By: Julia Shukhman
The inspirational woman that I chose for this presentation is named Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim. She is an indigenous woman from the Mbororo pastoralist community in Chad and is a specialist in adaptation and migration of people and women in relation to climate change, traditional knowledge and the adaptation of pastoralists in Africa. She was born in 1984 and is currently 36 years old and is an environmental activist and a geographer. Hindou’s interest and passion for saving the planet started with the fact that she is an indigenous woman herself and grew up in that community and has witnessed with her own eyes the destruction of planet earth and knew that she wanted to make a difference. Her determination to advocate against climate change has gotten her a lot of recognition such as serving as a Member of the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues, being member of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and many more. Hindou’s way of making a change in this planet is by combining indigenous knowledge with Western research to create a thriving planet.
This woman is like me because we are both very ambitious, fight or what we believe in and don’t give up on our goals. One thing that is different between me and Hindou on the other hand, is that even though we both have the same intentions of saving the planet, she has an evidently bigger voice than me so her work has more positive impact on our planet than what I do. I decided to talk about this woman because of her integrity and her good heart. For example, she has won 100 000$ from the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker family foundation because her work really stood out to them. Hindou stated after winning the big prize: ““The voices of indigenous people are being heard here — through me, through all of you and through this prize,” Ibrahim said. “We are all together. We will win this battle, I am so confident.” She is an extremely humble and powerful woman who is determined to change things for our planet.
I decided to present this woman because she is extremely wise and determined. She used her own firsthand witnessing of the effects of global change to make a difference in this world. Since she grew up in the Mbororo community, who relies on natural resources to survive, Hindou experienced the phenomenon of the Lake Chad drying up, which is very dangerous because it is now 10% of the size it was in the 1960’s and it is an essential source of water for the habitants of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. Her determination to help was shown through her written testimony that she wrote to the International Organization for Migration, where she wrote that indigenous communities, that she is a part of herself, are direct victims of climate change because it has forced them to abandon their own lands and go look for new ones that can support their way of life.
I am defining an inspiration person a someone who has accomplished a lot, not only for herself, but to help the whole world around her and someone that makes me want to be more like them, and a better person over all. I find Hindou inspirational because she is not only fighting against climate change, but for indigenous people’s rights during this crisis which most of the time go unnoticed. She explained how climate change leads to migration for the indigenous communities, which at the end leaves them vulnerable with no stable home and everyone deserves to have a stable place to live where they have everything they need to survive and be comfortable.