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Episode 28

Empowering Women Around the World

Tita, Azeb & Aleja, AGCI Partners in Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Colombia

You’re listening to together by AGCI. I’m Dayn Arnold, and I’m Melissa Rush. It’s women’s history month at AGCI. We’re so fortunate to work with so many incredible women who have dedicated their lives to serving children and families all around the world. We wanted to take a minute to chat with three of the women we work with who are changing lives on the ground in Guatemala, Ethiopia and Colombia. First guest is Tita founder and director of Vidas Plenas in Guatemala, which is an organization AGCI partners with to serve children and families and La Limonada, one of Guatemala city’s poorest and most violent neighborhoods. I would love for you to just tell us a little bit about, you know, what makes you, you outside of the work that you do? Okay. Uh, what makes me be me is the life that I have lived my experiences and putting all of them, everything in God’s hands and I’m mom, I am the result of what can God do with, uh, Sharon Sharon life? You know, I’m sure this is different for everybody, but from your perspective, what is the biggest challenge that, um, girls and women face in your community? Mostly they are seen as something that they, that people use and, um, women are not value it and not much expected for them, but they are an amazing hard workers. They ha they, some of them have, uh, an amazing leadership. So when you say there’s a lack of opportunity, can you talk a little bit more about what that means? Like what opportunities are available maybe to men, but not to women? Well, it’s hard to, to tell in this community and specifically community where we work at wizards, um, the lack of opportunities for both of them, but if you’re only talking about women, because the, this scholarship level is so low, that they don’t have the chance to work and have a good job. And some people from that community are not very welcomed in other jobs, it’s a red zone. So if you hit, you get your address and you’re from there, you’re not going to get the job. Oh, wow. It’s hard. It’s hard for them, but it’s amazing how much they fight to keep on going and face the life that they are having. Wow. That’s kind of hard too. I’m sure that happens in lots of different places, but it just seems, I mean, how can you, you know, make progress or, or change your current circumstance, if you won’t even be employed based on your address, that’s extremely unfair. So can you talk a little bit about how you are kind of helping change that and empowering girls and women in your work for AGCI in their childhood? When they are little children to preteen years, we teach them Bible values and they value in Christ when they go through the academies, that’s our goal. And they are also teaching, there are the academies. We also teach them about sexuality from a healthy, godly perspective and how to preserve, prevent abuse. So they can have a voice stand up and say no, and then tell a trusted adult about what they are going through to have a very good advice and to help them to be empowered solution. Yeah. So that, I mean, that’s such a important thing, right? To like, feel like you have a voice and you have, the people will listen, right. If you say, you know, this is happening to me, or I don’t want this, that people will take you seriously. Do, is that something that you see a lot that that’s not the case that people don’t take? Yeah. Um, I’m going to give you one example. There was a, this teenager and she was sexual abuse by her costing and the family were aware about what happened. And they said, you don’t say anything. What happened? Familia, stay in the family. And, um, you see a lot of places like that, but with the academies were giving a boys to the teenager or the kid and they have a healthy Christian advices and, um, and they are empowered and they can be away from their abuser. Yeah. It sounds like, you know, for families, maybe that those kinds of situations are, there’s a lot of shame associated with that. And it, they’re kind of told to just live with it and not, you know, cause make waves or cause problems. Even though obviously if something like that happens to you, it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to cause it, um, and so I think it’s really great that you’re, you’re helping teach kids and young adults that, you know, they have a voice and they’re valued and, um, there’ll be believed and listened to. Yeah. And then that there is a God that cares intent have intimacy with you, um, that when they attend the program at the academies, um, they have access to psychologists attention when they need it and receive good, godly advices, always centered in Christ. And we also work with the families with the mother and grandmother empower them by giving them God good, godly advice on how they have to raise the children. And when they get to their teen years, we support them with their education so they can get secondary education because most of them, if they don’t have a nice and support will not with only finish elementary education locally, because some of them not even that, but we are able to offer their opportunity to have secondary education through support