2019 Asherah Foundation Annual Report

Happy Women’s Day! Asherah Foundation is delighted to announce the official release of the 2019 Annual Report! Thank you for your constant support and interest in Asherah Foundation! In 2019 together we managed to change the lives of 5 women, from 4 different countries.

Letter from Executive Director Heather MacCleoud

March 8, 2020

In 2019, the Asherah Foundation was able to provide scholarships to five amazing women! Each of these women inspired us with their resilience and persistence in the face of adversity. They are all working hard to complete their education and improve their communities. They range in age from 29 – 46 years, with an average age of 34. Three of them have dependents and two are single mothers. Their degrees are focused on finance, economics, human development, and environmental studies.

Abeer Mohammed Ghamdhan escaped the violence in her home in Yemen. She has already built programs and developed projects that have supported access to education for more than 6000 children. She is conducting research for her thesis on the effect of social media on the development of children in Yemen with a focus on strengthening civil society to create positive change. She is attending the Universiti Malaysia Perlis in Malaysia.

Evelyne Manishimwe is working on a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the International University of Equator in Burundi. She had been a victim of the Tutsi and Hutu civil war, her survival’s price being her left leg. She has transformed her adversity into power by becoming an active member of the Association of Handicapped Women of Burundi, and by demonstrating the importance of resilience by continuing her studies.

Jackline Samuel is a South Sudanese single mother of two with three dependents. She works full time while going to school for her baccalaureate degree in Accounting & Finance at Cavendish University in Uganda. She wants to use this degree to create change on three different levels. The first level is individual women to whom she hopes to impart financial literacy and management. Capacity building for the financial management of community-based organizations is the next level. Finally, she hopes to facilitate the development of educational capacity so that public sectors in South Sudan have the appropriate human resources to be effective.

Maklin Hussein Al-Ahmadi is a single mother who escaped Yemen’s violence with her daughter. She fought to access and afford the PhD program in Economy & Monetary Policy at The Institute for Arab Research and Studies in Egypt. She currently teaches while researching and writing about the effects of monetary policy on Egyptian inflation and balance of payments for her dissertation. Her goals are two-fold: she hopes to use her education to impact policy and help rebuild Yemen. She also has begun to teach others some of the more advanced statistical techniques and research methods she has learned – working to fill the gap in educational opportunities in these topics she had experienced.

Maryline Jabar is a mother of two from Liberia. She started college later in life due to violence from the Liberian civil war, as well as from the effects of an abusive marriage when she was a teenager. She is making progress on her degree in Environmental Studies at Stella Maris Polytechnic in Liberia. With her studies, she aims to have an independent life, and empower disadvantaged women and children in her community. She has already set up three working groups with a total of 30 women working towards alleviating hunger.

These amazing women remind us all what is possible when one persists through adversity. They also remind us of the power of education to transform individuals and to transform society.

With gratitude for everyone who has supported these women, we hope you will continue to celebrate their successes with us, and to help support them as they transform their worlds.

Heather MacCleoud, PhD

Executive Director

Meet Sahra, our 2019 second chance scholarship recipient

In this article, we share the story of Sahra, our 2019 second chance scholarship recipient.

Sahra's picture
Sahra, our 2019 second chance scholarship recipient

I have been eager to continue my studies in order to widen my skills and knowledge, but due to financial constraints I was not able to do so. This scholarship will give me a second chance and the hope of a brighter future. Thanks to it, I would have a broader knowledge in Accountings and Finance, becoming a self-reliant individual who can achieve her personal development goals.

I plan to support three sectors in my community to acquire the basic knowledge for improving citizens’ living standards and services:

Second chance scholarships for women: IMPACT ON communities

A second chance scholarship enable women to develop skills and assist their communities.

As a citizen of a community where women have limited knowledge of financial management and accountability, I will support the community by building the capacity of individual women with focus on those with limited education.

I will guide them to acquire skills in financial management and financial accountability, and teach them how to start a business. I will emphasize the importance of saving and help them develop income generating activities to provide for their basic needs. I believe life will gradually transform when all these plans will be successfully implemented.

