The Nawaya Network
Rusty by Tala
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Tala's sister who's a psychologist used to take her along to work at a mental asylum, There, she observed the various patients and their difficulties and felt responsible for their wellbeing, a feeling which Tala carried with her to her daily school studies, particularly, to the special cases section of her psychology class.
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At the age of eighteen, it was time for Tala to select a university major, the stepping stone into her future, She chose psychology, of course, as well as fine arts, as she'd always been talented at drawing and making craft, Much to her dismay, however, her father opposed both her choices, in his opinion, they would not enable her to "put bread on the table", ala remembers giving in to her father's wishes and majoring in business, a major which cost her four and a half years to complete, her heart was simply not in it.
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When she graduated, Tala went on to find work in business, a field she never felt any belonging to, She left after a while and was jobless for about a year and a half until she found work teaching art to children with special needs, a job that combines both her passions, arts and helping others, Her tenure in that job was also short, not for lack of passion but for being tied up by many rules that did not resonate with her.
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At a loss, and with limited options, Tala started an event company with her then-husband, where she would handle event decoration, There, she was free to express her creativity, but she didn't feel entirely fulfilled, she was not able to use her gift for helping others, At this point, she and her husband decided to keep pushing through, with a baby on the way, they needed a steady income so that they could buy furniture for their home and provide for their child.
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Ever since I came of age, I became aware of a deep desire to help other people.
- Tala, 26 years old, Saida.
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Life did, however, hold a surprise for Tala, one day she found a broken armchair, sitting by the trash, Tala recalls feeling something within, pushing her to rescue the chair, So she took it to her workshop, fixed the broken leg, painted it, and took it home, From then on, she would complete furnishing her home with unique, upcycled items of her creation, She was especially proud of the impact of these pieces on the environment, especially with Lebanon's prevailing trash crisis.
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A short while after, Tala read about Nawaya's entrepreneurship program in her hometown and decided to enroll, she would pitch a furniture upcycling project which aims at reducing waste, reducing the dumping area spaces, and ultimately reducing the pollution from manufacturing new furniture, This project would embody Tala's passion for art, but more importantly, have a positive impact, Tala had finally found her calling! Needless to say, Tala's project was accepted, it also went on to gain much media exposure, It may have taken Tala some time to pave her path, several trials, and errors but she eventually made it, Her road was not always easy and she's had to compromise, reinvent herself and keep moving forward, and that she did!.
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Tala is part of the Generation of Innovation Leaders program, GIL, powered by UNICEF Lebanon and Funded by the Government of the Netherlands and The Andan Foundation.
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