EASY WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Keeping in line with Ramadan themed posts, here’s some easy and cheap ways anyone can make a difference to someone’s life, while feeling content with yourself in the sense that you’ve made change. Any change, no matter how small or big it is, is just what we need more of in this world!

INFORM YOURSELF ON THE WORLD! Far too many people are cluelimagesess on daily events, tragedies and misconceptions that circulate the world on a daily basis, leading the way to ignorance which can cause misunderstanding and therefore an unnecessary conflict between people. The most simplest way is to watch more of the news or download an app! However, don’t rely too much on one politically inclined newspaper else you face being told what to think! The most healthy thing is to self inform yourself on the in and outs of our planet through different sources, coming to your own conclusion. It’ll teach you to love more and bring you towards truth 🙂

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS! Following on from this, far too many people are too stuck in their own social sphere to understand other people. Immerse yourself in a foreign language or different culture, make a foreign friend/pen pal, talk to people that are not exclusive to your own social, ethnic or religious background. If we all did this, we could remove some of the unfortunate barriers that lead to misconceptions and lack of understanding of our one race – the human race.

LEARN SOME EMERGENCY FIRST AID! This is arguably very important, and can potentially save a life. It’s clear that so many of us, perhaps through no fault of our own, lack knowledge in basic emergency medical attention that could potentially save a life. We’re not all doctors, but there are very simple things we can do in life threatening moments such as heart attacks. You’d be surprised at just how easy they are! If you are a UK resident/national you can get a free pocket first aid guide delivered to your door from St Johns Ambulance here: https://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/get-a-free-first-aid-guide.aspx And if you’re not from the UK, you can still download it!

FEED A HOMELESS PERSON/VOLUNTEER! For less than a fiver, you could instantly help someone who may not have eaten in hours. It also is a way to avoid the worries that some people have in directly giving cash to the homeless. But if you want to donate or feed in mass numbers, it’d be great to aid a homeless shelter with food or cash donations! You could even volunteer, particularly if you are young, as not only will you feel great, but you’ll gain vital experience for your future work prospective!

SIGN A PETITION! This is perhaps one of the easiest things to do at the click of a button! Your signature may feel minute, but it all adds up and collectively, could bring social awareness to some of the major problems in the world which you may feel strongly about, from mental health and woman’s rights, to child labour, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, poverty, children’s education and human rights. The list is endless, and you may end up discovering more about issues that affect us all collectively, whether it be direct or indirect.

And finally, SMILE A BIT MORE! Yes, there are important issues to tackle in the world but how can we do that without more compassion and solidarity to them? If we can all unite under the fact that we’re human, then ‘differences’ will seem irrelevant in tackling the issues together, united.

‘Even a smile is charity’

-Prophet Muhammad

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW for more 🙂

Bushra xx

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HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE & EASY VEGETARIAN SAMOSAS

For some reason, I was really craving an Asian’s favourite today – somosas! I love the large vegetarian puffy ones (I know, great somosa terminology) but couldn’t find them anywhere and so here is a very simple recipe (and my firIMG-20151107-WA0019st on this blog) to make your own!

You will need:

For the dough: Water, self raising flour, salt, oil

For the somosa filling:

Potatoes

1 onion

Peas (you can add any other frozen veg if you want)

Optional – sweet chilli sauce for some savoury flavouring, or your favourite herbs/fresh crushed chilli

+ oil to fry them in

Instructions:

Add the salt to the flour, and rub the oil into it. Add water and knead into a stiff dough. Flatten the dough using a rolling pin.

Meanwhile, chop IMG-20151107-WA0012and fry the onion into tiny chunks.

Boil the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or simply use a spoon, as I did.

Stir the peas into the mash once they have unfrozen as well as the fried onion. At this point, you can choose to add any herbs/spices to spicen the filling up. I simply added some sweet chilli sauce.

