This is Lilly. She's my little girl. She has heard my heart beat from the inside.
My soul's desire is to raise her in a way that she knows she can do, be and have whatever she sets her mind to. Her will, passion and desire can and will make all of her dreams come true. Whatever they are. She will choose her path based on her true purpose. I will do everything in my power to lift her, support her and champion her. Even when it's uncomfortable, even when I disagree with her, even when I don't understand her. She will know that I am on her side. That I have her back. That her safe place in the world is me. That I am her biggest cheerleader.
There is another mother in Bangladesh. She has a little girl too. Her little girl is asleep on the cold, dirty floor of a garment factory where her mother works about 15 hours a day sewing T-shirts. The quotas keep getting higher, but her pay doesn't. It's about *21 cents per hour. Regardless of how much the garment costs that she is making. This mother will work 7 days this week, next week and the week after that. It's taxing and tiring on her mind and her body. She's not permitted to take a break to get a drink of water. Which is probably for the best because she's not allowed a toilet break either. But at least she makes enough to feed, clothe and house her little girl. Oh no, that's right, no she doesn't.
I grew up in the country. The city, for me, was big and wild and scary. When I was young I dreamt about riding the sunset out of my small town life and waking up in a city of dreams! I definitely took the long way around, but eventually I made it to the city. And it has been as marvellous as I imagined! For as hard as I've worked, the cities I've lived in have returned the favour. As big as my dreams got, my city has always welcomed the challenge and paid the rewards.
Most Bangladeshi garment workers come from the country too. She travelled to the city knowing this was where she would get a job sewing. She didn't know she would suffer from malnutrition. She didn't know she would get sick. She didn't know her body would give out by the time she was 40. She didn't know the move would ruin her.
As mother's we share so much. We both have dreams and hopes, for ourselves and especially for our daughters. We both want them to have more than we did. We both want them to learn from our mistakes. We both want them to have the world.
My Lilly will take on the world. She loves to sing, she sings all day long. She dances wildly and laughs with the joy and innocence of childhood. She is curious, and she is safe.
There's a little girl asleep on the cold, dirty floor of a garment factory in Bangladesh. Her mother is sick and hasn't eaten, she hasn't even stopped for a sip of dirty water. At the end of the day when she's made her $3.15 she has to work out who in the family will get to eat. It's simply not enough for everyone. Her daughter is still asleep, if she just keeps sleeping maybe she can go without dinner again tonight. That might help.
They sold the T-shirts she made in shops around the world for $5 each. Which is great. Because we love $5 T-shirts! It's means we can have another latte before we head home.