Saheli means ‘Friend’ in many South Asian languages. For many members of Saheli Hub, it has been a friend for life, there for them through life’s changes and challenges. Hub Manager Shebina Gill reflects on the many times a girl or woman may need a Saheli in their life.
It became apparent, my ring of confidence appeared in the most difficult times of growth. Across the bridge of my nose, my mother reminded me every day how beautiful my purpose in life was and that I was made from Love against all odds.
The little girl sitting pushing dirt with a stick – so bored she became sick.
The runaway family forced to quit a society that could not stand the blend.
The Teen girl, sitting behind the nets picking wallpaper whilst others run with freedom.
The Teen girl, carer to toxic needs – generations of silence and fear.
The young woman, enthusiastic to prove that She will, She can, She has a plan.
The young woman at work not blending in, refusing to do what generations before her opted for.
The young woman at work, the tick-tock of the maternal clock, her perceived expectations of the married world.
The woman grows new life – building a fortress around her, navigating a movement of opportunities for her to grow.
The woman with unseen conditions – will they debilitate her progression?
The woman bears a male child teaching him to respect the meaning of ‘self’.
The woman in a sanctuary of friendship, love, and marriage, balance for identity to shine through.
The woman losing her mother to a disease that would pause the world of work that stopped her in her tracks.
The woman rejuvenates herself to inspire others through the wilderness.
In tribute to all the women we knew, those who are still learning to be, for those who were before me, I am Girl, I am Woman, I am Me and I will arise with my nose displaying the ring of confidence.
I believe more than ever – I Can-I will-I do!
Shebina joined Saheli Hub in April 2006.