Cheryl Lynn Obal
I am aware of how lucky I am as a woman who was born in the United States, and I just can't accept that countless people just like me, the same age, work ethic and values halfway across the world, live their lives in oppression, poverty, or in the constant threat of war, famine, or natural disasters. Having grown up in the United States I have so many rights, freedoms, and privileges, due to the economic, social, and political systems that exist in North America. Others who are born in the Third World do not have the same possibilities, and that is due to no fault of their own but rather the situation of the country they are born in. I have been so lucky, and had so many opportunities in life. I have done whatever I wanted to do: dance on professional stages, publish a book, travel the world. Therefore, it's time to give back to the Universe for all it has given me. For more on my dance career, please see the page Dancing Around the World.
There are so many problems in the world and so many areas in which a person can dedicate oneself to helping people. When thinking about what I could do to help people and why, I asked myself, "what situation bothers you the most?" and the answer that came to me was human rights abuses. To further my understanding in this field, I decided to attend Grad school for human rights, and in 2010 I got my MA International Peace Operators from the Universita' delgi Studi di Trieste, Italy (Gorizia campus). The topic of my thesis was International human rights law and its applications in India. To complete the research for my thesis, I spent two summers in India as a volunteer with Indian human rights organizations, in order to immerse myself in the culture and fully understand how human rights abuses occur in this vast, fascinating, and culturally-rich subcontinent. For more information, please see the page India.
To be continued...