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'Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan' - UC Prompt

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Jul 31, 2008   #1
Five years ago I could not even think of having my dreams come true in pursuing my personal, professional and educational goals that I had set for myself. This is my fifth year in California and third year attending Irvine Valley College. My educational goal is to achieve a Masters Degree in Social Ecology, and in due course pursue my Ph.D. I plan on obtaining my IGETC at Irvine Valley College before transferring to the University of California for completing my undergraduate studies and ultimately my graduate studies. My career goal is to be a researcher in the field of Social Ecology.

While struggling with societal issues of life and working towards accomplishing my educational goal, I started volunteering for The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a women's organization in Afghanistan that promotes women's rights and secular democracy. The main purpose of the organization is to fight for equal rights of women in Afghanistan and to involve them in both political and social activities. While volunteering for the organization, I came across women whose given equal rights were denied and abused. Apart from my main responsibility of teaching English Language to children ages seven to fourteen, I was involved in providing educational guidelines for women who were illiterate enabling them to address their problems proficiently using their limited resources. During this social work, I noticed the diversity of cultures, traditions, values and morals among Afghan refugees in Pakistan which caused the majority of their issues within their environment. This further encouraged me to explore and gain additional information about social classes, their life style, their multiplicity and ecological problems. I felt rewarded by attempting to assist the civilians so I started my next volunteer assignment at Mïdecins du monde (MDM), also known as Doctors of the World, a non-governmental humanitarian aid organization created in March 1980 by 15 French doctors. My tasks consisted of assisting the doctors from France in arranging their travel itineraries and translating the letters from women who were not permitted to leave their homes to seek medical aid. In addition, I was responsible for gathering all the reports on the families who were victims of mutual, environmental and governmental cruelty. The reports were used for short-term emergency aid, reconstruction, and rehabilitation aid as well as long-term development projects. Then, I was offered an opportunity in United Nations, World Food Program Afghanistan organization. Working full time as an assistant in this organization for two years was an exposure to many cultures, customs, languages, traditions and values from employees around the world. Shockingly, the one common thing I realized was the socio-ecological problems disrupting the normal routine of all of my co-workers. The most disturbing point I found was their indifferent behavior toward their problems, ignoring the concept of discussion and accepting the fact that it was part of their life.

One of the most powerful moments of my life occurred while working for the United Nations. I first discovered my affinity for social ecology when I started developing a keen interest in obtaining information about humanity and their struggles around the globe. I found a topic that was often overlooked that almost all our current ecological problems occur from deep-rooted social problems. Therefore, I discovered that I enjoyed researching socio-ecological problems as well as helping those with limited knowledge and where additional insights to their behavior could become beneficial. I worked with my colleagues in pinpointing the importance of providing people with a sense of dignity in society regardless of their social status. This philosophy was endorsed by my colleagues while discussing their life experiences in their countries and abroad. While many of these people were on missions working hard to resolve social issues around the world, they provided a sense of hope to civilians. Since then their efforts have underscored my accomplishments in my professional and personal life, this has driven me to excel as a leader in the field of social ecology. I truly accept as true that present ecological problems cannot be visibly understood and determined without purposefully dealing with problems within society. I look forward to a career in social ecology field as a life-long exercise in learning from people who are sometimes very different from me as I believe that we will teach each other by addressing the issues more often.

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