THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW
ATHENA & TELEMACHUS ALUMNI
Khadija is from Kenya. Despite achieving good education, she finds it hard to find answers and motivation on how or what exactly she can do to make a positive change in development in the society that she lives in through policy making. She is currently volunteering at a non-profit organization for Dialog hoping to achieve inter-cultural and inter-faith peace. Her GTF Mentor is Hakan Altinay.
"Our World Currently Is A Pyramid with Resources Unequally Distributed."
Q: Tell us a few things about your country, and also your life's story!
Kenya is a beautiful country. Kenya is home. My country attracts many visitors with its cool weather, green and diverse landscape. Growing up in Kenya has been a roller-coaster however, with times of peace and times of violence, times of tourism influx and times of travel advisories. This has given me mixed feelings, I love my country but sometimes it makes me sad. I was born in Mombasa and I grew up in Nairobi, our community was a diverse one with people from many different tribes and ethnicities. I attended Indian schools and learned both Islamic and Christian Religious Education and I have grown to appreciate our differences and live in harmony with others. That is why it confuses me when I see all this violence on tribal and religious grounds. I am not someone who always knew what I wanted to be. Or maybe I wanted to be many things; a Psychiatrist, a space lawyer or a pilot, but I ended up in International Affairs and there are no regrets. I studied in Izmir, Turkey with students from over 50 countries. Being surrounded by students of other nationalities fueled my desire to further my knowledge and experience in the International Relations field. I would like to pursue a career that allows me to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and conflict between people and nations in the form of diplomacy and I hope that with it I will make a difference in the world.
Q: What is your view of the world as it is today? And how do you define the concept of a better world?
Our world right now is not a sphere. It is a pyramid with resources unequally distributed. However we have a bunch of great people in the world working to soften the edges and return the world to its natural shape; without crises, without blood shed and with equal distribution of resources.
Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society?
Other than underdevelopment and poverty, there are not enough institutions in Kenya with high quality education. Students have to travel abroad to get a good education and often do not return. This causes brain drain. Or even for those who return, there is underemployment. These are the challenges that face me directly. The challenges that I face indirectly are corruption and graft in our government, they hold our country back from development by many years!
Q: As a young individual what are a few of the hurdles that you had to overcome up until today?
In Kenya the salaries do not match our standard of living. The biggest hurdle I have had to overcome was paying for my Education. However, I managed through a Family Trust and it has taught me the importance of giving back or simply giving, to our families, our communities, our society, our nation and our world.
Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you?
I believe a mentor will help me view the world in a different perspective. I also think someone with experience will help me understand why ground differs from theory, what works and what doesn't. This way, I should be able to discover what way to go about in my career choice.
Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share?
To give. Because when you give, life becomes worth living. You can live for the smile you put on someones face, the hope you gave them or the pain you took from them, you can never run out of reasons. People who give are happy people.
Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people's lives!
Arise Child Development Organisation - takes care of orphaned or poor children through education, feeding programmes, social activities and sports in Kenya
Q: Share with us a phrase, a poem or a story that you love or you find interesting!
"To those who care with compassionate hearts, life is beautiful beyond measures."