Using a somosa cutter, (or if you haven’t got one, then you can use a knife to make diamond cut outs) fill the centre with a spoonful of the mix and seal the edges with a fork. Note: These somosas will look best if you make them larger than typical ones as they will be softer!IMG-20151107-WA0018

Simply let them fry in some oil 🙂

You could even make your own chutney/sauce to compliment the somosas. I simply mixed mint, garlic and chilli sauces, but if you want to go the extra mile you could make a proper chutney with things like fresh chilli, crushed garlic, tomatoes or onions 😀

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to FOLLOW for more future recipes & posts! 🙂

Bushra x

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BushraSpeaks

UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL GOALS CAMPAIGN #SHARE

Our world.

1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.

Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. That’s more than some can spend on things they want, let alone things they need.

Over 130 million woman worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation.

1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday. This reduces their chances of completing their education and being able to earn their own income, as well as increasing their chance of experiencing domestic violence, something that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime

An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80 percent are girls.

40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25 are illiterate. Woman and far less likely than men in underdeveloped countries to be encouraged into further education.

Today, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.

It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem, which in many countries can be stigmatized, leaving them prone to facing inequality in the workplace, and not receiving the appropriate treatment and support they require.

Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries

  • About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time.

There were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014 and 51% of refugees were under 18 years old – the highest figure for child refugees in more than a decade.

Currently, there are countless ongoing armed conflicts, especially in Africa and the Midd775x775-global-goals.jpg__775x775_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscalele East, 5 of which have killed more than 10,000 people (mainly civilians) in the past year.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion—15x more than the wealth held by the bottom 70 percent.

These statistics shockingly are an understatement as to just how much peace and equality has been unsettled in the past decades. Though, it can be argued that it never really was fully there. Global Goals is the latest UN campaign to restore the peaceful world we’ve never seen in our lifetime and for sustainable developments in vital areas such as infrastructure, poverty, equality and education. The Global Goals broadly cover the problems in this world that must be tackled. Supporting the campaign is for once not about being just a feminist or just an activist, or being affiliated with a certain cast or creed. It’s
about being a human. #TheWorldsLargestLesson focuses on promoting and making these goals heard and known in over 100 countries, through lessons and radio. You would be surprised as to how many people don’t know the universally recognised Human Rights Act. These daunting statistics show that it is more important than ever to push for change. This is our world, and we all are citizens of it, regardless of borders. People are not statistics, and those suffering are just as important as those who aren’t.

Share these goals in your language and make peace and prosperity something we can forsee in a lifetime, not just dream. It’s about time the world was what they preach.

GLOBAL GOALS WEBSITE: http://www.globalgoals.org/

UN WEBSITE: http://www.un.org/en/index.html

Please share! 😀

Peace,

Bushra 😀

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: bushrajalil

TOP TIPS FOR COLLEGE! & MOTIVATION

SO I recently started sixth form this term and have to admit that although I am in the exact same school environment as secondary, there are definitely new changes that hit you such as being in non uniform every single day, suddenly having a bunch of free periods with nothing to do (at the moment), and a drastic change from being carefree teenagers to young adults who are suddenly the role models for younger pupils. Not to forget the workload. It’s a lot. I’ve only been here for two weeks and have already found things which are important to mention.

My top tips:

  1. BE ORGANISED and PRACTICAL! This sounds like such a cliche but it’s as real as ever. To be honest, I like to be as college-student-studying-clipart-Girlstudyingorganised as possible to keep my mind at ease and had bought folders, pens and a planner for college. Guess what I found? You need more! I’m not suggesting for you to raid the entire shop (though that’s what school supplies shopping feels like for uni students, I guess!) however, be open minded as to how much you will need. I’m taking four subjects so bought four huge binders, yet in reality I would not be able to carry those all to school, especially when I have all the lessons in one day. Therefore, it made sense to buy four smaller ones as ‘modular’ folders and transfer the work after terms into the larger folders! Simple! Be sure not to waste money on things you don’t need – after all, full time college students generally need a lot of books and they cost! Be practical about it too – eg. don’t waste money on a book you need in the short term when you can borrow it for free! The library is officially your best friend this year if you let it be!

