Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tererai Trent

Oprah's first interview with Tererai was in 2009.  She said Tererai's story is her favorite of all time, " because it speaks to the power of what an individual can do and it doesn't matter where you come from."  This also happens to be one of my favorite stories because it is a story of survival, belief in oneself and the power to make your dreams come true.  Tererai is from Zimbabwe and wasn't allowed an education because she is a female.  Only her brothers were allowed to go to school.  She was married off at 11 years old to an abusive man and had three children by age 18.  In 1991, Jo Luck from Heifer International visited the village and asked the girls what their hopes and dreams were.  Tererai said she wanted to live in America and get an education.  Jo told her, "If you desire those things, it is achievable."  Tererai's mother encouraged her to write her dreams down, and she put them in a tin and buried them in the ground.  Today all of those dreams have come true.  She lives in the U.S., earned her Bachelors degree, a Masters degree and PhD.  Her dream is to now pay it forward and build schools for her village in Zimbabwe.  She had started raising funds to rebuild and Oprah surprised her by donating 1.5 million to help her build the school.   There are a lot of details which were left on how she accomplished all of this, but the odds were obviously stacked against her.  It took her two decades, but she accomplished what she set out to do.  Her story is one I don't ever want to forget.

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