Fatima’s story – born into poverty

In early 2019, I went to Morocco to film a documentary highlighting the division of wealth.

I interviewed family members, friends and strangers.

There was one memorable story, Fatima’s story.

Fatima pictured in her house

She lives in a little shack located in Quartier Takaddoum, Rabat, Morocco.

One of the first few questions I asked her was “how old are you?”

She couldn’t answer this question because she didn’t even have an answer. Her parents didn’t know what month or year she was born in.

This lady has no family. Her sister died, her brother died and her mother died.

She was once married to a man who left her for another woman.

She has never had children.

Her life has been hard from childhood. In her younger years she worked as a maid for a Jewish family and all her income would go to her mother.

She has no financial help and relies solely on donations from people who pass her house. She does nothing all day, as she suffers from chronic back and leg pain. The most she is able to do is make food in her kitchen.

I wanted to know what she wanted in the future and she told me the only thing she needs in life is good health.

I asked her a final question “are you happy with your life right now?”

She said: “This is the life God gave me and this is what I am grateful for. We don’t know if we live or if we die. We can only remain grateful. Life is short, make the most of it, create memories.”

What I learnt from Fatima was that we should start living in the moment and avoid waking up with regrets. I realised that life is too short to be overthinking a decision and the best thing is to just do things and stick with it.

Seeing her smiling and talking so positively about her current position in life has warmed my heart. In this day and age we often find ourselves complaining about first world problems, such as not having the newest iPhone or best outfits. But meeting someone like her has humbled me and I learnt that you can be happy with the bare minimum in life.

Travelling has opened my eyes and helped me find people like Fatima that we often walk past in the street without even knowing half their story. She is living in the shadows without any friends or family, having someone stop by to ask her how her day was could make a massive impact. Something that is so small to us can be so big to someone else.

I hope to meet more people like her that will make me feel more grateful for the life that I am living today.

If you wish to meet people with inspirational stories like Fatima’s then there is an opportunity to volunteer abroad with Global Bridges in Ghana and Panama this year.

You can join their volunteers group chat on Whatsapp via this link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/J5fbvO4gX1JBgvOKh6v3MT

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