Community based organizations/ associations:

Hands together.
Skilled individuals can become
great assets for communities as they
help them improve their operations.

Organizations and associations are the most effective institutions for the implementation of projects targeting community, since they are well aware of their community issues and could suggest solutions.

Since some problems cannot be solved without the external partners’ intervention, funding is also needed. However, all funding agents want to receive back a better accountability for the used resources and most community organizations do not have competent and skilled personnel to support the organization carry their activities in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, making it difficult for the Organization or Association to get support from investors. I would be willing to assist all those who request support in order to be able to improve their record keeping and reporting both internally and externally.

The Public Sector:

calculator used for accounting and finance
“I would be willing to assist
all those who request support
in order to be able to
improve their record keeping

and reporting both
internally and externally.”

The Public Sector in South Sudan is said to be the most corrupted system and I think some of this could be due to lack of capacity. I will focus more on the education sector to ensure that schools have the basic knowledge on how to manage the school’s resources rationally for intended purposes with clear evidence.

Over all, my intention is to have a transformed community through capacity building that targets strengthening women, guiding them to live independent lives, and become positive contributors to their community.

In conclusion, if the Asherah Foundation provides me with a second chance scholarship, I will demonstrate a similar example, showing my gratitude by supporting a few vulnerable students to complete their education.


Sahra is one of the Asherah Foundation’s outstanding recipients of 2019’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. Thank you for constantly supporting our fundraiser! We are happy to build Sahra’s dream together!

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

About us: The Asherah Foundation

Dedicated to providing Second Chance Scholarships to Women around the world, the Asherah Foundation helps women obtain a post-secondary credential. Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us.


Second chance scholarships give talented individuals the opportunity they need to change their lives.

Would you like to support women who have undergone difficult circumstances continue their education? Read this post until the end and learn how!

Sophia’s story, a pathway to a second chance scholarship

Falling behind my peers by a year was not an easy decision to make. Coming from this side of the world, where taking a gap year after high school graduation has become a thing of the past, not going to college immediately meant you either failed your exams or did not meet the requirements to be admitted into a university.

As such, when the time most university classes commence, rumours and names form on the lips of the people who lurk in the dark alleyways. One almost always sees someone pointing a finger at him, looking at him from head to toe – the face of societal disapproval.

One instantly loses respect and is often thought to have no potential. But little do they know of that student who does not shy away, but still walks boldly in the light of the day.

Facing financial issues

How painful it is to succeed at gaining admission into your dream school but failing to attend it due to dire financial need!

How heart-wrenching it is to make a decision that everyone thought was foolish, in pursuit of a wild dream they did not believe would materialise for you, only to look seemingly true with time.

My first chance of attending MSU slipped through my fingers when I did not qualify for the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship due to a missed deadline and incomplete submission of application documents. However, as its name already suggests, this scholarship will provide me with a second chance opportunity in that it is going to considerably help me obtain a bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University.

I do not consider myself unable to attend school this year, but my younger brother will be attending a local university this fall, so it will become difficult in the future.

I believe in women empowerment…

I believe in women empowerment and it is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in a male-dominated field. I believe in the quote, ‘What a man can do, a woman can do it better’. This is not to say there will be no disparities between males and females but I believe that occupations should not be gender marginalised.

Africa has been my home for the whole 19 years of my life. I have never been outside the shores of Ghana, but I knew there is going to be a greater lot in store for me the moment I took the opportunity of schooling abroad.

How is it that Africa is the richest but poorest continent in the world? Simple. We are the wealthiest in natural resources but impoverished in GDP. This is because Africa lacks skilled labour and technical knowhow in efficiently exploiting her resources.

This problem I attribute not to the leaders of this day, but largely to the theory-based universities and education system in Africa! 

My vision

After obtaining my degree in mechanical engineering, I envision myself as being one of the game changers for Africa and whichever community I find myself in.

One of the few things I will like to do (in addition to the clichés of giving back to society) to benefit not only the Ghanaian community but the African one as well, is to establish research centres all over the continent, where basic and applied research will be conducted. It is through research that many universities have made discoveries and devised solutions to many of our everyday problems.