them, um, an advocacy of organizations like a G C I and have partner with us like other organizations too. So for kids who only, you know, are able to complete their elementary school level education, like what are the options for them? What, what are the outcomes that you typically see if they’re not able to, to get, um, additional education, they just don’t finish their education. And they don’t have, that is another thing that why they don’t get a good job because they don’t have, they have the address in a restaurant and they don’t have that education that they need. It’s an iffy, if you work in my, in my toenails and they know that you’re studying, they, they will give you the job. Yeah. That’s one of the options that they have. Yeah. So education is just so important, especially if, like you said, you’re living in a red zone, um, you, without that you, your options are pretty limited. Well, that just shows how important the work you’re doing is yes, it is important. We’re very thankful with ACCE, uh, helping us. So can you just specific to your own life then tell me about some of the challenges that, that you have faced in your work. Well, I’m almost 27 years ago at the beginning, they asked me that a lot of people asked me why it was not a man who was in charge of the mission, but it was a woman. And I answering them when there is a man who commit to do what I do. I can stand aside, but will not wait for a man to get up and to do what I know it must be done. Now I love that. That’s yeah, you’re just, you’re doing, I mean, it’s a hard, it’s a hard path, right? It’s not, it’s not easy, nice, not easy. And God is amazing. And he surprised us and I think he choose a woman intentionally. He chose me. It’s not a, it’s not an accident that you’re in the place that you’re in. Yeah. You know, uh, the good thing is that I’m old. And, um, I can, like, for example, the gang members, I can hug them as a grandmother and they will not, um, think wrong about my hogs and my kisses and telling them I love them. So there is a good part that I’m, uh, yeah, so many people have told me, um, you were like my mom, how does that feel to be like in a mother role, like in your work respond very responsible irresponsible. There is a lady that he had a horrible past that she told me. I cannot love you. I cannot tell you that. I love you as a mother, because for me a mother, it’s a bad experience. Oh, that’s hard to hear that. That was very hard to hear. I think we tend to think of, of mothers as kind of like the most nurturing, you know, important primary relationship in your life. And it really is just difficult, um, to imagine, I guess, having that relationship be so fractured that it’s painful to associate. Well, I, I have to say, I mean, I think even if that is a difficult association for, for some people, um, having someone like you in their, in their lives can maybe change their purse, their perception of, of what, um, a mom can be. Um, and so I’m, I’m glad that you’re there for people and helping, um, you know, provide some hope and healing. That’s really amazing. Yeah, no, I started the work just by myself for so many years, but right now we are at team of almost 60 people and they all are doing the same, so we can reach out more women and more people. And they are the whole team. I’m so proud of them. They are doing an excellent job showing Jesus’ love and care. Yeah. That’s wonderful to hear. Is there, do you have a story of someone who, you know, you’ve seen kind of, maybe they started off in a, in a difficult place and you’ve seen them blossom with, with the support of your work and are in, they’re doing well. I’m going to give you an example of someone that is working with us right now. We met probably 24, 25 years ago. And, um, she, she had suffered a lot and, um, we were studying the Bible together and somehow our friendship become very strong in when asked. I started the Academy, uh, in 2000, she told me mother what happened to me in my infants is not going to happen to them. So I’m going to stand up next to you and I’m going to fight with you. And until up to here, she’s part of the team and she’s working, she’s doing amazing work. Amazing. That’s so amazing. I mean, that’s gotta be really rewarding to see someone who you worked with and had an impact on, and then she felt empowered to come alongside you and, and, and do that work in her own life. That’s amazing. And she’s very faithful to God. Very, very, she knows that what she does, she do it for God. That’s wonderful. Um, so obviously you have, you know, helps so many people and change so many lives. How have in your own life, how have you, you know, felt empowered over the years? Well, I think has been both ways because they have teach me so many things too. I have learned so things from them and my own life have been changed because of them. But seeing God’s support has how he has worked so many times he left me perplexed. I feel committed to move on because I have seen his glory so many times, and I have no excuse to not move on. I love that you felt it it’s, it’s kind of, um, they’re not the only ones being affected by the work, like you’re impacted by it. And it’s changing your life too. And teaching you lessons. I think that’s really nice in what put me in this path. It was experiencing the changes