One step at a time | Daily News


One step at a time

Ilma International Girls’ School
Head Girl of  Ilma International  Girls’ School  Fiza Hanif.  Pictures by Sarath Peiris
Head Girl of Ilma International Girls’ School Fiza Hanif. Pictures by Sarath Peiris

In her heart is the love to impart knowledge. Perfect Prefects features Head Girl of Ilma International Girls’ School Fiza Hanif who along with this noble desire wishes to be a peace activist spreading love and harmony.

The world is vast and addressing the ills of this world may be too colossal a task for one man or woman. But if we can all join hands and try to make a change in our lives and someone else’s life, that small step taken by all of us can change the world.

“Making a difference starts with a single step and we can change the world one person at a time. It can be helping someone in our community or our country, within our circle of friends or in our family. We can offer shelter, provide food, assist with education, meet people and talk to them nicely. So all these small things can make a huge difference in a person’s life. We can change their world for them. One by one taking a single step at a time, we can change one person at a time and change the world altogether,” pointed out Hanif.

Hanif understands the transformative power of teaching. At such a young age what she has seen has had an impact on her life. And along with the desire to teach is the desire to work for peace. To try and help people understand each other and spread love.

“My biggest dream in life and my biggest goal is to make my parents proud. Seeing the smiles on their faces when we accomplish something as children is what pushes me and keeps me going forward. My ambition from a very young age is to teach. I have seen teachers imparting knowledge and I have been inspired by them all. Along with my love for teaching is my desire to be a peace activist for the United Nations and promote peace and security in the world.

When I look at the world around me today, what I currently see is unrest. We see unrest between nations and we see unrest between industries who are arguing to sell the best product in the market, unrest between people fighting for land, power and money. There are lots of misunderstandings between communities within the world. So what I would love to do is stand up and promote peace, love and harmony, tolerance, understanding between communities,” explained Hanif.

She is not alone in her fight to create a better world. Providence is on her side. If God is for us who can be against us? With her faith in God comes also self- belief.

“I completely trust in the almighty, and along with the support and cooperation I receive from my parents, and from my teachers, I have been able to become Head Girl. I also strongly believe in myself and I am determined to try out new things,” said Hanif.

Hanif adds that the biggest inspiration in her life will always be her mom. She has seen her mother’s dexterous handling of everyday tasks.

“I have always seen her handling things, multi-tasking, making sure that we lack nothing and we have everything we need. I have seen her balancing everything - the work at home and us. She is my biggest inspiration in life,” stated Hanif.

Her school has made her the self-confident young woman that she is today. The qualities she has developed and the skills that she has acquired have been instilled in her by her school. It has provided her with the platform to grow as an individual and most importantly to form relationships. Initially, she used to be a shy and quiet person, a quiet person who was reluctant to address an audience, someone who was apprehensive about voicing her opinion. Yet her school has done wonders for her.

“I have learnt a lot about unity and teamwork, friendship, courage and leadership. These things are not normally acquired by reading books. My school is the place that taught me all these things and it is like a home to me. The reason I am here today is because of my school too. I love performing on stage and debating. Performing on stage and acting has pushed me out of my comfort zone and it helps me experience new things. I can be who I want to be and I can just imagine myself in a different situation. I can strongly put out my opinions, not being judged for what I say. Through debating you get to experience new horizons, learn new things about countries, places and people. So I love acting and debating and I also love gardening, needlework, art and painting,” added Hanif.

She points out that everyone expects life to go easy and go their way. She says that what we need to know is that life is not always a bed of roses and that there are thorns in our path We need to face them and fight them and become stronger than we were before. We need to be strong and confident and most importantly we need to stay true to ourselves. We need to overcome any obstacle that comes our way.

“I admire the final messenger of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, because I have read stories about him, and he is someone who loves to promote peace, harmony, unity and brotherhood between religions and societies. Today there is a great need for peace and harmony between societies. I see him as a great leader because he used to inspire people with his peaceful messages. He used to create bonds between people. Leaders today need to do that, and the world needs peace at this time,” said Hanif.

She states that she loves reading books especially the mystery and thriller books such as the Agatha series books. What they have taught her about life is that no matter how complicated the problem is, there is always a solution to it. It might seem hard at the beginning, but in the end, there is a positive outcome. There is a solution to every problem in life.

“Different people have different ways of handling pressure, what I do is, I take a book and note down everything that is going through my head. I write it all down, and then I categorize it under specific headings. That way it is easy for me to sort out information. If necessary I discuss it with my teachers and with my board of prefects. I delegate the work and share the work and handle the pressure that way,” said Hanif. 

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