Through these research centres and affiliated programs that encourage innovation, little by little, we will be able to form structures and systems that will robustly enhance the development of Africa as well as solve its environmental problems and issues.


Sophia is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2017’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. Sophia studies in a male-dominated field in order to become one of tomorrow leaders’ that could give back to the African communities.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

About us – helping women AROUND THE WORLD access SCHOLARSHIPS

We are the Asherah Foundation, a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to provide second chance scholarships for women around the world.

We would like to thank our donors who help us make the dreams of women from all over the world come true. We are happy to assist them in their journey!

Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us.

Meet Aurora, One of Our Second Chance Scholarship Recipients

The potential of women is limitless, second chance scholarships help women around the globe reach and surpass their potential. Interested in helping women receive education, or in applying for a scholarship?

Continue reading, learn the story of Aurora and see how her application brought her the chance to become a second chance scholarship recipient!

The story of Aurora

I am applying for financial aid at this time because I want to have a second chance for my higher education, essential for the realization of my dream of bringing a change in my community with the help of leadership, empathy and diversity inclusion.

I am a fresh graduate from a technical undergraduate college in India, unable to afford my education in New York City independently. Despite having the passion, grit, and commitment to pursue my higher education at Columbia University, the financial constraint is a big hurdle.

I belong to a conservative small town in Uttar Pradesh, India named Meerut. My high school was an all-girls institution where Home Science (teaching, cooking, hospitality, etc.) was an important elective but Computer Science not, since the bias that engineering is good for boys while household work for girls, persisted.

My passion to empower women

With some of my friends, I initiated the reform of introducing Computer Science in the curriculum for creating new possibilities for my juniors and succeeded.

I am the first girl child in my family who studied Computer Science Engineering, the first in my city to have visited Stanford University for a summer term to study Computer Science and the only girl from an Indian institution to have participated in the international entrepreneurial program ‘Silicon Valley Innovation Academy’ during Stanford summer.

While keeping up with my love for promoting welfare among student communities, I have worked with organizations like Leaders for Tomorrow as the Campaign Manager for Anti-Drugs and Anti-Ragging Campaign, WHO, Unicef and USAID as youth volunteer.

My bachelor degree in Voca Singing, diploma in Kathak (Indian Classical dance) and work as the Editor-In-Chief for Pratibimb, the BVPIEEE Magazine, sum up my enthusiasm in learning new skills and vivacity to pursue them. While leading the Women In Engineering team at BVPIEEE as the Chairperson and working for Lean In India, my aim has always been to encourage marginally under-represented groups to find support.

Working hard to change my life

I was applauded for being the highest performing Stanford Global Ambassador and honored with Google Women Techmakers scholarship in 2016 for my community work, academic excellence and leadership. I have been financially independent since then. Financial independence allowed me to fight stereotypes and take up more responsibilities as the eldest sibling, daughter and more.

It has not only created a change in the mindsets of the society in Meerut about girls in engineering but also created a ripple effect and role model for young girls from small conservative towns and all-girls institutions.

Looking beyond

After the entrepreneurial exposure in the Bay Area, I eventually developed an interest in Business Operations and Entrepreneurship and wanted to pursue higher education in an interdisciplinary program with both business and engineering.

I am thrilled to have been admitted to the International House New York which fosters a diverse generation of residents that thrive on empathy, unanimity and fighting unjust biases.

I am joining the Lean In at Columbia University Moderator training this fall and will be leading a Lean In Circle on campus from the next semester. I plan to promote mental health awareness and formulate a more secure channel for reporting sexual abuses on campus during my tenure as a Circle Leader.

My passion for elevating the status of underrepresented groups, making efforts to change the society to be more inclusive and consistent learning for personal improvement as a citizen and a leader, will persist during my graduate student life at Columbia University.

Dealing with financial obstacles

The huge financial investment required for Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering at Columbia University has been the biggest hurdle in my journey of realizing the dream of bringing a change in the society with innovation using business, technology and diversity inclusion within the industry.

