Good bye Dear Sister

My heart broke today. It’s probably the gazillionth time it has done so. Each time it’s a new cut, each time the pain is different.
I met my old school nun, she is 94. I was lucky to meet her, or maybe I wasn’t… it would have spared me this fresh wound; nevertheless, I met her, albeit briefly. The sisters came down from Murree and were enroute to Toba Tek Singh. The half hour window in between was what I got. Mother Andrew lives mostly in the past, luckily she recognised me, said “ah Amber, I have missed you”… but then was talking to the Amber I was more than … continue

Breaking the vicious circle

I was born in a slum area of Mumbai. I can’t remember having a best friend and till I was 12, I did not really know what a birthday celebration was. My dream was to finish school but the odds were not in my favor. In my slum area, there is no supportive environment for girls’ education. No one to inspire or guide us. So most of us drop out. I was no exception.
In 10th grade I failed my exams and had to quit school. My failure was taken as an evidence that girls should not be educated. I had no choice but so start working in order to … continue

Sister to Sister

I was born and lived my early years in a rural set up before moving to the city. I was lucky enough to study and work. Most of my classmates dropped out of school, got married and never had a real chance to reach their potential. Some of them, like my cousin who was more like a twin sister to me, were succumbing due to reproductive health and rights gaps that women from low-income families have. 
People talk a lot about The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) these days, which shall provide a better life to everyone. But they don’t mean the same thing for everyone. When we talk about the … continue

Trust and Solidarity

When I arrived in Barcelona in 1999, in search for opportunities I could not find in my native Senegal, I was lonely and poor. But also resourceful and creative. I started thinking about how I could remedy the situation. And I remembered a model my mother and aunts used to be involved in Senegal. It was an informal savings model called a “tontine”. A tontine is set up by a group of people who pool money that is then handed out, in turns, to its members. For example, a group of 8 people will, at the first meeting, all put in Euro 100. One member is then nominated to receive continue