“I always felt my teenage years were lost; when other teenagers were experiencing things and finding out more about themselves, I was saddled with a baby and a family to take care of. Today I think of things differently. I have come to realise that God never gives anyone anything they cannot handle, no matter how unfortunate the situation might seem,” says Shireen Ramjoo (31), founder of For the Future Lady.
Ramjoo established For the Future Lady in February 2014, to help young women remember their dreams and look beyond their current struggles.
“When you are at a place where you realise that you are one with the universe, one with every other living organism within it, you suddenly see the beauty that you did not see before you … what I have learnt is that a person will start to accept who they are and let go of any hurt, anger and negative feelings … through a spiritual awakening,” she says.
“The person will suddenly start seeing the world in a different way and their previous views and opinions may change drastically.”
CAREER GUIDANCE AND DAILY INSPIRATION
Ramjoo says she has “interviewed a large number of people … and realised that not everyone knows how to construct a good-looking resume”.
She adds, “I have noticed that at times not everyone knows of the options available for them to secure their funding for university as some come from a poor background and other families are just not well informed of how to go about it.”
These insights are the main drivers behind For the Future Lady, which is an “online inspirational youth development hub”. It provides information on career options; finding a dream job; composing resumes; and interview preparation. It links to job vacancies, internships and apprenticeships, and provides information on funding for tertiary education, as Ramjoo believes education can help young girls look beyond their current struggles and work towards being the women they want to be.
EVERYONE HAS A STORY
Born in Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal, Ramjoo says she “always felt like she had a bigger or higher purpose”.
On moving to Johannesburg in 2001, she says, “I was on a high; my time had come, what more could I have asked for. What I thought freedom was back then is not what I know now. From a small town to the big city, I felt as if I had arrived and my dreams were only a step away. Anxious, enthusiastic and excited about what life had to offer, I can recall how naïve I was.”
After moving to Johannesburg in 2001, Ramjoo found she was pregnant in September 2001; she went back to Dundee to have her baby, and returned to Johannesburg in 2002 to further her studies. She says, “I loved that I always had that fighting spirit and somehow knew that I had immense courage.
“We all walk different paths; we all have stories to tell; we walk amongst ordinary heroes and heroines in our societies. It really does not matter where you come from, it’s where you see your life going to that’s important.”
She concludes, “I could have chosen to allow life’s challenges to set me back, but I used it as a motivator to propel me forward. When you realise that every day is an opportunity to allow for growth within yourself, no matter what challenges life presents to you, you will know that you are bigger than that. I did it and so can you.”
For more information visit Shireen Ramjoo or email firstname.lastname@example.org.