Hence, I want to apply for financial aid because I want to be able to graduate from Columbia University and become a role model not only for ambitious small-town Indian girls like me but also for anybody who wants to dream big despite the stereotypes pulling them back.

I want to make a difference in the world with my ideas and commitment as a strong independent woman of color studying in the United States of America, who would achieve the then unimaginable goals she had set for herself because of her passion, hard work and help from the Asherah Foundation.


Aurora is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2017’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. A truly ambitious individual, Aurora has never stopped dreaming big, her courage guiding her on unknown paths.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

About us – Working to provide second chance scholarships for women

Dedicated to providing Second Chance Scholarships to Women around the world, the Asherah Foundation helps women obtain a post-secondary credential.

We would like to thanks our donors! We are happy to help women get access to education together! Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us.

Meet Noura, one of our Second Chance Scholarship recipients

The Asherah Foundation is committed to helping women who have journeyed over rough waters access the education they dream about. Dedicated to empower women from all over the world, we are constantly welcoming your support. Learn more on how our fundraiser has made Noura’ s dream come true by reading her application story!

As a woman from Yemen

As a Yemeni woman who has confronted conflict and war, I am committed to help the Yemen civil society especially children and women for the rest of my life. I have a particular interest in improving the accessibility of helping people learn about community services available to them.

I hope to be able to serve in a social position sometime in the future to help less fortunate and under-represented social groups, such as women who are suffering from discrimination. As a result of my own experiences, I am familiar with the despair and frustration endemic to Yemenis struggling to survive. I am convinced that increasing individuals’ access to education can make the difference between despondency and hope.

Working to become a second chance scholarship recipient

After my break from college, I became more involved in my community by mentoring and volunteering at organizations such as Youth Center & “We can” Project, Volunteers of Yemen, Blind Women Association, the Election Observation Committee. In addition, I worked in a skills development institute for six years, where my passion for this field continued to grow.

I began preparing for my mission by volunteering as an intake coordinator at the National Cultural Center for Youth. Although I had many responsibilities, the role that consumed most of my time and energy was interviewing women and assessing their physical and emotional needs. I also generated an updated resources list that included many organizations from the Taiz, Aden and Ibb areas. By personally contacting each organization I facilitated the communication between the organizations and the women that needed help.

Although I have not yet been employed in the educational sector, my Bachelor’s work, as well as my life experiences, have given me a nuanced and sophisticated knowledge of the educational field. I have acted as a coordinator for the Be close to the child to be safe UNICEF project, through which we ensured the well-being of children affected by violence by providing the necessary recreation, psychosocial and life skills. When my own children attended school, I was involved in their schools’ organizations and often took on a leadership role in the educational committees. I served on many boards and was active in assisting both instructors and administrators. Seven years of experience has familiarized me with the diverse needs of Taiz’s students, and it has prepared me to act on their behalf. We raised awareness towards more than 6000 children and through our mobilization sessions we aimed at encouraging parents and community members to ensure that their children continue the learning process. We provided life skills sessions on hygiene, sanitation, and confidence-building. In addition, we held educational sessions and extra-curricular activities where they were taught simple math, Arabic, story-telling, geography.

The Asherah Foundation scholarships for women: How it could shift my life

The women’s Second Chance Scholarship would be of great assistance in supporting my goal to finish my degree.  I worked at Cyaia Morni Company, and have chosen to stop working in order to achieve my dream of getting a master degree.  The women’s Second Chance Scholarship provides a chance for people who are struggling to return to school, to become the exception and succeed.  I hope to become one of those special people and it is with great honor and appreciation that I apply for it.

This scholarship would allow me to work less and focus more on my studies. Meanwhile, this scholarship will support me to do more community service and explore my potential in assisting the needs of people. It will also motivate me to pursue academic excellence. I can assure you that I will be a dedicated professional that you will be proud to count among your ranks.

