It was Margaret Meade who stated that it is a woman’s task throughout history to go on believing in life when there was almost no hope. The stories of these extraordinary women come from three widely different parts of the world: Mali, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Vietnam. However, their experiences are so powerful, they will move you deeply. The one thing these women have in common is the daily war they wage against ignorance, poverty, oppression, discrimination, disease, and ethnic strife.
Bui My Hahn is a 37-year old woman who lives in Vietnam. Like thousands of others, she’s a person living with HIV. Bui My founded the Immortal Flower Group as a means of reaching out to others in her same situation and encourage them to get medical help and take care of themselves. She felt inspired to act while searching for a way to deal with her own personal pain that came as a result of losing her child and husband to HIV. The number of Vietnamese living with HIV-AIDS has doubled in the last decade, and the stigma and discrimination they suffer keeps most of them from getting the treatment they need. Immortal Flower provides free condoms and information about AIDS.
In Bamako, Mali, lives Jacqueline Dembele, known as Madam Urbain. She is the founder of APAF (Association to Promote Aid to Families). From this platform, she helps young women who migrate to Bamako in search for better living conditions. Her organization provides basic education, vocational skills and safe employment for migrant girls. Many of the young women helped by APAF don’t speak the local language, don’t know their age, and come from extreme poverty. Many of them come looking for money to be able to pay their wedding dowry.
Kravica, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the home of Nada Markovic, a Serb refugee, who is now the director of Maja Kravica Women’s Association. This organization is in charge of helping women reintegrate into communities that have been affected by war.
After the tension between Serbs and Bosniaks in 1992 that incited the genocide, about 1 million citizens were displaced. Women were left to struggle alone to provide for their children. Nada’s organization seeks to unite Serbs and Bosniaks by encouraging economic opportunities for all women.
Listen to the inspiring stories of these three women as they reach out to change their world with hope.