2) STUDY AS YOU GO and THINK FOR YOURSELF It’s not GCSE’s anymore where you could simply get away with with doing homework the night or even hour before, or be given a sheet with all the criteria to get an A*! A Levels require much more logistical thinking and therefore, studying! It’s simply not possible to cram a week, or even a term before, in my opinion! Keep on top of the heavy workload, and it won’t seem as heavy anymore! Homework at A Level is a form of studying as it is in a lot more depth! After all, teachers have a lot of the specification to get through in a short amount of time and so going through your work regularly is key! And also, as much as it saved your life at KS4, copying homework at A Level just doesn’t work. You need to think for yourself a lot more here and that won’t happen by blindly copying the knowledge that your friend has researched.

3) Most importantly, WORK HARD, DREAM BIG, SACRIFICE & ACHIEVE. You most likely chose A Levels with the intention of going on for even higher education or maybe a career you have set in your mind! College is the perfect stepping stone and every day is another chance to contribute to that success at the end of the year. This is the crucial moment where the reality of your future comes together, and as scary as that sounds, it’s also to be taken advantage of, You have an amazing chance to be whatever you want IF you work hard and effectively, envisioning the reward at the end of it. SUCCEED; don’t screw up! A student that gets a A and sat around doing nothing is not much of an achiever compared to someone who gets a C but worked hard for it. It’s about the journey and the leap of a grade you can get to. An F grade up to a C is just as impressive as someone who gets an A. Rant over, get your books out and work for it! Nobody is going to do it for you but yourself! 😀

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to SUBESCRIBE and SHARE! 🙂

Bushra xx

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: @bushrajalil

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before NCS | National Citizen Service ADVICE!

Head onto the official NCS website: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/

My name is Bushra Jalil and recently I completed a whole month of adventure, challenges, new friendships and plenty of laughter with the National Citizen Service in Leicestershire.

I joined in the Summer of 2015 it was one of the best decisions I have made this year.Believe me – if you want YES to confidence, YES to meeting new people and YES to overcoming challenges and becoming the best person you can possibly be then YES to NCS is what you need!

It was genuinely more than I expected it to ever be and when I signed up less than a year ago, there were genuine fears and nerves I had, especially because I am quite an over thinker generally, and so it was quite a big step naturally for me to say YES. NCS may seem like a big challenge but now I look back I honestly don’t know what I was so worried about. In this post I will address some of the worries I had before NCS, and what I wish I knew back then.

1. You won’t be alone

The first two weeks are residential and an incredible experience. The first week involves staying at an outdoor pursuits centre, and the second is a university style experience in your home city. I was nervous, especially just before leaving but some of the major worries I had disappeared by the first day.

I felt worried and scared that I wouldn’t fit in. Would people accept me? Was I good enough? Could I spend the next four weeks with my group? But I completely forgot that these people are all on the same journey and experience as me, set to partake in the same activities and make a genuine difference.

Almost everyone felt the exact same way – even those with friends! It actually hits you as to how your mind controls you because as soon as I got onto the coach with my luggage to set off for the first week, the person behind me in the coach greeted me and, despite not being in the same group, we talked throughout NCS when we had the chance and became pretty close. I remember thinking ‘Wow, these people are too nice, it’s unbelievable’ – but it’s true! They are here for the same reasons as you are. You WILL have an amazing time, and meet people you never thought you’d speak to.

I’m not usually good at speaking to new people, but it came naturally at NCS. We are all on the same journey – embrace it! Be confident and comfortable with who you are and rock it! Be you and people will see that shine through, and making friends will be a piece of cake 😀

2. You won’t want to leave after the residential

This had not been my first residential, however it had been one of the longest. I feared beforehand that if I didn’t form friendships well (which most definitely wasn’t the case), I would be sharing rooms with people I didn’t bond with. But I honestly can’t explain how naturally friendships at NCS form, you have to see it to believe it! There is always someone who is willing to help you that you’ve never even met.

I shared a room on the first week residential with two girls from different groups and as soon as I entered the room, I felt like we’d been friends for years! You actually look forward to the nights, chatting away before bed. The vibes and spirit at NCS is just so warm and embracing, that you forget everything else and grasp it as a second home, and the people around you as family. You grow so close so quickly, that staying away from home isn’t really a major issue anymore and by the end I didn’t want to leave!

