Quite often, while working on a blog, I just realize how priviledged I am. To have a partner providing for my livelihood (pursuing her career in teaching) and allowing me to run a social enterprise. The theme of todays human rights day is My Voice Counts. Currently 'Exercising my rights' I just realize how many are underpriviledged in this regard. Though having the right, they have no means to exercise them.
This motivates me to speak on behalf of so many brave people I have come accross in my career. Today I was even reminded of one of them, a strong Ethiopian lady named Alem, who served us in our household while living abroad. Alem currently works for an American famil as I learned, and is still dreaming of her own bakery. I lost contact but gladly gained her mobile phone from a former colleague who revisited Ethiopia a couple of weeks ago. While I chip every morning some flour and oil in our bread making machine, I never realized that for Alem it would have provided the business case that could excessively improve her life.
Having rights and exercising them is all that makes the difference. However, in the end it is not only about her claiming her rights, but also about me acknowledging her rights and stepping in and support her claim. This way we can help each other realizing our dreams and contribute to real empowerment. Now it is up to me to get in touch. At the same time I realize it is still up to her to express her dream and start living it.
My name is Reinier van Hoffen, founder of URAIDE.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.