This scholarship will certainly strengthen my opportunity to take multiple research methodology courses and critical analysis which I was not able to pay for due to my financial burden. The scholarship can help me further my professional training and certification goals that I have set for myself and will in turn help me start a true career in research writing and criticism in civil society. Overall, this scholarship will help me accomplish my current goal and eventfully help me become a successful professional in the NGO field.


Noura is one of the Asherah Foundation’s outstanding recipients of 2019’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. Thank you for constantly supporting our fundraiser! We are happy to build Noura’s dream together!

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

About us: The Asherah Foundation

Dedicated to providing Second Chance Scholarships to Women around the world, the Asherah Foundation helps women obtain a post-secondary credential. Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us.

Meet Thalia, our Recipient of 2019’s Second Chance Scholarship

The story of Thalia is a story of resilience. At Asherah foundation we have the conviction to help women around the world have access to second change scholarships and have their chance at success.

Everyone has the right to education, we believe in the potential of women around the world and are continuously inspired by our applicants’ drive and stories of resilience


Thalia is one of Asherah Foundation’s 2019 Second Chance Scholarship recipients.

“On 21 October 1993, an ethnic conflict broke out following a coup against Melchior Ndadaye. This civil war between Hutus and Tutsis took away my father and some members of my family. With the rest of the family, we had to take refuge in an Internally Displaced camp for fear of getting killed.

In 1996, when I was six years old, there was a rebel attack in the chief town of Bugendana commune, where we were taking refuge. The attack took more than 400 people and this is when I lost my right leg. After three years of hospitalization, I joined primary school at 9 years old. However, in the Burundian education system, the age required to start the first year is 7, thus I was two years late. I was welcomed by the Saint Kizito Center of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which takes care of the handicapped. This Center supported me until the end of high school and also helped me to have a prosthesis that made it easier for me to move up to now.

How second chance scholarships can change lives

picture of Thalia
Meet Thalia

Since my family did not have the means to pay me university, I tried to ask for sponsors from associations and individuals but I could not get help. Having this scholarship will be a golden opportunity for me as a disabled woman, especially since people with disabilities are still marginalized, their right to education and proper vocational training to access the market being constantly denied. This type of behavior reinforces the preconceived ideas regarding the weakness of their capacities, which only increases their difficulties.

In Burundi, the marginalization of people with disabilities is compounded by the fact that disability is generally perceived as a disadvantage. This scholarship will allow me to advocate with the Burundian government for people with disabilities, especially for children, so that they have access to an education that allows them to flourish and lead a productive life.

Inclusiveness for all is important

The life of a disabled child could be transformed through quality education. Too many children around the world cannot reach their full potential due to the lack of access to quality education. This scholarship will also allow me to plead for the fight against discrimination and exclusion of people with disabilities in employment by considering them as unfit while they are capable.

In Burundi, even disabled people who have had a quality education cannot find work. People with disabilities are doubly losers in the labor market because barriers are already present in schools. Education should normally be an open door to the world for people with disabilities, unfortunately they hit a wall more often than not.”

About us

We are a nonprofit organization that helps women around the world access second chance scholarships to change their lives.

We seek to improve communities by pursuing post-secondary education and we believe we can help change the world. Learn how you could help us support more women, by checking our fundraiser or by contacting us now.


Thalia is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding recipients of 2019’s Second Chance Scholarships for women around the globe. Despite struggling for survival from an early age and fighting with discrimination, Thalia has never given up.

Thank you for constantly supporting our fundraiser! We are happy to build Thalia’s dream together!

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

My second chance at life

It was the summer of 2015; I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and was headed to graduate school in the fall to pursue my Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I felt like I had so much to look forward to with my entire life ahead of me. It is strange how one’s life could go from bright and sunny to a natural disaster in a matter of weeks. Not long after graduation I found myself in my doctor’s office, fiddling my fingers, waiting for her to come back with the results. « A tumor », she said. Earlier that month, I had gone in for a routine annual woman’s wellness exam which included a breast examination. A lump was felt in my left breast which was confirmed by a mammogram that it was, in fact, a tumor. Was it benign or malignant? Could this be breast cancer? What stage? How many rounds of chemotherapy will I have to endure? A million questions raced through my mind, drowning out what my doctor was saying to me. I went home that day feeling shattered and unsure of my meticulously planned future. The next day was my sister’s high school graduation. She was the valedictorian of her class which made the day even more joyous. I kept the results of my doctor’s visit from my family, not wanting to take away from the special day.

