Top 7 URIJI stories of 2016

Wait a second, let me sit down comfortably in my sofa, put a pleasant musical background, be quiet. Here, I am ready, my mind is available. Now I have time. Time to wander in the stories of others: time to surf on Uriji. Because Uriji Jami, this humanist network, almost utopian, where the users share their dreams and stories, is a new way of living the social network. And in doing so, you take the time to write your story, to choose a few pictures, you take your time to read these stories, to comment them, and maybe one day, you will have the time to finally to share your know-how, your experience, a sharing that will allow someone to actualize his dream. For the stories of some are the dreams of others…

And tonight, I read the stories of hundreds of users. Some of them touch me more than others, so I write them a comment, I buy their experiences to further deepen the encounter, in a way I am taking part in their story. And still, I keep taking my time. So here are my top 7 stories that touched me the most in 2016… Obviously, like all lists, this one is subjective and not exhaustive. But perhaps, through my eyes, one can grasp, even if imperfectly, the spirit of this unique new social media.

#7 In the shoes of a mother: “60 segundos con…

María Ángel Ruiz Torrealba is a Venezuelan model and TV presenter. And a mother. She shares her experience as a mother of young teenagers, the doubts but mostly the hopes it triggers in her. And she suggests sharing, with specialised books on the issue of adolescence, her considerate perspective with other mums. I like the honesty that emerges from her narrative that tends to bring us closer. After all, between mums, we can better understand each other.

#6 In the shoes of a collector: “My Apple cult…

One of the founders of Uriji Jami, Jean Clauteaux, is a collector of stories and dream objects. He’s also passionate about Steve Jobs, Apple, of the symbolic impact that this brand can have on our way of living technology today… And with some cult objects from Apple’s brand, each witness of an era, he has created a sort of museum. Like Proust’s madeleine (an author that our brilliant founder knows very well), each object refers to a memory, a crunchy anecdote sometimes. He shares with the users his passion and even gives us the opportunity to participate in his collection by becoming a member of his club by making a small contribution. I remember a violet 4th generation iPod Nano (dating from September 2008) that I had carefully kept and gave to him. It was a good opportunity for me to make my humble contribution and enrich this incredible collection.

#5 In the shoes of an athlete: “On est tous dans le même bateau

Caroline Varée writes with passion and powerful details, her high-performance sporting experiences that she shares with us for our greatest delight. I am totally ignorant to most of her subjects, but thanks to her passionate words, we’re captivated by her story. In particular, I think of her coxswain experience, this person that does not row, placed at the head of the boat in an “8+” rowing race. The coxswain is the one that steers the boat in the right direction. And as Caroline tells us, it is not only a question of trajectory.

I love learning something new, I find that any subject can be fascinating for anyone. It is just a question of telling the story well enough and above all to relate to it with passion. And in her own way, this is what Caroline does in many of her narratives: she literally lives her words. We necessarily adhere to it. It is also one the basis of Uriji Jami, to share one’s story by bringing back to oneself the interest and the experience of others.

#4 In the shoes of a very young and talented make-up artist: “FX Makeup

Sarah Clauteaux is a young teenager, kind and shy, who hides an incredible talent: face painting. In her bedroom, alone in front of the mirror, the girl gradually transforms her sweet facial traits into characters from our imagination’s scariest films. In her story, she reveals the making-off of one of her latest make-ups, the ‘Purple Clown’. You like it or you don’t, but we are all amazed by her prodigious talent to make the ugly and terrifying, interesting, even… beautiful.

#3 In the shoes of an actress and model: “Encuentro Glam y Senos Ayuda

Alexandra Braun is a wonderful woman, fresh, spontaneous and engaged. In her story, she tells about her participation in an event during which mirrors customised by various artists were sold, for the benefit of Senos Ayuda, a Venezuelan breast cancer organisation for which this young lady is an ambassador.

#2 In the shoes of a writer: “Rubiel e(s)t Moi

Vincent Lahouze is a very active young blogger on social media, especially for the defence of women’s right. His writing is masterful. Many times, I have been captivated by the strength and relevance of his texts irrespective of the subject matter. It’s beautiful, it’s powerful and it’s incredibly well written. For Uriji, he becomes more intimate, with this very personal text on his childhood as an orphan in Colombia, that I hope will materialise in a book. He brings tears to our heart and ties a knot with our guts with his powerful skinned view.

#1 In the shoes of a very young footballer: “Ayudando a los niños con cancer

If there is one story from Uriji that has made a strong impression on me, it is that of this young boy of 14 years old, Leo (or @gatoleo8). In his story, he tells us about his visits to the hospital, the support he tried to provide to young cancer patients, the death of one of his friends and how this experience changed the way he looked at the disease. Happiness is not in the future but in what you are doing daily at present. Not only is his story of a young football fan who wears his heart on his sleeve touching, but the way he tells, reveals himself, sums up perfectly the spirit of Uriji Jami. More than anyone, this young boy, passionate and fascinating, a dreamer and already so humanistic, by the way, he offers the narrative of his stories, is a man of goodwill.

Marie Aschehoug-Clauteaux

Originally published at on March 6, 2017.

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