threads of our fabric

Reflections on navigating between two cultures and understanding the self-awareness process

In.to-me-C March 24, 2011

Filed under: Inspiration — Sharon Asonganyi @ 12:14 am
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I am trying something quite unique with this post – visual poetry… At times pictures beautifully capture and fully express the profound sentiments hidden behind simple words…Enjoy!!!

 

The Threads of Our Fabric Project began by a step through a portal of uncertainty

Graphic by Saizen Media



To the sky I may soar or remaining rooted to the ground I might stay…either way total surrender was the only choice

Graphics by: Double 7 amar akhtar

 

Daring to expose and be transformed by the process

 

Graphics by: Nielly Francoise

 

One soul with a vision and a passion…Now I move with increasing assurance

 

 

 

Graphics by: Design42day

 

 

 

  


 

Discovering the power of – ONE

 

 

 

  
 
 

 

Gwen Rakotovao

 

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CARE 2011 – 10,000 Women Strong Project March 11, 2011

Hello – As I gather my thoughts from an inspirational CARE 2011 National conference that took place in Washington, DC, please enjoy one of the many featured highlights of the experience! More on my thoughts to come!

 

New AGE Project coming to Ohio!!! March 6, 2011

♥Click here for more info: Threads of Our Fabric Project in Ohio!!!♥

April 16, 2011

 

 

Threads of Our Fabric February 19, 2011

It is still quite surreal seeing my name in print…Here is an article from the Silver Spring Gazette on a part of the The Threads of Our Fabric Project…Enjoy and thank you for your support!

Silver Spring woman hopes focus groups will connect female African immigrants

Focus groups will connect female African immigrants

by Alison Bryant | Staff Writer

Sharon Asonganyi considers her life a vibrant tapestry.

Threads of childhood in Cameroon weave through fibers of adolescence in the United States. A strand of a career crosses another of family. Femininity knots up with friendship.

“My fabric is so diverse,” Asonganyi said. “It’s the influence of Africa and America in one. When we start adding all these fibers of my fabric, it’s very diverse.”

And it’s this colorful cloth — the events and experiences that shape a life — that Asonganyi wants to help African females living in Silver Spring unfold through focus groups. Threads of Our Fabric, a program Asonganyi founded, will bring together African females between the ages of 15 and 24 to discuss themes such as identity, roles, family expectations and tradition.

Groups of about 10 young women will meet every other week beginning in March to network and connect, Asonganyi said.

Asonganyi said she emigrated from Cameroon to the United States at 13 in 1997 and found herself struggling to embrace a new culture while holding on to that of her home country. Upon first arriving, Asonganyi wanted to blend in with her American peers, she said.

“I didn’t want to braid my hair,” she said. “I didn’t want to be identified with African. I didn’t want to be different.”

But over time, she said she learned to find a balance between her identity in America and her roots in Africa. A balance that’s not necessarily easy to find.

“You’re negotiating all these things … in a new country,” Asonganyi said. “Figuring out who I am, what’s important to me and trying to understand, somewhere in between, their culture and tradition.”

The struggle prompted Asonganyi to form the focus groups that will help other young women experiencing similar emotions to talk and reflect. Sitting together, she said, African females can openly and honestly discuss the challenges with identity and negotiating young adulthood in a new country.

“Our relationships are very important to us,” Asonganyi said. “In periods of stress, women tend to default to relating, and I think that would be something really good in this group — to promote the culture of relating. This is African to African or recent immigrant to recent immigrant.”

Asonganyi said she has reached out to churches, African restaurants and stores to track down women who might be interested in attending a focus group.

Fijoy Fisiy, a friend of Asonganyi who also emigrated from Cameroon, said she met Asonganyi through a mutual group of friends from Africa. Asonganyi, she said, had been talking about starting a program for more than a year and a half.

“I said, ‘Well, go ahead and do it because you’re so passionate about it,’ ” Fisiy said.

Fisiy said she did not have the luxury of connecting with other immigrants when she first got to the United States. But she provided emotional support for her younger siblings, she said. And the focus groups will offer females a similar sense of family.

Asonganyi’s success will lie in her passion for developing strong networks for African immigrants, she said.

“I listen,” Asonganyi said. “I think that’s something that’s very rare because everyone is so busy and on the go. I’m not going to judge you. I will listen. And with youth, I think it gives them that sense of value that their opinions and thoughts are important.”

 

The Not so Little voice within January 28, 2011

Filed under: Leadership,Reflections — Sharon Asonganyi @ 11:34 pm
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When the world sets its eyes on Africa…Will she be ready? How are we equipping our youth both in the Diaspora and Africa to understand the issues of our continent. How do we teach them to always be innovative as they seek solutions?…these are just a few of many daily haunting questions. As I think about my talents and take inventory, the purpose is always ‘how best to use them for the greater good’. I beseech you to do the same and identify areas in which you can engage. For as the saying goes “Tomorrow waits for no (wo)man”. The question is not ‘What can you do?’, but ‘What will you do within your sphere of influence?’…