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...connecting people to opportunities, impacting life.

Tuesday, November 08 2022

Most colleges and universities have their graduation ceremonies in November here in Ireland. The class of 2022 is special to me because in 2021, I embarked on a journey that seemed impossible. I enrolled in two different colleges to pursue my dream. Yes, another dream! Covid-19 was still ravaging our communities and society. Mental health of so many people was deteriorating, however I became more self-aware and remained resilient. Throughout the lock- down, I woke up almost on daily basis with new ideas for acceleration. One of the ideas was to go back to college and study Journalism and professional social care. I had no clue how but I went on to research.

My passion for expression through writing and community development that birthed eDundalk in September 2012.  Metro Eireann newspaper in 2009 to 2012 created an opportunity for me to work with them in advertising and reporting on social issues. I used the opportunity to create Christian column where different priests/pastors from different denominations were invited as contributors. In 2008, Dundalk Democrats supported that passion by creating a column for me to express my love for diversity and inclusion. Dundalk 97.8 FM (a Christian radio station) in 2003 hired me on a voluntary basis to present a music programme targeting the elderly and the younger generations. Today, I am a Distinction graduate of journalism from Fitzwilliam institute.

   I have worked as a social care/social worker with young people, elderly and diverse groups with diverse challenges supporting them to achieve their life goals, however, the need to professionalize was imminent.  On Friday 4 November 2022 I graduated in professional social care from South East Technological University. I met some amazing people along the journey who have in so many ways inspired me.

Tuesday, November 08 2022

I, worked in a toxic environment in the past and needed no soothsayer to tell me it was detrimental to my mental health and general well-being. It is an infertile ground for growth and personal development. It is counterproductive both to the organisation and their clients.Understanding my capabilities and mindful of my mental health, I made a decision to leave the job. In reality, I did not leave the job because of the organisation but because of the toxic environment.

On a particular day long after I had left the job, I was up in the city of Dublin shopping and someone spotted me in the crowd shouting, Ameeka, Ameeka, Ameeka and as I turned it was one of the clients, I worked closely with on that job I left. We both ran towards each other. The client held me so tight and said to me, “I learnt you left XYZ?”  And I said, “yes I did.” She tried to probe into why I left but I did not go that route. I said it was time for me to move on. While she was still holding me, she said to me, I miss you and, I love you, Ameeka.” I struggled to contain my emotion. I responded back and echoed to her, I love you too, you really look great. I am so delighted to see you.”  We parted.

As we turned our back, I felt this sharp emotional pain, mixed feelings and sense of accomplishment. The sharp emotional pain was based on the fact that such a good working relationship with a vulnerable person was jeopardised as a result of bad leadership. It was mixed feeling because I had to leave the job where I felt disempowered to support such clients any longer. I felt sorry for such clients because they are the ones who feel the loss more. Mixed feelings again because, I felt happy to see the spark on the clients face when she uttered those powerful words, “I love you,” that meant the world to me.

Lastly, I felt accomplished because that moment affirmed who I am and the connection mycareer has with my identity. I apply strengths-based and needs-led approaches to facilitate people presenting problems, that way, building relationships becomes naturally mandatory!


Our aim is to promote employability, entrepreneurship, social inclusion, diversity, development education, integration and tourism. We aim to create awareness of the untapped strength, capabilities, skills, talents and gifts the Black Africans have that are missing in Irish economic development.


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