March 15, 2011

World Pulse: Inspired by The Women in the World Summit 2011 highlights the story of acid violence survivors, Yem Chhuon and her 6 year old daughter Sophorn.

Inspired by Women Globally

There are many things i am inspired by… The sky, the sound of life and movement, color, flowers, animals, people, culture, travel, places and things. The thing that most inspires me is the VOICE and STORY of a person that is most passionate about what they believe in. The faith they have in that passion and dedication. I am not a religious person, i am not part of any organized religion… i am Universe faith based, i am spirtual with a heart of spiritus. I like to think of myself as a sancocho/stew of all faiths, an equal opportunity lover and admirer of all. Having this helps me feel the inspiration of others and therefore become inspired by that. It has helped me embrace all people and understand that the bottom line is HUMANITY regardless of your religious belief or cultural background.

This past weekend i had the honor of spending 2 full days with women from around the world of all faiths and cultures. Women in the World Summit 2011 brought us together as one “UNITY” one people for one cause and that was the advancement of women on a global level. A place where we had the opportunity to share our ideas and hear the stories of women across the globe. The stories of women making change and shaking things up for a better universe. Although this was a Women in the World Summit there were many men sitting on panels and in the audience in support of the women and organizations making change. We heard speakers such as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tina Brown Founder of Women in the World Summit and Editor in Chief of Newsweek & The Daily Beast, Candoleeza Rice, Madeleine K Albright to Yem Chhuon an Acid violence survivor, her 6 year old daughter and the wonderful Dr. Ebby Elahi Surgeon and Director of the Virtue Foundation that helped save their lives.

Yem was attacked by a women in her own house that was looking to take her husband away from her, as Yem breast fed her 12 day old daughter a woman poured acid thru a window of her straw hut after an earlier dispute over money. Yem thought it was rain at first but then felt a burning sensation to her face and neck, then heard her baby scream and yell. As she looked down she noticed that the acid had reached her daughters eyes and face. As she screamed for help from neighbors the assailent was able to escape. The unfortunate thing is there is no law against acid burning in her country so prosecution is almost impossible. The villagers wanted nothing to do with her after the attack and certainly did not want her child around, she was tainted and ugly. The villagers even convinced Yem to abandon her child because she would grow up ugly, blind and no help to her. Yem felt a distance to her child and almost gave up until The Virtue Foundation heard of her story.

Dr. Ebby Elahi took a personal interest in her story and dedicated himself to helping her and her daughter the best he could. The childs eyes were burned almost shut but the acid attack, they said she would never see again, people had no hope for her or Yem. Dr. Elahi consulted with a team of amazing doctors and surgeons and despite what people said, gave Yems daughter complete full eye sight in one eye and partial in the another. Granted her face will be scarred for life, eye sockets disfigured but as she grows older and with more surgeries she will live a long and healthy life. Today at age 6 years she is a full functioning young vibrant girl that spoke right into the microphone and said she loves America and wants to learn to speak English.

This and so many stories are the ones that inspire me to move on every day. they inspire me to walk, laugh, talk, create and share my passions, my voice, my dreams and my vision. It’s not about the Brown, Yellow, Red, Black or White… it’s about HUMANITY and UNITY. This is just one of the many VOICES that were shared and that inspired this wonderful weekend. Lets continue this chain and hear your story, hear your voice.

I am thankful and blessed to have this platform to be able to share my experience with you all. As we continue forward with all that we want to attain in life as individuals let’s continue to move forward as one. I will push you and you push me… no one stays behind.

With Love and Light

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