Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate not only being a woman but womanhood as a whole, honouring the many amazing, unique and incredible things that women have done and continue to do, the world over. I’m thrilled to present this guest post in honour of the day by a young woman called Alicia Hill who wished to share her special experience of volunteering in the community and how it is making a big impact on a special girls life. Read on to learn more about Alicia’s work with her young friend India.
Lots of people grow up wondering how they will make a difference or do something that really counts. I was one of those people. The obvious answer would have been to choose a profession that has an impact everyday like a nurse or doctor, but for me, that was not my calling. I pondered for years before the answer literally fell in my lap. A couple of years ago a colleague and I were talking and she told me how she had recently become a ‘Big Sister.’ I was instantly intrigued.
I immediately investigated the NIVEA SISTER2sister program and found it was a 12-month mentoring program for teenage girls at risk of abuse or neglect. It provides girls with professional and positive female role models (Big Sisters) to inspire and motivate them. It was a couple of years before my timetable and circumstances eventually permitted the commitment but I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, and whatever those circumstances were, things didn’t happen for me until 2011 but after then, I have never looked back.
I was introduced to India, 12, one of the youngest girls in the program. She was not however short on strength and determination! One of my proudest moments throughout the past year was seeing her demonstration on a trapeze day. India has a fear of heights and if you are not familiar with trapezeing, you actually have to climb a ladder to about 20 to get up to the platform, which is no easy task, and even harder when you have a fear of heights. India with her strong determination continued to try and get up that ladder six or seven times throughout the day. It didn’t matter that she didn’t get up in the end, because the journey for her was the highlight. The Little Sisters are all different and that is why NIVEA SISTER2sister program is so amazing, because it presents to the girls these types of opportunities that allow them to grow and be challenged in ways they never thought possible.
India is in a unique position as she began the program half way through last year and given her young age and circumstance she will continue with the program over 2012. I will again be India’s Big Sister this year and I am very much looking forward to watching her grow even more so over the next 12 months. Typically your relationship with your Little Sister can be whatever you want it to be and I see India being a part of my life for quite some time.
I encourage those of you that want to be inspired and be inspirational to become a Big Sister. You can find out how you can get involved at www.lifechangingexperiences.org
Thank you Alicia and India. It’s amazing women and girls like yourselves who are out there giving, living and making the most of their lives who truly help to make the world a better place. Cliche? Not in my book! True change and inspiration begins with me and you and us. I truly believe that. We can have grandiose plans to want to change the world (and why not?!) but that change to be truly meaningful and lasting must start from a persons heart and involve them looking at ways they can be a better person. As a growing and evolving work of art then outer change can happen.
I would love to know what you are working on changing and growing within yourself right now beautiful you. Leave me a comment.