Whenever I think about our WOTW, I think of a bee…no lie, because she is so tiny, yet she packs a serious punch, she is always busy and she is completely dedicated to all her responsibilities, especially motherhood.
Although Alisha Ally works at the Government Information Service in the News and Current Affairs division, she leads a double (or quadruple) life. She also serves on the executive of Saint Lucia Youth Ambassadors’ Programme, is the current female CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Saint Lucia and works with the Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee team as well.
The Black Bay, Vieux Fort native describes herself as being highly sensitive. It is for this reason that she pours herself into all the named causes and programmes.
Ally said she is she is also fluent in Sarcasm and so: “Some people can’t ‘figure me out. My small stature and demeanour usually lead people to under-estimate me and try to bulldoze me. It’s usually a surprise for others that I am not a pushover.”
Speaking of small stature, The VOICE asked Ally where in her tiny frame does she get all her strength and courage from. She said: “In my mind I’m 6ft. 4 inches (try divided by two) so there goes your tiny theory and I am still at a very young age (in my mind again). Regarding speaking out: some call it courage; some call it stupidity. It’s a matter of perspective. I never felt that I was advocating on anyone’s behalf until I encountered people of varying ages and backgrounds with similar issues. Some were afraid to speak out while others didn’t know how. Knowing the challenges that I went through as a child, a teenager and as a young adult, I passionately want to help others with their trials and/or obstacles, fully aware of the resistance I will meet. I’ve been fortunate to have good, strong mentors and cheerleaders in my life – from my teachers to community leaders to my friends (who are more like my family) and my family who I draw strength from when I’ve exhausted my reserves. My belief is that we are put on this earth to make a positive difference for at least one person. This is me trying. I don’t know if I am successful or will ever be successful in my goal. What I do know is that I am trying to make a society that my son will be proud of while I raise my son to be a man that society can be as equally proud.”
With all that said, one has to wonder just what she gets out of it all. Ally said: “Most people think I have a mega yacht docked off Marigot Bay when in reality it costs me more financially, emotionally and physically to do this kind of work. The rewards though…unimaginable. To know that you can effect positive change in a community, a society…that is more valuable than gold and diamonds. I devote my weekends to my face to face volunteer work but sometimes I have to squeeze it in during the week. My schedule gets rather busy so I try to organise my time as best as I can. I am grateful that I am not alone in this and I have good, solid team members who have my back.”
Ally revealed that all is not nice and dandy however. She said: “There are always internal and external forces. Sometimes it’s the same people who you’re fighting for that are fighting you down. Frustration and I are on an intimate basis. I hit the gym and take my frustration on the weights then I take a step back so I can remember…it’s not about me. Most of what I am doing will never benefit me but the upcoming generations will reap the rewards”.
Perhaps more valuable, are the life’s lessons and skills that Ally said she continues to learn from her experiences.
When asked what they are, she said: “Empathy is critical to what I do and who I am. It is the one skill I have developed over the years with the wide scope of experiences I have had personally and through my professional and volunteer life. I don’t judge other people’s opinions or choices. This allows me to shatter society’s conformist mould and free myself from the shackles of unrealistic expectations.”
Oh and lest we forget, her works have not gone unnoticed. But with that said, Ally counts the results of her works shown in others as some of her achievements as opposed to counting trophies and other awards that sit on a mantlepiece.
She said: “My achievements? Aside from contributing to policy…that moment when I see a young man I mentored speaking fluently and confidently in public. It’s that moment when I see a young lady take my advice and carry herself with class and decorum. It’s the drive of the upcoming generation who are knocking down the hurdles that my generation couldn’t tackle.”
For her secret, Ally shared an intimate part of her life that I am hoping will open some eyes and cause people to speak out if they are in similar situations.
She said: “I suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as a result of several traumas I experienced in my life. It is something I deal with every minute of every day. The process to overcome is slow but this is one war I intend to win.”