Kirthi Jayakumar - Gender Equality & Peace Activist
Kirthi Jayakumar is a gender equality and peace activist, a peace educator, & the founder of the Red Elephant Foundation. The Red Elephant Foundation is built on the foundations of story-telling, training, tech-for-good and advocacy for gender equity and civilian peace building. The initiative aims at creating awareness and opening up channels of communication towards creating societies of tolerance, peace building and equality.
What inspires you?
Every moment, and everything: there is always something to learn, something to understand, and something to shift our perspectives with.
How has what you do made an impact on your life?
I think it makes me a stronger person from within and to never leave the side of resilience: peace, resilience, and love are all choices, and showing up everyday to make these choices is a step closer to a life well worth living.
What is the greatest challenge you have faced getting to where you are today? How has that shaped you?
I honestly don't think I'm at that high a place to look back and say that my challenges are through. I walk challenging paths everyday, as do you and everyone reading this. I try to learn as much as I can from every challenge I face. When I fail, I celebrate inside my head and heart because it means that the lessons are definitely going to lead to personal transformation.
What did you want to be when you grew up? What options seemed open or closed to you, if any?
I wanted to be a lorry driver! When I grew into my teens, I wanted to be a doctor and work at war zones to help people heal. But I couldn't afford medical school.
Who is your role model?
Anne Frank. A thirteen year old with a timeless soul and a timeless mind.
What in life has brought you the greatest satisfaction?
Breathing deeply and acknowledging that life is that tiny dash between birth and death. It's up to us to decorate it.
One piece of advice to women everywhere.
I don't give advice, I have no aukaat to. BUT, I'll say one thing that I know I would love for anyone reading this to know: "you are a phenomenal person and the world is beautiful because of you".