A Quiet Hero

Almost trafficked
November 12, 2022
Shoulder to Shoulder  
November 26, 2022

A Quiet Hero

Strength and boldness are often hidden by a shy presence or cautious demeanor. While courage is easily recognizable in the warrior or the youth, others hold a subtle power that takes time to unfold. Abdullah is one of these quiet heroes of his community. He participated in Keystone's 6-month exercise-based program and experienced a transformation that he then multiplied into his community.

  

Abdullah was once a shy man who found it difficult to meet strangers and make friends. His wife, Fatima, heard about the Keystone Project and encouraged her husband to go and participate. Abdullah attended one of the meetings, intimidated but ready to take on the challenge. As the discussion opened, he found himself sitting in a group of 20 men he didn't know. However, as the facilitative style of the meeting encouraged the men to engage in discussion, Abdullah began feeling emboldened to talk and share. In the end, he questioned why he felt so shy in the first place! Over time, Abdullah opened up more and more, not just in the setting of the Keystone meetings. He started making friends within the group and meeting strangers outside of the group. His shyness melted into enjoyment as he engaged with others.

  

The project's impact on Abdullah did not end with just him. Abdullah teaches barbering in a local youth rehabilitation center. He began taking topics he learned and discussed in the Keystone meetings and sharing them with the youth he works with. Now, as they learn a job skill from Abdullah, they also learn life skills, such as stress management, goal setting, self-discipline, and dealing with depression. This transformation is a marker of sustainable change, as Abdullah's individual growth directly affects his sphere of influence.

 

Through Abdullah, there is a second-generation impact in his community. The influence of health has multiplied; in his home, workplace, and outside friendships. Abdullah explains that now, he isn't afraid to meet strangers. His wife speaks of how proud of him she is; he's transformed from a shy man battling depression to someone full of hope and enlivened to engage with others.

 *Name changed 


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