Life is too short to focus on one thing... You can accomplish anything you dream of
Looking beyond Labels to Unveil Women’s Enormous Potentials
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Can you have all your dreams fulfilled? Silsila – a young powerful woman – proves there is no limit for what you can achieve even against all odds, despite all stereotypes and labels.
An accomplished singer with a university degree in Engineering, fluent in five languages, a renown TV and radio presenter, entrepreneur, a book writer, an Economics student, a member of the Refugee Advisory Board and a professional in providing social services and career advice to vulnerable groups. Above all: an inspiration to plenty of young people and women who dare to dream and pursue their dreams. Silsila, 25 years of age, originally from Afghanistan, sums up:
“Life is too short to focus on one thing. A person can have multiple interests and can do many things at the same time. You can accomplish anything you dream of, you can have profound life experiences to enjoy along the way.”
Born and raised in a war-torn country, Silsila has gone through major life changing periods with resilience and determination. She completed successfully Engineering studies defying cultural norms and expectations. On the side, she turned to her passion – TV and radio. For some years she worked as TV and radio presenter and moderated a music programme. At the same time, in the frame of a UNICEF project, she worked for a Club Development Program in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, and coordinated activities such as sports, English, computer and drawing classes for young people. Though these “side” jobs, Silsila reached scores of young people and encouraged many to pursue their dreams and never to stop on the way to exploring numerous opportunities.
“I am happy that through these activities and thanks to UNICEF programs youngsters expanded their education, acquired new skills and kept looking for reaching new heights”
- shares Silsila.
“UNICEF develops and implements programs supporting especially young women throughout the world enabling them to tap into the wealth of their own potential wherever they are lifepath leads them”, says Diana Yovcheva, Program Manager with UNICEF Bulgaria.
Six years ago, Silsila arrived in Bulgaria – another stop in her journey of success. Initially, she started singing: “Music provides me comfort and makes me happy. Among other things, I always wanted to become a singer and touch the hearts of other people through music”, shares Silsila. Again, drawing back on her many talents and multitasking skills, the young woman performed and recorded songs in various languages. Together with other artists singing in Bulgarian, Arabic, Persian and Urdu, Silsila produced mixed songs organizing the performance, recording and managing a YouTube channel to broadcast her music. Digital technologies facilitated the young musician to share her art with a wider audience.
“Social media such as YouTube helps to attract the public, to reach and connect with more people”, explains Silsila. “I prefer real life though,” she continues, “I am good at living in the real and like more experiencing things in reality than in social media”.
The continuous drive for acquiring new skills and exploring the depth of her own potential, prompts Silsila to enrol as a student in Economics in Bulgaria, this time studying in a different language. To make most use of her new skills, last year Silsila started her own business producing handmade clothes and art pieces.
“I seek to hire refugee women so that they can have their own income and become independent”
- says Silsila.
In her products, she weaves elements from her own culture and life experiences. Most importantly, the art pieces turn to symbolize the pursuit of dreams and serve as a motivation to other young people striving to reach all they can imagine. Besides that, as part of her career path, Silsila also worked for an NGO providing support to vulnerable groups.
“I liked my job very much, I was happy to help make positive impact in the lives of others and guide them towards their own success”
- shares Silsila.
Adding to this experience, she is a Member of the Refugee Advisory Board in Bulgaria, which operates under the auspices of UNHCR and with the support of the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria (CRWB).
“Advocating for integration of refugees is a cause close to my heart and a platform which is necessary to change their lives for the better”, the young woman explains. Her engagement in numerous activities allows for people to see refugees beyond the label: “I am not only a refugee; I am much more than that. It’s only one part of me, not my identity”, adds Silsila.
“Only by looking beyond the labels we can unveil the enormous potential of people”
- says Linda Awanis, Chairwoman of CRWB and a refugee herself, who established the civil society organization to support the integration of asylum seekers.
“Young women like Silsila are at the forefront of driving positive social change and design themselves solutions to the challenges and opportunities they face,” Linda sums up.