves alone. Yet my mom is a strong person that always encourage me to do everything that people think I could not. I think it is also important for us to prove to the world that women are so powerful beyond what people perceive they are. 

Keep up the good work of inspiring young women.

Cheers,

Olivia

amymorros
May 03, 2015
May 03, 2015

Thank you for sharing your story and your drive to keep helping people. You have been through a lot and your determination is wonderful. I wish that women did not need to go through so much effort to prove that they are worthy and that they can do as much (or more) as men. 

I wish you continued success in your work at Watson University and your non-profit. So many people choose only to focus on themselves and not help others. The ones that do not choose that selfish path, like you, are so worthy of praise and admiration. 

Esrat Eve
May 07, 2015
May 07, 2015

Dear Amy,

Thank you so much for such kind words. Sending you so much gratitude and blessings for the motivation. Keep in touch <3

 I will never give up on my dreams, promise  :)

You can follow my work here-https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMAL/1555706408004746?notif_t=page_new_likes

Love and hugs,

eve

Tina van Leuven
May 09, 2015
May 09, 2015

Dear Esrat, what a fabulously inspiring story of courage, perseverance and following the calling of your soul, despite the resistance. I bet you're an inspiration to the women in your home country, even if they might not publicly declare so! And by you staying true to yourself, you're now inspiring many around the world. Keep on shining your brilliant light and I wish you all the best with your projects. I'll go to your FB page now. joyful blessings, Tina