God made in my own life. And that made me responsible to share the gospel with other people in need, because what God did in my own life is what he wants to do in everyone’s life. And I do not mean that they dedicate themselves solely to missions or to Limonada or specific place. I mean, interchange and serving in the context where they are. So can you share, like what, what is a change that you feel God has brought about in your own life? Well, um, I was in drugs. I left home when I was 17, run away from home. I became hippie and you know, that’s not a good life. And, um, some at some point in my life, I pray to God to help me. He helped with me to, to be away from that marriage to be away from drug X and to have a godly life, good relationship with my kids and with my ex-husband too, I have seen his miracles in my own life. His powers he’s failed faithfulness. He still changed me. He’s still making changes for me. Yeah. That’s thank you for sharing that. Um, it’s just always kind of, everyone has their own kind of miracles, I think, within their own life, you know? Um, and it’s important to, to stop and recognize them. And, and also just, I just love to know kind of your backstory and to how you became into this work. I think that that’s important too. And so it sounds like you have some personal experience that you maybe can relate to, to some of the people that you’re working with in a way, and you understand why, um, you know, the options that they have and why they’re on the path that they’re on. And also that there’s hope to get, to get on a new one. Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing all of that. I, it was so like lovely to get, to hear your story and you’re so inspiring. And the work that you’re doing is so important and, um, yeah, it was really an honor to get to know you a little bit better was Tita from fetus planets in Guatemala. Let’s head over to Ethiopia and get to know our next guest as a program director for the child advocacy center in Ethiopia. Uh, my name is from eight hour, four 87 for over around 13 years. And, uh, I have, uh, uh, two kids, um, and I live in Utah at Saba, the capital city of utopia. What makes you, you, like, what makes you unique? What are the things that make you different from everybody else? Yeah. Th this is a big issue for me. Yeah. I think, um, uh, pupil told me that, uh, I am a hard worker and I have, uh, a talent of, uh, the leadership. Um, yeah, that’s my unique part, I think. And, uh, I work, yeah. As I told you before I worked for over 13 years, uh, for AGCI. Um, and, uh, yeah, most of the time I lead the organization, I, I cooperate to work with, uh, doctors. I work for every part of ADC.. When do you feel that you realized that you were a strong leader? When, like, did someone have to tell you you are a strong leader or did you just come to understand that and then just start doing it? Actually, uh, I am working with a different part of, uh, our, uh, uh, society, uh, because of, uh, my, uh, job. Uh, so people told me like, what a are, like, I don’t know. How do you call you in your country, but like a County. Yeah. One of the management office like that you are the stronger is the strongest woman. They told me that you are most of the time I advise pupils. And also my, uh, boss, you are the strong woman. He told me like this. He tells me that. Did you believe him? Yeah, sure. I believe by myself. Yes. I think for, for myself, sometimes when someone tells me something, it takes me a little bit of time to think. Okay. That is true. Do you feel like, like you just understood it right away? Like, yes. I know I am a good leader. You know what, uh, this is not about the 1% or 2%, so many people. Yeah. Oh. As if you are a strong leader, like this, people told me so many times, it’s not about 1% or 2%, even my previous boss. Also, you are the strong one. When she, when we have something in our office, she sent to, to me please money. This one, she thought she sent it to me for this thing. Uh, so I believe it. Do you, do you think that it was empowering or important for you to hear other people tell you that you are a strong leader? Yeah. Yeah. And encouraging, um, um, encouraged myself and my weight is my good part. And where is my weakness? And I want to develop my weakness because people see, like, people tell me that I’m the strong, but I have so many weaknesses. So I want to develop that weakness. What are some of those weaknesses that you feel like you needed to develop? And I need to develop my, uh, the facade is my language, but most of the time I don’t have time to, to go to school to learn, especially for English. Uh, but I want to develop my language. My very weakness is my English language. Yeah. But that’s not, that is not a weakness in who you are. I wouldn’t call that a weakness. I would say that is something that you just need to, it’s just where more education can help, but your, your English gets better every time that I talk with you. I’m like, Oh man. As of is her English is so good. Yeah. It seems better. Yeah. I need to have time for this, uh, topic. Yeah. You know what? I have time for my job for my family and for something. And I need to give time for this. So let’s talk for a minute about, um, what the women and girls in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, um, what