For some of you building a webpage is probably a month’s work or for some even a week. But for me it took almost 12 years to build a functional webpage that can communicate with the world. You all must be curious why it took me so long.
First of all I’m a small 5ft 4 brown woman from one of the poorest countries in this world which contributes big time on my development My society is designed to oppress people and produce almost free labor to fulfil world consumerism. Also my community is setup to teach and train girls from a very early age to not speak up for herself. So even if we have small ideas to change our own life we must keep it inside because if we express it out into the world people will shame me, my parents and eventually the community I'm from.
I felt like there was a massive iron gate all around me, that I could never climb. My wings were cut off and I just needed someone to come and rescue me, it’s an awful feeling when I feel stuck and not able to find my voice. I was angry and sad but only one thing could rescue me, my compassion for the world. I started to forgive everyone one by one. I learned how to plant a seed in my heart to have patience and love for everyone good or bad. But the fear that was planted in me was so powerful that many times I felt I couldn’t do anything.
My society from a very early age gave me many warnings that if I speak up most likely I will be killed as were my aunts. I feared for my life my family life. So all I had was to wait and wait for right moment to take one small step at a time. Those baby steps feel a long journey when I had no role model in my community that I could look up-to, everywhere I looked I saw everyone doing the same thing - being forced into marriage, having so many babies and dying by the age of 40-50.
I had only two choices, either be like everyone or I speak up. Speaking up is very hard one, it challenges you from every aspect of life, so many fears shows up. In this process I came to understand it’s not just my community or my country restricting me with my vision but actually the world system is setup to keep marginalized people always marginalized, and not give them any opportunity to learn and grow.
After years of hard work taking one step at a time we made it this far. I will never forget where I have come from and my mission to bring change to the community which has been out of balance for thousands of years. Please join me as we grow, we will be continually making changes on our page and there are still so many content needs to be filled out. Please stay updated. www.localwomenshandicrafts.com
Thank you Maëlle André for your huge support.