Twenty years ago, a civil war began in Somalia. Eight months ago, I did something to help. My name is Danya, and I am a student a Memorial Composite High school. My eyes were opened to the particular monstrosity occurring in Eastern Africa when my teachers’ Amanda Olsen, Leanne Traverse, and Haley Larsen came back from a conference. Amanda Lindhout, the founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation, and survivor of one of the lengthiest kidnappings in Canadian History, spoke at this conference.
Advocating compassion and forgiveness, she has taught me more than any book or board, and she will always be my idol. In part, the name we gave to the group that has been fundraising for the Global Enrichment Foundation shows the understanding of how Amanda felt while in captivity and of how all of Somalia is being repressed.
LIVE FREE raised $36 000 in six working months. Within this experience, I have learned responsibility, dedication, public relations, leadership, and most importantly, compassion. Because of us, six Somali women will be chosen to attend university under scholarships from the Global Enrichment Foundation. Their stories are incredible and terrible, but because of our efforts, there may be a happy ending.
The most important lesson is that one person can make a difference; in fact, they often make the most difference in the world. Realize that you hold someone’s destiny in your hands, for you can shape their world, and it does not take much.
My name is Danya. I’m a grade 12 student at Memorial Composite High School and I enjoy horseback riding, skiing, and leadership opportunities.