My Voice, Our Equal Future
12 October 2020 | YouTube Panel Discussion
On October 12, 2020 Set Them Free organized a virtual panel discussion entitled “My Voice, Our Equal Future” to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. In this panel, Set Them Free D.C. Representative hosted three successful and promising young women, Tuana, Esra and Nilufer who talked about their life, education, expectations, and dreams.
Esra, 13 y/o , is a middle school student who has been living in Greece for the past three years. She talked about her life in Greece and her academic success as a refugee girl. Esra shared her enforced migration story and integration process to Greece with these words; “When we first came to Greece, Greek was really difficult for me as the alphabet is different from Latin. I started to take courses. At the beginning of the school, I did not understand the lessons and my friends. After a couple of months, it got familiar and I started to communicate better with my friends. I like to learn a new language and culture. In Greek culture there are many special foods and festivals. I especially like ‘souvlaki’”. As a refugee girl, Esra achieved significant success in the National Mathematics Competition in Greece. She defined success and happiness as making her dreams come true, being free, healthy and with her family. Esra has gone through difficult paths and she supported other young women by saying “Girls are too strong, and they can do whatever they want. As a girl, I have big dreams and I am working on them. Being a refugee is not a barrier for me. I want to study at Oxford.”
Following Esra, Nilufer took the floor. She is 16 and lives in California. Nilufer is getting ready for the Mathematics and Coding Olympiads. Nilufer explained how she motivates herself to work in the challenging fields as she said “You feel proud and you know you are doing something even if you feel tired sometimes, you know eventually you are going to be successful.” She also added “Being a girl in the coding field is important because there are not many girls and if you study well it puts you ahead of others. I do coding like a girl. Most people think usually boys are better at mechanical fields. It is not true; girls can do it even better” and supported other young women who want to study STEM. Nilufer is a really good chess player, and she has started a chess club in her high school. She mentioned that she is working on a new project which is an online platform for students.
The last speaker of the panel, Tuana Sari is 19 years old. Tuana is a young activist who has many initiatives. She spoke on her projects and gave advice about being an activist. Tuana talked about her project “DoNotHate.org” which she started at the age of 15. She elaborated on why the world needs youth activism by saying “Change is happening, but we have a long way. Being part of a change does not mean talking about it. We really have to be part of it and put effort into it”. Currently, Tuana is working at an IT company and she added that “I highly recommend everyone, every young girl to have basic coding skills. Be part of STEM!”. Tuana also underlined that adults should give a space for failure and growth to younger generations.