I don’t have a very moving or profound story about how I managed to get into the humanitarian sector for work. I tried to pin point certain periods in life when I experienced injustice but upon reflection it was clear that it wasn’t any of those experiences. There are many people who work in the charity sector and within these significant global institutions like the United Nations who have much more profound and respectable stories of how they got to their place.
To put my experience simply, as to how I became interested in human rights and international affairs, stemmed from being required to read a book for English class in year eight called ‘Parvana’. The story is about a young girl living in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. She is forced to cut her hair to look like a boy so that she can sell products on the street to provide for her family. This is definitely where my interest in Afghanistan was ignited and I developed a greater interest in world affairs. I started watching the news more and made a conscious effort to understand history and war. Typically, I was saddened and appalled at what goes on in the world and was inspired to make contributions and efforts in order to combat these injustices.
I am aware that when a book tells a story or when a film displays a portrayal of historical/current events then things can be dramatised and at times false. However, I believe that these sorts of platforms are excellent places to start discussions and inform about critical issues around the world and at local levels of society. I see the documentaries which Inspireflix creates in order to share stories and experiences about what people have gone through and overcome. I think that these documentaries and stories provide a clearer insight into genuine human experiences as well as being another medium for sharing and informing people about experiences and challenges which many people wouldn’t have ever considered.
I understand that there are a number of ways to learn and engage in self-development. Many would say that travel is the best way to learn and experience other cultures. However, I don’t necessarily agree with this especially when some people just flock to tourist hubs. I believe that learning a lot about other people, challenges and cross-roads are a fundamental part of self-development, empathy and enhancing emotional intelligence.
So when I hear people tell me “oh it’s just a movie”, I couldn’t disagree more. I am very involved in the films and TV I watch as well as the books I read. I don’t see them as just form of entertainment or creative expression, where both are relevant, but they are also something very deep for us to connect to, appreciate, understand and learn from. For people to be more involved in the creative arts in this way to enhance their social learning and awareness would be an ideal. I think that the work Inspireflix does in order to share personal and unique stories about real people is a very moving and honourable contribution to society.