“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
― Helen Keller
Real stories of personal resilience, in the face of great adversity, resonate with something deep inside the human spirit. They speak to the precarious nature of life on this planet, but also the vulnerability and incredible strength of the human condition.
In our final Insight for 2020, we have 3 inspiring stories of deep resilience, endurance and hope in the face of despair, loss and suffering.
- Aminata Conteh-Biger was captured by rebel forces (aged 18) during the eleven-year civil war in Sierra Leone. She experienced the full horrors of war up until her dramatic release via a televised prisoner exchange. Aminata, now a mother of two, has founded the Aminata Maternal Foundation to improving maternal mortality outcomes for women and girls in Sierra Leone – the world’s most dangerous place to give birth.
- John Quinn is a sports physiologist and performance coach with 35-year training many of Australia’s leading athletes and sports teams. In 2014, John was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease which multiple brain lesions that impacted his speech, memory and cognition for a number of years. Through a long road of rehabilitation and self-discovery, John emerged with an even stronger determination for changing people’s lives.
- Helen Meekosha has spent a lifetime resisting injustice. In 1964, aged 16, she joined the Tobacco Workers Union to fight for equal pay whilst working at a cigarette factory in England. In 1979, on arriving in Wollongong, she was engaged as Co-ordinator of the first Migrant Resource Centre in Australia and a founding member of Wollongong’s Jobs for Working Women Campaign and commenced a 14-year battle with BHP to allow women to work for the town’s biggest employer. In 1980, Helen was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has continued to fight for equality, dignity, and justice for people with disabilities. She has been recognised nationally and internationally as a leading disability activist and scholar and was Vice President the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) (based in the USA) between 2015 -17..
Hear Aminata, John and Helen share their real-life stories of resilience and strength.