To all the women who are reading this, never doubt yourselves. You are worthy, valuable powerful and have amazing skills to share with the world. Know that you deserve every opportunity in the world to achieve your dreams!
My name is Mariarose Ngosi, I was born and grew up in Malawi. I came to Scotland in my early 20s to persue my education. I am a graduate from Glasgow Caledonian University where I obtained an MSc in operation Management a Post Graduate Diploma in Construction Economics and a Degree in Hospitality Management. Over the past 10years, I worked in various organisations from the hospitality industry to the health care sector. I enjoyed what I did in those 10 years but was still searching for a job that I would call the dream job.
I am currently employed by Radiant and Brighter as Program Leader for The Bright Futures Women’s Leadership and Enterprise program which is funded by the Aspiring Communities Fund. I work with women from all walks of life including; refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Whether you have leave to remain or not, regardless of your circumstances, our door is always open. Radiant and Brighter has given me the second chance I longed to have for so many years. When I was a little girl I used to sing a song called this little light of mine am going to let it shine. This song is sang by many children in my home country, nurseries, schools and even churches. When we sing the song to our children we bring that light out upon them, proclaiming their destiny, not knowing what their destiny will be. I found out that as we grew up, many of us stopped singing it and our parents stopped singing the song to us because it is regarded as a song for little children. However, we don’t realise that, as we grow up, our mind grows, the song disappears, our attitude changes and our thoughts become hardened because the light stops shining little by little. All the things we say we are going to become as children get covered up as we grow up and the light becomes uncertain. You are only left with the words, ‘this is what I wanted to be when I grew up’. The inside light continues to burn, giving you the desire to continue but because it has been covered by the worries and problems, encountered in our everyday life, the light completely disappears.
At Radiant and Brighter we work to get that light to shine again. We believe that what was lost can be found. When I started working with the Bright Futures women, I realised that I did not need to wait for someone to discover me. I came to understand that I am perfectly able to use the skills I have, and I am able to work towards becoming the person I want to be. One of the reasons I like Radiant and Brighter a lot is that I have the voice to speak and grow as an African woman in Scotland.
My job has taught me that being in poverty, stuck in the system, and rejected as an immigrant is not my destiny but a journey that will shape my destiny -a history, which people will hear about and learn from, perhaps be inspired too!
My Journey as an immigrant woman in Scotland has not been easy, there have been problems, struggles and the system has tough me to remain resilient, like many others in situations similar to mine. My 7 years of struggle with no leave to remain, no entitlement to any public funds, collecting food from different food banks every week and relying on friends for money so as to top up electricity and gas, making sure that I have enough for milk and nappies for my son has made me strong, independent and determined for change. I have made a promise to myself that I will not dwell on my problems whether from the past or in my future, I will reflect, learn from them, and always stay positive and be happy.
What I know is that a dream does not become reality by magic -it takes passion, determination, attitude to change, a positive attitude to life and a whole different mindset. Your attitude to change can make someone or an organisation believe in you and give you a chance and an opportunity to shine. I got it at Radiant and Brighter where I lead the Bright Future group.
The bright futures programme has empowered me, improved my skills and motivated me not to give up, I am always holding on to my dreams, vision and values. I would say to every woman, don’t look back, stay focussed, look forward, hold your ground with meaning and purpose and don’t forget to hold someone’s hand when they need help.
Leader of Bright Futures Program -Radiant and Brighter