Hope is a choice in these trying times. I find hope in every seed that grows to bloom into a mature plant that can produce a stalk, stem or fruit with seeds that can be planted again. I find hope in farmers who continue to till the soil even with the changing of the seasons because theirs is a faith unwavering that nature will nourish them.
I find hope in young people who decide to speak up on the reality of climate change, issues that adult decision makers and powerful politicians avoid. I found more hope when hundreds of girls and boys went out of their homes and classrooms to protest against the insensitivity and inaction of governments on climate emergency.
I find hope in every woman who stands with other women to claim their safe spaces, to earn a decent income, to change unjust laws or seek a political position. I find hope in every man who speak up against violence against women and to stop all forms of discrimination against women.
I find hope in grassroots community leaders, both women and men, who, despite their limited financial capabilities, tirelessly articulate the needs and aspirations and seek support for projects that will benefit their members and communities.
I find hope in volunteers, young and old who unselfishly devote their time in rescue and relief operations and those who share their blessings to victims of calamities and disasters.
I find hope in human rights defenders and activists who courageously speak truth to power risking their lives and liberty and to journalists who continue to hold the line against authoritarian governments.
And recently, I found hope in the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the law authorizing the US government which applies globally to sanction those who it sees as human rights abusers, kleptocrats and corrupt actors by freezing their assets under US jurisdiction and banning them from entering the United States. I hope that with the passage of similar Magnitsky Act in Estonia, United Kingdom, Lithuania and Latvia and those under legislation in the European Union and Australia, this will tame the greed of corrupt government officials who abuse their power to silence human rights activists and steal government resources to enrich their families and perpetuate themselves in power.
And finally, I find hope and courage from the stories and work of our World Pulse sisters from all over the world so that my little girls, Angelee and Maria Juanna and all other children, will thrive in a free, safe and compassionate world.