Empowerment Through Empathy: Dawoodi Bohra Women of Mississauga Transcend Barriers through Sharing and Acceptance

Empowerment Through Empathy: Dawoodi Bohra Women of Mississauga Transcend Barriers through Sharing and Acceptance

Keeping alive the Dawoodi Bohra values of emphasis on education, philanthropy, and social justice, the women of Mississauga Dawoodi Bohra community recently hosted their second annual “She Shares” event. This gathering was a sequel to last year’s “She Talks” that focused on conversations about the experiences and struggles of women regarding upholding one’s identity amidst social pressures, working in traditionally male dominated fields, balancing multiple roles, and maintaining mental and physical well-being. Taking a step forward this year, “She Shares” showcased how acts of sharing can build cooperative, long-lasting relationships among women of diverse backgrounds, professional or otherwise.

The event drew notable attendees, including Lori Longman, Public Education Officer for Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, and Shiba Anjum, National Operational Manager at Nisa Homes. Nisa Homes is a laudable charity that provides shelter and support services to women and children seeking respite from domestic violence, poverty, or asylum. The organization’s relevance surged during the pandemic, distributing funds for housing, food, medical aid, debt relief, and more.

Creating Connections: A Network-Building Exercise

The program kicked off with a unique networking activity. Women were asked to list their hobbies, volunteer experiences, proud achievements, and cherished cultural or community values on post-it notes. They were then encouraged to draw connections between their notes and the notes of others, fostering relatability and shared experiences, emotions, and cultural values. This unique networking method allowed the women to map connections across experiences, cultures, and accomplishments, transcending age or profession, cultivating a sense of shared identity.

This gathering wasn’t just about forming connections but also promoting the profound ethos of sharing and acceptance deeply embedded within the Dawoodi Bohra community. Within the community, sharing is more than mere generosity. It extends to offering blessings one has received, amplifying joy, and spreading love without reducing the giver’s fortune. Acceptance, another cornerstone of the community, is perceived as a gesture of generosity, never assuming the recipient to be less privileged.

Beyond Talk: Action in Partnership with Nisa Homes

In practice of these values, the Mississauga Dawoodi Bohra community took a step forward by collaborating with Nisa Homes. A three-week drive was organized to collect monetary contributions and essential supplies to support shelter homes in Mississauga and Hamilton. The initiative was designed to transform the traditional donor-recipient relationship, generally defined by one-sided from a more privileged party to a less privileged one, into a more mutual relationship based on trust, sharing, and acceptance. The outcome beautifully embodied the principles of ‘She Shares’, crafting an inspiring narrative of interconnectedness, empathy, and collective strength in womanhood.

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