Change through Empowerment

Chinyere Aniagoh - Ecuador


April 7, 2013

My cohort and I, on arrival believed we could change Ecuador. We believed that if our communities didn’t have a clean water system we would be the ones to implement one or if there was an out break of Malaria we could get vaccines to everyone in our communities. These things are possible but we under estimated just how hard change and development is. Large scale change is great but we had to be proud of small accomplishments as well. The reality is that change is slow. I had to learn that by simply getting my host sister to understand that her long brown hair and dark brown eyes where beautiful is success, that blue eyes and blond hair where not the uncial way to be considered beautiful. I constantly told her she was beautiful and made her aware of the magazines, movies and commercials that sell a Euro-centric standard of beauty. This didn’t seem like much to me, but one day I over heard a conversation she had with her younger sister. Explaining to her that she was beautiful, it was then that I realized how powerful what I had done was. Not only can she tell her little sister, but one day she can tell her children. Who can tell there children all how beautiful and worthy they are, and maybe starting a whole new cycle of self love and self empowerment. Learn that they too have a voice and that they can cut the cycle of poverty and take part in changing their countries future. This concept reaches far but isn’t this the type of change we need for the future. We must start somewhere so why not with one Ecuadorian girl understanding her self worth. By teaching self empowerment, worth and love, I affirmed it about myself, excepting that I can make just as much change in the world as anyone, but first I had improve myself. I’ve learned how to take and process constructive criticisms, I’ve learn humility and I’m aware and except my own flaws because no ones perfect, but will never stop trying to improve. This experience has thought me how to be a good leader by teaching me how to be a member. That vulnerability isn’t bad and that sometimes not having the answer is the right answer, because whats a life but a learning experience.

Chinyere Aniagoh