Addressing an audience can be nerve racking for most, but not for 10 year old Eunice Akoth. With the confidence and fearlessness few possess, Eunice recently took the stage at the Women in the World Summit and gave a passionate performance of her poem entitled “My Dream”.

Eunice Akoth

Photo: New York Times

Punctuating every other word with a fist pump and with tears streaming down her cheek, Eunice recited:

“Every mighty king was once a crying baby.
Every great tree was once a tiny seed.
Every tall building was once on paper,
And so is my dream.”

Eunice’s poem was inspired by her life growing up in Kibera, one of Kenya’s largest slum areas. Growing up in Kibera is difficult, with high poverty rates and weak infrastructure, but Eunice makes it clear that her current struggles are something she can overcome. In “My Dream” she states:

“It’s not where I am, but where I am going that matters. 
My future has nothing to do with my past or my present. 
The hard times I have had, have made me stronger and better.
The inner courage in me doesn’t roar. It just whispers. 
So I dream my dream”

Eunice speaks with such a strong conviction that it’s hard not to be captured by her performance and inspired by her words. She said she wrote this poem because  “Most of [the kids in Kibera] have dreams, but they don’t know how they can achieve them, so I had to write a poem that tells them that they can achieve their dreams.

For a young girl with so much hope, I have no doubt Eunice will be able to achieve her dreams and continue to inspire others. I know she has inspired me.

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