Throughout the next several weeks, I continued to keep my diagnosis a secret from my family and friends, making routine visits to the doctor, scheduling a biopsy, and eventually scheduling a date for surgery to remove the tumor. I calculated the costs of anesthesia, operating room fees, surgeon fees and traveling expenses. Without health insurance, the only option I found myself with was to take out a loan to cover the medical expenses. If I told my parents of the surgery, they surely would have offered financial help but I didn’t want to burden them after the years of sacrifice they made for me.

My parents are the two hardest working people I know. They came to the United States in 1988 after fleeing from the first intifada in the West Bank, Palestine. They left the only life they knew behind to start a better one, not only for them, but for their four daughters. They both pursued higher education and made sure to instill the importance and value of pursuing an education and gaining knowledge. While they might have been willing to offer assistance, I knew this was something I needed to endure on my own. After a successful surgery to remove the benign tumor, I finally told my family. They offered to provide whatever assistance I may have needed, but I only asked for moral support. I made the biggest sacrifice of my life by choosing to postpone my admittance into my Master’s program in order to work full time to pay off my medical bills.

For the next year and a half, I worked to pay off my medical debt while also working in two psychology laboratories to expand knowledge of research methods and skills to hopefully put to use in graduate school. At times I felt like I was drowning; reaching for the surface only to be pulled back under, however, I persevered. There were more times than I’d like to admit when I wanted to give up, yet I worked hard every day and continuously reminded myself that not even a cancer scare could stop me from attaining my goals.

Eventually, I reapplied to graduate school and got accepted into a tier one university with a reputable I/O Psychology program. I was met with feelings of joy and despair. I was thrilled that I was back on track with my original plan of pursuing higher education to further my career yet I was terrified that I had almost no money saved up due to paying off my medical bills while also paying my living expenses.

If I was awarded this scholarship, it would give me the ability to focus more on my studies rather than stressing over how I will pay for my tuition. My good standing in my undergraduate studies and determination throughout the past two years is evidence of success in my future graduate studies. While my life during the past few years hasn’t gone exactly according to my plan, I am thankful that I am alive and well. I am forever grateful that I was given a second chance at life, and I believe this scholarship can give me a second chance in pursuing my lifelong dream of obtaining a graduate degree.


Sandra is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2017’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. Despite fighting with a tumor, she did not give up on her dreams, facing all of her challenges with strength.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

A journey into the human mind

Throughout my University of studying psychology, I have developed a rich and passionate love for the human mind. My Bachelor’s in Child Psychology has prepared me well for further pursuit of the subject. I have undertaken comprehensive study of various aspects of human mind and behaviour in a wide range of difficulties from mild conditions such as depression, anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, severe developmental disorders, to more complicated mental disorders such as Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

After   completing   my   undergraduate   degree, I   found   that   my   interest in behavioral, emotional, and cognitive disorders cannot be separated from my life.  I further pursued my studies by completing a master’s degree in Neuroscience at Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) at McGill University. My master’s project was about assessing domain-specific cognitive impairment   in   the   geriatric   population including study of normal elderly cognitive function, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. Through this, I have become familiar with diagnostic information for geriatric cognitive disorders.  Furthermore, I had the opportunity to observe and contribute to the administration of neuropsychological assessments.  Much of this work involved working closely   with   a   supervising   clinical   psychologist   and allowed   me   to   have   direct interactions with patients. Through this wealth of educational experience and opportunity, I have gained knowledge in the field of cognitive disorders and developed the skills necessary to conduct clinical research.  My work experience expands to clinical research evaluation, and statistical analysis field as well as writing on different psychological topics for scientific magazines. Through my multiple occupations, I have had a chance of working with children and adults with mental, emotional, and social difficulties (i.e.  Autism, ADHD, Nicotine Anonymous). These experiences have improved my skills in critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and decision-making.  