is, what are some of the biggest challenges that they have? Oh, uh, in our country, um, uh, like we are thinking girls, um, like, uh, financially, depending to their husband and they are thinking like, they don’t have a power, like something like this. So they are, they are depending on their husband in the mince. So, uh, even in education, also a woman, uh, dominated by a male. So the biggest challenge is a financial crisis and they are going to school most of, uh, in top. Yeah. It’s not, uh, in the city. Uh, but in the remote area, in the rural area is the most challenging is, uh, the woman not going to a school, even they are, depending on the men’s. Uh, and, uh, the most challenging is they are arranging my marriage. Yeah. They force it by people because of the less income, even by their family force. It, she has to marry to the rich people, richer men. So it’s a big challenge. And even they drop their education to get married. So this is, um, the big challenge. Yeah. So you were saying that the challenges are the way that the culture is structured. There is a dependence on men for money and, um, stability. And so they, they have to leave their education to manage the home. Is that right? Yeah. Um, so, so in the work that you are doing right now, what are you doing to empower girls and women? You know what, uh, I give them a hope. I give them like to challenge the life. Uh, most of the time, as you know, Diane, we are working a sponsorship. Now we are, uh, I suppose for over 500 children. Yeah. When I get them, I always tell, told them don’t drop their education and don’t depend on the main, and if we are, uh, educated, they can develop there, uh, by many or by education, they can, uh, stop by themselves. And yeah, I encourage them most of the time. What, um, do you feel like many girls and women, um, understand that and they feel like they are excited to receive their education? Or is that something that feels of different for them? They have to kind of think a little bit longer about that. Yeah, my gosh, they are so many people blessed me. Oh, you’re all right. You tell me this, like this, we are changing our life like this. They told me, and you were a little bit younger. People would speak to empower you. They said you are a leader. You are strong. Do you feel that you are able to say those same things to other girls and women? Yeah. You know what, as I told you, um, all the time I tell, I told to the community or the sponsor family and, uh, one girl, Oh, when I grow up, I want liked you. She told like this, and I proud. Like, I’m very happy. Yeah. I told her, yeah. Were you able to tell her like, yes, you can be like me, you are strong like that. Yes, yes, yes. You are so strong. Like, yeah. You can’t be even above me. I, if she is a strong, if she learning, if she is not dropping her, uh, education, uh, even she could be above my status. What was her reaction? What, how did she feel when you told her that? Wow, she was really happy. She is, she, she is, uh, around, uh, 12 years and her reaction is very happy. And I read in a, her eyes like, Oh yeah, I can do it like that. I read like this on a high. Yeah. That’s so that’s so great. It feels like you have taken some of, uh, the positive, some of the, the good things that people have told you, and now you’re able to pass those on to other girls and women. And that, that must feel very good for you. Yeah. Very, very good. Yeah. And when the girl is, when they appreciate me, I’m thinking like, is that me? Oh, so I have to be ready for them. Like, you know what? I don’t want to be, make a mistake in front of them because they proud of me, you know, what? They are younger. So I don’t want to lead them in the wrong way. What are some of the challenges that you feel, um, you have had to overcome to do the work that you do? I know that you have been told that you’re a leader. Was there ever a time when someone told you that you cannot do what you are doing or that they were not encouraging? Uh, sometimes, uh, when I told them the right way, if they make a mistake or by their life even, um, just, uh, upsetting, like why don’t do like this. Even for example, in the sponsorship, we, we sponsor two kids like that. And in the family, they have five or six kids in one family, even, you know, Diane about utopia. They are, their home is very, very, are like, uh, they, their bed is like in one room. They, they live in girl and even they will do again, becoming pregnant again. When I sold this, I’m going to be upstate. And I told them like this and telling them, and the, what the people told me this as if this is not your business, but people don’t want to advice about their lifestyle maybe. Yeah. As always, I am very grateful to hear from you. I feel like your perspective is very valuable and you are a strong leader. I know that. