Real, cycle-ending change can look like not just making a one-time intervention, but transforming the current system into a new vision. When this happens, I believe communities are not simply ending cycles of violence; rather, they are transforming them into cycles of education, peace and prosperity.
Like most women worldwide, I have a very ordinary mom. She is not famous, she is not spectacularly rich, she has never invented anything that she had to patent, and she's never saved anyone's life by performing emergency CPR or the Heimlich maneuver. So yes, she was ordinary. And yet she was -- and is, at the age of 73 -- a superhero.
But even now, 50 years later, she says that the time she spent in Africa "gave me a formation ... and left me with a sense of all the things you can do as one person." Of all her life experiences, she says, this one -- caring for families half a world away from her home country -- "probably marked me the most."
Watching my mother and grandmother taught me so much -- seeing them nurture people and animals showed me, through their actions, what mattered most. They made so many sacrifices for our family, and they set the standard. They inspired me from childhood to volunteer and advocate for those less fortunate.