Sisters of Frida Home

Bringing disabled women together, mobilising
and sharing through lived experiences

Jagoda Risteka’s speech – transcript

Jagoda Risteka

My name is Jagoda Risteka, this is my sister Jasmina.  We work for an organisation called Disability Challenge; we established our organisation in 2009, together with a few other women with disabilities.  So our activities are mainly focussed on how to improve the lives of women with disabilities in Macedonia, regarding education, employment  … but most of all we are interested in promoting in them a sense of self-esteem, to be advocates for heir own rights.

We had one workshop last year that was for debates and that was very beneficial because it was for building personal capacity and self-esteem.  It was very interesting when we were establishing the organisation because in Macedonia we have more issues about accessibility.  We conducted a survey to see which are the main issues that we need to focus on with our work, and we did a survey, we sent an on-line survey to many people and received around 50, 60 answers, and asking what we should focus on.  And for us it was very surprising that the top issue for them it was not society becoming more physically accessible, like more ramps or anything.  They were like “I want to feel worthy enough to go out in society and be active in society” so that’s why we actually decided to focus more on self-esteem and in parallel working with issues like education, accessibility and all the rest.

Today we speak about public speaking and for me always public speaking requires a time to prepare so I can really know what to share and I can speak really what are my thoughts regarding the topic.  Now because just a few minutes ago, Eleanor asked me “Will you share something about the organisation and your work” it’s all right, it’s completely on time to speak about public speaking, and one of the things that can help people about public speaking, because I am working as a director of the organisation I do have many times for public speaking.  So for me it’s very important in advance to know what to say.  Because we all know, public speaking, that requires – spontaneity does not work for everyone on a stage ,or when you are speaking but if you already know what you want to say then there is space for spontaneity.

In 2013 I was in Washington DC for a programme and we got training about public speaking and the lady said that when you are so well prepared you can leave space for spontaneity; if you’re not prepared for what you want to say your mind is struggling in many directions.  But when we talk about disability that is what I got from one friend, she said “You know what to talk, you are living with your disability, it is your natural state to talk about it, just go out, trust yourself and start talking.”  It’s not always easy, so if you have any questions for us, if you have any questions regarding our work, then we can answer.

Comments are closed.