Our Humanity in the Balance

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OHIB Featured Member

Geysha Pathinathan (Canada)
Educator and Counsellor, Humanitarian and Peace Activist

I have witnessed first-hand the unimaginable suffering and devastation of armed conflict at an early age. I was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada with my family, in my early teens. My carefree childhood and the life I had known came to a sudden halt in 1983, due to the ethnic riots where thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians were killed and many more made homeless, as well as refugees.

My new life thus began over a quarter of a century ago and I remain humbled and grateful. As I continue to hear of struggles within the post war population, especially in the war ravaged northern region of Sri Lanka - I am faced with an undeniable truth; what stands between a woman - who at this very moment is battling to survive - in the streets of Jaffna and me is 'opportunity'.

This simple yet, profound truth comes with a greater responsibility; I see this responsibility as an inherent and welcome obligation of a global citizen.

In 2007, I had the privilege of visiting the DR Congo and volunteering there for a short period of time. My trip to Africa was life altering - this visit has served to influence the next chapter in my contribution; I feel a deep calling to pursue conflict resolution.

My own personal journey as a war affected youth, enhanced by my collective experiences of work, study and travels abroad have truly prepared me to serve at the next level. I am inspired by OHIB's resolute commitment to vision and grateful for this opportunity.

Is not our liberation bound to that of the masses?

We are bound together inexplicably ... thread by thread ... within the depths of our despair, as in the heights of our glory ~ Such is the fabric of our humanity.

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