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Dan. All right. Thank you. Bye. That was awesome. AGCI program director for the child advocacy center in Ethiopia. Our last guest, uh, Lahey is a clinical psychologist and therapeutic coordinator for in Columbia. International women’s day is in March. And so we were like, how can we celebrate that in a way that, you know, honors? So many of the incredible women that we get to work with around the world, and we, you know, talk to Tati and we’re like, who do you know? That would be great. And she was like, uh, Lahey is amazing. She makes me cry when she told me, Oh, well, um, yeah, I’m just so excited to have you here and to learn more about you. So, um, would you kinda just tell us a little bit about, you know, I know your work is, is obviously a big part of what you do and who you are, but, um, kind of what makes you, you outside of work, we have never believed defines me, especially since I have basically ruined my life on two professions, music and psychology, no matter what she’s doing, I can share something that people tell me when I get up on stage jobs. So much energy. I think that’s who I am, no matter what I’m doing. I am. I always give my all, we recently did an activity with a team of psychologists on our team, where we were challenged to describe yourself in just one word. And I use the word intense. Now this is a word that has two connotations. And a lot of people, my thing is a bad or scary thing. But to me, it embodies the fact that I give my own whatever I’m doing and others can feel that energy and commitments. I love that. So, you know, obviously, um, I’m sure there’s a lot of different, you know, things you could talk about with this, but just in your work what’s, what are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve seen, you know, girls and women in your community face? I think that their biggest challenge that the woman and girls face inequality, we are in a world in which whatever we like it or not, it’s different to be a man than to be a woman. The experience is very different in my community. And then who walks down the street alone might be afraid that someone John, John Payne or steal something from him, but a woman has more to fear when she crosses the street so much that she might decide that it’s not even safe enough. So try the process in a priority is normalized. It’s kind of, Starrco an obstacle. Yeah. To be able to change. They believe that we are the weaker sex. And because of the future expectations, there are for us to be polite and gentle and not rude all the time. We lose the ability to listen to what our bodies are telling us. And uncle’s terrible situations become normalized for us. And we start to upset things that contradict our aging and value. It’s like what they say about them, putting a frog in water and starting to bullet why the words to boiling the frog is just gradually getting used to the temperature of the surroundings and never realizes it needs to jump out of the pot, or it will burn. That’s the same thing about the body, a woman or kid we have learned to silence our internal messages and the focus has been placed instead of being useful to others. I’m forgetting ourselves. Yeah. They share when humans are living in an oppressive environment, the brain is on the defense and this creates and maintain same cycle of reactivity. For us in our authentic identity, woman are sensitive. We have life, we have the power of the creation that make us unique and different. That is why this, this is so important. It is important to recognize out in the city as a strong thing. But wow, that is I, that was beautiful. Just like the way, I mean, it’s painful, but it’s beautiful. The way that you talked about that, and you made me think about things in a different way. And what I’m also realizing is, you know, we kind of have gone into this, um, this, this podcast episode with like kind of wanting to highlight different experiences, but there are just some universal truths to what you’re saying. And, um, you know, it’s unfortunate that that is, I don’t know of a, of a part of the world where that is not like women’s experience. I think that, um, yeah, we’re, we’re kind of, um, put in a box and, and made to feel unsafe in a way that, um, we don’t want to take risks. Uh, yeah. Well, we are on the fence. We are, we’re afraid to share our vulnerability. Vulnerability. Yeah. Yeah. And some of the most precious thing that make us who we are is when our ability, because we’re not always safe to do the Cher show. And it’s so important when people who are created to be creators our fault, our fault, first, the state be protecting themselves, the community and the world loses the game. Yeah. Yeah. That’s so true. I mean, I think that’s another important thing that you talked about is that we’re kind of almost told that our vulnerability is a weakness, but it’s a strength, right? Yeah. It’s a strength. Um, and, and it’s something to be celebrated. And that is something that I think a gift a lot of women have, and it sounds like it’s you do for sure. And connect, connect, the world connects everybody. A lot of people have these ability and we don’t have to hide it. We don’t have to hide it. Yeah. I just want to say totties voice just came on here. Tati, uh, is helping, uh, lay her out. She has so far not needed any help at all because her English is absolutely fantastic, but Tati is just standing by. So thanks Tony. I am very happy to be here. Oh. Um, so can you tell us a little bit more about your, the work that you’re doing with AGCI and how you are, you know, empowering girls and women in your work? Yeah. Yeah. I believe that I empower women and gears when I invite them to question their beliefs and what they think about their