A Woman of inspiration The Story of Robina

“Life is a train that stops at no stations; you either jump aboard or stand on the platform and watch as it passes.” ~ Yasmina Khadra
Today we commemorate Women’s Equality Day and the amazing women who spent decades fighting for women’s right to vote.  These women (Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and so many others) endured so much in the cause of women’s equality. But step by step, one victory at a time, leaders of the suffragist movement were able to change the laws of a nation and the hearts of its citizens.
In the spirit of these trailblazers, we introduce Robina, a recent graduate of Head First Development’s Hope Academy.  She is fighting for economic equality in the highly stratified society of India. To even begin her journey to financial independence, Robina would endure 4-hour round-trips on the crowded India railway to attend classes to become a nurses’ aide.  In her small way, Robina is forging a path for other young women to follow.
She didn’t hesitate when she saw a life changing opportunity – Robina just jumped on board!

Robina’s Story
Robina, like many other Indian girls, dreamed of working after the completion of her secondary studies. Robina is the youngest daughter in her family, which is not financially stable and could not afford additional post-high school education. Robina’s father works in a local dairy where he earns Rs.3000 ($44) as a monthly wage. As you can imagine, it is extremely difficult for the family to sustain themselves on such a low income. Robina has always wanted to support her parents financially. But she lost all hope when she could not further her studies.
Robina also had tried her utmost to get a job and was met with only rejection until she learned about the Hope Academy Nursing Aid Program.
Today she is a recent graduate our Nursing Aid Program and is very excited to get an opportunity which will gradually lead her to achieve her dreams of economic independence.  She lives with her parents in a small village near Icchapur, 34 km (21 miles) from Kolkata. On the Indian train system, it took her more than two hours to commute by local train from Icchapur to Kolkata to attend the Hope Academy class. It’s a long and tiring journey but Robina did not mind the 4-hour round-trip since it will help her fulfill her dreams.  
She is delighted with the education which will lead her to a self-sustainable lifestyle. She will also be able to support her family financially now that she has secured a position at Calcutta Mercy Hospital.
Today as a nurse’s aide, Robina is an enthusiastic team player and is happy and content. She is a capable young woman with a quick learning capacity. She made friends with her fellow trainees and enjoys coming to the Hospital for work. She is very thankful to Hope Academy for this opportunity which she feels will be a life changing experience. Robina has become very optimistic in her outlook on her life and now believes that good still exists on this world.  



Photo Credit: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters via CBS News