Okay, so this hard for me to write. I can feel my heart beating faster than it should be.
However, this charity that I am raising money for, AXIS counselling, do some extraordinary and outstanding work for the people of our small town, and as such they mean a lot to me.
First off, let's start at the beginning. Towards the back end of 2018, I met a boy and he would soon become my boyfriend. All was good in the world, or so I thought. Flashforward to May 22nd 2019, we are on holiday and had gone out to dinner together, a few drinks were consumed that night.
I won't go into horrid details. Alas, I was drunk, tired and lethargic and so I struggled to push the 60kg worth of weight that was my partner off of me. Yes, you did read that right. I was raped.
I didn't want to believe what had just happened to me was real, and so I buried the memory of it for seven months, right up until the night of December 28th 2019. By this point we had been broken up for three months. It took me a few months to get the courage to report this assault but I did.
And so, this is where AXIS counselling services come in. From the moment I was referred I was given an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, who I must say is amazing at what she does. This lady made sure I had the support I needed and ensured I had a host of ways to manage the affects of my trauma.
There is more of a description of what AXIS does in the link I am attaching below, and so this why I want to raise money for this organisation by hiking to Mt Everest base camp. Without AXIS i really don't know where I'd be.
So please, if you've gotten this far, donate - even if its next to nothing, every little bit helps support this amazing organisation and it's workers within it's walls.
Chances are, whether you realise or not, there is somebody you know who has been affected by rape and/or sexual assault.
I refuse to ever feel the way I did that night again. But one thing I refuse to do is let others suffer the same way, I may not be able to stop sexual assault, but I can be a shoulder to cry on, to vent to, and to be there for others who may be struggling.
I have a voice, and I will not be silenced.
Peace and long life.
If I had to give parents one piece of advice, it would definitely be:
🌺Encourage your children to volunteer🌺
Why? Because almost every soft skill that I have today was in some shape of form created or grown by my different volunteer work experiece.
1. I learned to be communicative.
2. Networking and public speaking became less & less stressful and more & more enjoyable.
3. Gained so much knowledge about art, film, theatre an other industries.
All in all, I believe that volunteering is one of the best ways to grow as a human being and learn about others.
Was watching ‘The Half of It’ on Netflix last night (great show!) and a particular quote stood out:
“... the difference between a good painting and a great painting, is typically five strokes. And they are usually the five boldest strokes in the painting. The question of course, is which five strokes?”
So often in meeting startup founders, we talk about how to do X, Y and Z aimed at improving certain metrics. While incremental change is good, it’s often the big moves and pivots that make a difference, e.g. Slack started as a gaming company. If you’re a founder, what’s your bold stroke? Are you prepared to ruin a good company to become a great one?
In March 10th, 1876, Mr Alexander Graham Bel, an inventor of the telephone, made the first call and uttered his famous phrase: “Mr. Watson, come on. I want to see you."
Exactly after 140 years 3 months and 13 days, or in June 22nd, 2016, when 77-year-old Ms. Angelė answered the phone call, nobody asked her to go anywhere. Just engage into friendly conversation.
This is how “Sidabrinė linija" - the free of charge befriending and support helpline for the elderly - was started 4 years ago. Today we serve more than 3000 old age people providing them with information, friendship and advise, have “an army” of 500+ volunteers, they all together have already had and enjoyed more than 52k calls lasting 1100k minutes.
Let’s celebrate this festive day together!