What Strong Balkan Women Have Taught me about Resiliency

Spending two years right after graduating college in a different country and culture, speaking a different language and working in a new field definitely tests a person’s resilience. Sometimes I question my decision, wondering if it would have been easier or better to stay home. But I was hungry for it, I wanted to test my resilience.

Those women have taught me more about resiliency than any of my own struggles ever could.

I also care deeply about the peace work being done in this region and the women that my organization partners with. Those women have taught me more about resiliency than any of my own struggles ever could. They have lived through a war, governmental and economic strife, the loss of family members, friends, neighbors, all the while living with less because they would rather live in their home country than stay abroad. They are the picture of resilience, because in light of all that keeps them down, they get back up, stronger, empowering not only themselves, but their communities as well. They rise above petty governments, hopelessness, loss and economic struggle and shine as beacons for a peaceful future in this region and the world.

They have taught me the importance of believing in something bigger, of using faith to empower, connect and reconcile the world. Resilience has developed an entirely new meaning for me, because of them. It is no longer a response to events, but a way of life.

Resilience is creating a grassroots organization to improve your local economy, because you saw the need and took the initiative.

It is creating an event to connect women of different faith backgrounds, because everyone else was too afraid but you knew it was what your community needed most.

It is women rising to the challenge and changing the world around them.

Resilience is within every single one of us, it is just a matter of whether or not we choose to rise to it.