Well, my response was and still is, that I see education as lifelong learning, which is stimulating, makes me feel alive, broadens my knowledge and keeps me in tune in-depth with each field of my interests that evolve rapidly ‒ and I like to live an integrated life! It also leads me to be humble, grateful and connected spiritually to my God (Allah), and allows me to be connected to and network and collaborate with the world’s leading experts whereby I can learn, contribute, share and disseminate my knowledge and experiences. After all, it is an educated mind that will envision, innovate and execute pioneering inventions, which will bring positive change, creating progress towards improving people’s lives.
See, I was born out in the Horn of Africa (Mogadishu, Somalia) where the need of many things(almost everything) is epic. So, gaining education in different fields is not optional but a way of preparing yourself for a better future.
See, it does not take a genius to figure out that you as a human being cannot master everything on this earth; however, broadening your knowledge in different fields that you may have a big interest in or a passion for will definitely broaden your ability to achieve many things in life. So, march on and learn as much as you can, I am sure it will some how pay off one way or another.
As a young African girl, I always dreamt of going to school. I wasn’t as good as many of my peers and had to work many times harder than them to even be close to what they are getting effortlessly, but I was still in love with studying…
So, when the opportunity of getting an education arrived, I would never, ever let it go by. Therefore, I grabbed any educational opportunity that came into my way with both hands and I was very persistent, determined and resilient and persevered through any challenges that I faced.
I remember the first time I arrived in Denmark back in the 1990s as part of a refugee/family reunion scheme. When I first met my social worker, she asked me, “What can I do for you?”I asked her, “When can I start going to school?” She stood up and said, “This is the first time in my life, after working for many years with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, I have come across someone asking me when she can learn Danish before asking for money, clothes and permanent housing.” For me, even though it was winter, the clothes I had from Africa were good enough to get by. To me what was more important was to learn the language, first to communicate and then to get a higher education.
Education meant everything to me, as I saw it as the way out. I can vividly remember that even when I was 9-months pregnant and was about to give birth to my second baby, I was still at school. I was due to take the exam one week before my due date. The week before the exam I was experiencing contractions but I thought they were just practise contractions and would fade away, as they had done over the previous few weeks. But my baby had other plans and the labour pain worsened. So, I decided to leave. On my way out of the class, the head teacher asked me how I was doing. I told her that I was experiencing some contractions but I would be okay. She asked me again what was my plan and I told her that I was planning to pick my son up from the nursery. She refused to let me go, so she gave me a lift to the hospital and less than an hour later, I had my second son!
A lot of people in my community didn’t understand me, thinking I was foolish in wanting to go to school when it is not obligatory. They used to say to me, ‘education in Denmark including learning the Danish language is like wearing a necklace and when you are leaving the country, you leave that necklace in the airport.’ Well, to me, they were wrong and I am indeed living proof of their wrong statement!
Indeed education is the foundation, but it is not only your educational background and knowledge that you have – it is also how you utilise it. So, whatever knowledge you have, always learn how to utilise your ability…
My message is - “Aim High, Be Resilient and Make a Difference”
And I sincerely wish you every success,
Thank you for reading my blog post and please feel free to join the conversation!
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