lives. From my word, creating I’m using a therapeutic model to help them overcome stories of violence. I believe that I’m using therapy that can open up alternatives to how they believe that their lives can be. They break down expectations and I’m deeply rooted belief. I open them up and guide them to the opportunity to create a new story about themselves. Liberating story, a story with various possibilities. People need to know that they have options. I think, I think this has been the most powerful idea of my work. It’s why, what I am do, options are powerful. So when we give people options and their right to choose, we give them power that’s power. Yeah. That is beautiful. And so true. Right. Cause I think like, what is kind of, one of the scarier things in life is feeling like you don’t have options, right? Yeah. So that’s such important work that you’re doing is that emotionally, is that challenging at times? Yeah, they are. But on the other side, it’s so hopeful. Yeah. It is hopeful that, I mean, I think that’s what we all have to, there’s so many, I mean, outside of your work, just, I think we all can relate that feeling of like, if you let it get to you, life in general can feel overwhelming. Right. But when you hold on to that hope, that’s what keeps us all going and makes us able to each day do hard work, ask hard questions. Yeah. And it’s like a training to live that way. Not just work that way. Yeah. That’s beautiful. That’s so true. Oh man. Like you are like, seriously, there’s so many things you’ve said already. I’m like, Oh, I need to sit with that. I need to like absorb it and think about how that applies to my own life. I feel like you’ve really had some really beautiful just nuggets that I need to. Yeah. Thank you. Um, so can you tell me a little bit about, you know, obstacles that you’ve faced in this profession? Like specifically as a woman or just, you know, challenges you’ve come up against? Yeah. I said well-known, I face a lot of pressure to stay silent and not to share my opinion, but I am so one who can help her to express what they feel. Sometimes it’s not well Recife receive it in a culture where gender norms are and political correctness are often, but over what actually is the best interest of all others or in my case, what’s in the best interest of children. When a woman like me there’s to saying something that challenge this data pool for the sake of what’s right. She can be labeled as the bad one. I have also experienced pressure to confirm two simultaneous affectations of how women show look, how a woman in a position, in a leadership like me will look, but I like to dye my hair pink or blue or red or whatever, color, whatever color. And I’ve seen how others, you might culture for same thing. And I’ll be serious about my career because of my age. But honestly I like challenging the status pool and forcing people to pass my street area and what they first think about me to see that I’m great at what I do. Maybe I’ve also upset that it’s okay for me to be Les Lynn as the weirdo. And I’m so weird. I have said that and I’m so happy for that. And that’s, I’m being, that’s who I am too. Um, I think I am so inspired by you just saying that you, you like to challenge the status quo and that you’re willing to put yourself in that uncomfortable position because it not only, you know, lets you, you know, move forward in life and, and change things that you don’t think are. Right. It also sets an example for other girls and women to like see someone like you succeeding and in this, you know, incredible position and to be like, Hey, maybe I could do that. Um, and that’s what we need. Right. Because you can’t be what you can’t see. And so I just think having you out there, you know, being, I’m not going to be quiet. I’m not going to, I’m going to dye my hair, whatever color I want to, I’m going to look how I want to, I’m going to act how I want to and I’m going to change the world and I just, we need more people like you, it’s like, eh, it’s like Dr., I’m just so glad that you are doing this work and that you are just such a role model. Cause that’s, I think that’s going to change the future. That’s that’s amazing. So how, so obviously you are, you’re now doing this incredible work. You are changing, you know, the lives of girls and women, um, in Columbia and around the world. Really? How have you yourself been empowered? Like who, who was, who was your example? I think my mom, not because she always, she was always the perfect role model, but because I have been able to there a lot through her history, sometimes things we were paid, sometimes thing I want to change. Also my grandmother on my dad’s high because she’s like the storyteller of my family. She was all right. I want a writer and a t-shirt. Now when I think about my desire to connect and teach, I share the legacy of my grandmother. I love that. And I love kind of how you are taking the pieces that serve you and learning from the ones that don’t, I think that’s just like a really good lesson in general, right? Like no one is perfect. Um, and we all have people in our lives that, um, you know, people are complicated and you have to, to learn from the pieces that, um, you want to change and then also be inspired by the ones that you want to replicate in your own life. And it sounds