Through the course of my education and work experience I found that the human being is more than a brain (neurons and cells), and we are not able to study humans without considering his/her personality, emotion, past experiences and culture.  On the other hand, there are still many gaps in human studies that neuroscience and psychology cannot fill, effects of past human experiences and unconscious mind on behavior.  My interest to unconscious mind and its critical influence on human emotions behavior has been increased by studying Sigmund Freud’s and Melanie Klein’s understanding of it.  If the unconscious mind is left unlocked, it can disturb many functions of human life, such as social interaction, which is a vital aspect of human survival. These make psychoanalysis a critical field of study for the benefit of both individuals and society as a whole. The significance of modern psychoanalysis to society cannot be underestimated. It is the only field that studies the human being with all aspects and with no censors.

Understanding the deepest layers of human motivation and conflict can make a significant improvement in solving the problems of our society. Psychoanalysis helps traumatized children, youth, and adults (e.g. victims of violence) who are ill and in pain to cope with their scars, fears, not temporarily but for lifelong. Psychoanalytic therapy helps people to better integrate their emotions, behaviours, and thoughts to demonstrate constructive and cooperative interactions in the society. I have to come to appreciate the value of psychoanalysis for our society, and would like to contribute to further advancements.

As a master’s graduate with academic background in both psychology and neuroscience, I have a chance of contributing to the developing field of neuropsychoanalysis to investigate the complex relationship between the mind, brain, and emotions. I can help people with brain, mind and consequently behavior difficulties to integrate to their society. I believe that this program will prepare me with the knowledge, skills and experience to establish a successful career in a fascinating and rapidly expanding field to promote the quality of life in the people of my society.


Francisco is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2016’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. After obtaining her master degree from McGill University, she decided to continue researching the psychoanalysis field in order to better the life of patients, and facilitate their reintegration into the society.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.

A noble passion

I first heard the term physical therapy when I was a child as my own siblings were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy disease and the only treatment for them was physiotherapy and rehabilitation. I was going with them to physiotherapy sessions and so, when I finished my high school I had only thought of myself as a physiotherapist as it was my passion. Thank God I was graduated with a very good grade from the bachelor degree in 2004 and I got a scholarship from my University (Al-Quds University) to continue my master degree in the United Kingdom as I had my master in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Nottingham in 2008.

During my work as a physiotherapist and as a clinical supervisor I have seen many cancer survivors but when I had a cancer patient in my family, the issue was different and I had become more oriented about the ongoing complications that affects their quality of life, and from all my siblings I was the most helper for my late father during his illness from lung cancer till he died in 2011. Therefore, that was my starting point of passion in doing up a research about cancer survivors, especially with post breast cancer surgery survivors, which affects many women and their everyday life details as we are living in the eastern society.

Unfortunately, there is little knowledge from both doctors and patients about the role of physiotherapy and rehabilitation for cancer patients and that’s what makes it more interesting and challenging for me in doing up this comparison research about physical activity, cardiopulmonary and quality of life differences between different countries and cultures to have a holistic view about this issues and trying to understand where is the gap and so starting to work upon it .  

Cancer survivors have many complications that are affecting their quality of life such as joint pain, limited range of motion, lymphatic oedema, shallow breathing and low physical activity which are issues that physiotherapy can address and trying to decrease if we are starting to work with those survivors as soon as possible, and if they continue to do the exercises alongside with other adjunctive cancer treatments. I hope that I can learn more about the assessment, treatment protocols and research in the PhD journey as through my reading I found that there is a lot of evidence based practice on this subject but I still need a University that have interest in this issues as well as a supervisor to guide me through this research. Moreover, to find practical methods to help cancer survivors and improve their quality of life.


Madinah is one of Asherah Foundation’s outstanding applicants of 2016’s Second Chance Scholarship for women around the globe. She is currently a PhD student in the School of Health Science at the University of East Anglia, in the UK, where she is pursuing her dream of changing the life of cancer patients.

*For privacy purposes, the real name has been changed.