A Story of Hope

Updated: Feb 20

Shikodo is about creating human stories. This is a story about two persons who had big challenges. How can you bring two people together with two different life stories so that they can help each other achieve their mutual aspirations and overcome the difficulties which confronted them?


Franca has been challenged with cerebral palsy with limited motor skills making it difficult for her to use the keyboard on her lap top. Janet has been a refugee from South Sudan with her nineteen years escaping violence from one country to the next. Franca aspires to find meaningful employment with her own income, something which is so normal for most others. She also wanted to further her education and study a TAFE course in Retail Management. Some people had told Franca that this would be too hard for her and virtually impossible. Janet hoped to find a sense of belonging, overcome her feelings of hopelessness which were overtaking her and also to find work which has been a huge challenge for her while getting knock-back after knock-back.


#Shikodo in partnership with Youth for Global Peace Inc, set about to bring these two people together looking at their strengths not at their weaknesses. Franca had shear determination. Janet had resilience and also had some introduction to navigating the very complex TAFE online learning system. Janet w


as also very fast on the keyboard! Could their strengths blend together to help each achieve their aspirations? #Shikodo and Youth for Global Peace began to put the plan into action and Janet received preliminary training in working with disabilities through one of our Brisbane based Specialist Coaches.

I was there on the day I introduced the two of them. I was little nervous. Would this work out? Franca drew a deep smile towards Janet. Janet returned the smile with a friendly “Hi Franca”. It was a great beginning. Soon they were down to work. Twice a week Janet visits Franca and Coaches her to achieving her Certificate II in Retail Studies. They are three assignments down and eight to go!


This story is still unfolding and Janet tells me Franca will ‘definitely succeed’. Both have told me how life changing this has been for both of them.


Franca relates that she is so delighted to have a new friend while Janet says this has helped lift her out of her feelings of hopelessness. She


also tells me she now feels very motivated towards eventually studying Social Work! I am sure she will.

When human beings come together and align their strengths remarkable things can begin to occur. Mutual empowerment changes us. When we change how we think and look beyond the usual paradigms, great things can happen.


You can become part of this story.A story often inspires us and draws us in. A story can impart wisdom and new ideas.Maybe you would like to be part of the story by being inspired to take action in your own life to achieve things or be the person you have wanted to be. Maybe you would like to give life to your own strengths in reaching out to others in you community in small ways. Each of us has within us an element waiting to come alive.



Janet and Franca have given consent for their names and photographs to be displayed.


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