like that’s what you’re doing. Yeah. We can do anything about the things happen in the past, but we can tell us a story about this. How have you seen empowerment in your own life? I grew up with fear, a lot of fear, but through play, I realized that I could find a way to cope with the pain. I was always one of those who invented stories, games, have friends over to play and choreograph dance with them. Ever since I was little, I feel that I have been a leader. I wanted to make others feel capable and help died. And perhaps because it was what I most wanted, but didn’t have, I don’t have any memories of anyone checking that I was doing my homework or helping me complete task. But my mother always worked hard for me and my brother to have what we needed from a very young age. I think I learned from and overcome obstacles by saying to myself, things don’t have to be this way. Even now. I think that I decide that I was not going to repeat what I have been helped growing up where mistake, where harshly pernicious, where, what I did was never enough where those who made the most money. My family said down to it first, I decided that violence will not be part of my life. And I worked for that. I could not control what happened when I was little, but every step of the way I gain more independence, resources and desire to blend my own life and future. It was only recently that I realized that music and psychology, which have been to my two passions in life are more related than ever. I discovered music at eight years old in my school. I was the lead in our court and I have to sing at mass in front of 500 people or more. I think that I began to feel that I had a voice that I could express myself in that same language, music language, and here. However, I never started music. It was more of a hobby. I had the role with music in my house because my father plays instruments. But when I am writing, by the time we started my master degree, I sold to have more income. And I began to sing drug with local events and it started to go very well. I recall three songs of my own. It had a studio where Shakira recoded hearing Volta. I came to think that my passion for music and psychology will conflict and I will eventually have to decide which to purse. I knew that music was my wife of Richard, of receiving life, but psychology was my way of giving to the world of giving back. I’ve recently come to understand that through music, I discovered my boys and that it could be here. And as psychologists now, I am the one who listens and helps others to find and believe in their own voice. When I started my career, I didn’t think I will work with children. But when I graduated all my work led me to this population. I realized I had always worked with children, adolescents, and families. So I decide to do my master in human systems care. I Erin lady degree. And now my career is a way of living and understanding of a speaking and expressing myself. I can help, but believe that it’s through caring for ourselves and caring for others that it’s possible to change the world. I truly believe that it’s a mantra. I love that. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m really glad I got to hear that and, and kind of hear what led you to where you are now and that kind of internal struggle. And then, you know, realizing that it’s a balance, right? Like you, you can only, you can give back, but you also have to have that for yourself. Right. You have to like fill your own cup up. Yeah. I think that is the only way yeah. Balance balance to give and receive yes. And receive. Yeah, no, it’s true because other, I mean, if you don’t, yeah. If you don’t have that piece, it’s, you’re going to get burnt out and you’re not going to be able to give fully of yourself. Yeah. Yeah. It’s self care for caring others. Yeah. Yeah. They’re linked. Totally. It’s so it’s an unheard of to me be here and sure. My history, my experience, my word, my life and what I am doing with so much love. Yes. Well that comes through. It really does. It’s it’s very clear just in the, you know, half an hour that I got to talk to you, just how passionate you are and how much, how the love that you have for your work and for people comes through really clearly. Thank you. That was, a clinical psychologist serving children in Columbia. Thanks for listening to our conversations with incredible women around the world. Earlier this week, we celebrated international women’s day while there’s officially just one day that recognizes the strength and resilience of women around the world. We see and celebrate these amazing women every day in our work. Thanks for listening to together by AGCI as always, if you liked what you heard, please rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you’d like to read or watch even more stories, check out our website, all God’s We loved our time chatting with our in-country partners. We’d love to hear what you thought about the work that PETA, Jolla and AZA we’re doing. Reach out to us and let us know what you think on Instagram at all. God’s children international or email us at together at all. God’s The next time you hear from us, we will be celebrating the one year anniversary of this podcast. We hope you’ll join us for a look back at our first year up together. We’ll talk to you soon.