3. You can overcome anything

The first week residential away from home at an outdoor centre was definitely one of my favourite weeks, and a great way for your new team to bond though teamwork and group activities. There were things like indoor caving, abseiling, raft building, low ropes, archery and the leap of faith. This is definitely a week to face your fears and take on personal challenges!

If you’re afraid of heights for example, come to NCS with confidence and set yourself a target. For some it may be getting halfway up the rock climbing and for some it may be all the way to the top. Whatever it is, come to NCS with an open mind and don’t give up the chance to try something new, remember your whole group will support you to achieve the goals you’ve set, so you aren’t facing these things alone!

The feeling of carrying on despite the fear is something that will definitely have a lasting impression on you and will show you that you can overcome any barrier between you and your goals – something invaluable for the future.

4. Mud will wash off, but great memories will last you forever

Something I would also definitely suggest in order to really make the most of your NCS experience is DO NOT BE AFRAID OF GETTING MUDDY OR WET. This really applied to me in activities like raft building. Eventually, we all got stuck in and to my luck, I fell in the water up to my waist (not a pleasant feeling!) though now that I look back, I don’t necessarily remember the mud or the wet, but the laughter and memories made from those moments. I was clean and dry again after a quick shower, yet the memories are unforgettable.

Words of wisdom? Enjoy the moments as they come, and take it all in, because they will form the basis of your unique, once in a lifetime experience at NCS!

5. It’s a journey, not a competition

After the residential, you’ll move on to social action project fortnight, where you truly leave your mark and make a difference to the community you live in. As everyone picks their different charities from the countless ones available on the university experience week, everyone gets really excited, as you should be, to raise lots of money for their charity. However, despite everyone wanting to raise the most, it’s not a competition but an act of charity and will to give something back to your community, as well as a chance to really put into practice the skills you have learnt throughout the intense residential weeks.

You will learn valuable skills during NCS but the experience will always be unique to you, so learn from your mistakes but don’t forget to have fun with it and applaud yourself for all the incredible things you do!

These were the main worries I had before coming to NCS, it turned out I was worrying over nothing, so hopefully if you’re nervous about starting your own NCS journey this will help you. I’m so glad I didn’t let the nerves hold me back and said YES to NCS. 

Thanks for reading, hope you have the confidence to go ahead and take part in this unforgettable experience!

Don’t forget to share to potential NCSers and SUBSCRIBE 😀

Check out the official NCS blog: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/blog/

Bushra xx

SAY NO TO FORCED MARRIAGES!

Marriage, supposedly one of the most happiest times of someones life. A breadth of a new chapter. A new beginning. Though, as we sit quite comfortably with masses of opportunity at our feet and education as we will and dictate, there are 15 million child brides yearly. Almost always, they are forced into marriages which not only robs them of their childhood, but deprives them of their human right of consent.

The majority of forced/child marriages are prevalent across Africa and South Asia and often as a result of the gender ForcedMarriageequality gap common in these cultures which means woman can be seen as more of a burden and more open to sexual harassment for example, and therefore married off early and against her will to prevent anything which can bring ‘shame’ or ruin the ‘honour’ of the family. This deprives them of their chance of education and basically puts them in a dangerous cycle whereby their children (often had early, despite their bodies not being sexually mature) can be put in the same situation – socially unstable, as well as deprived of an education which can put them into poverty. This cycle of being married off young means woman cannot complete or even have an education at all, and therefore fail to find a job which allows them to be economically stable. Far too often, the situation is that due to the marriage being unwanted in most cases, it can end in a few years following issues such as domestic violence, and general differences which makes the marriage incompatible in the first place, and in cases where they are married off to cousins/someone abroad, after gaining citizenship there is an immediate divorce, and the woman usually has to take the blame for it – is there any more of an evil way to dehumanize her and who she is?

I recently watched a documentary regarding British children born to immigrant parents and there have been hundreds and hundreds of girls in the past years who will be tricked and taken abroad to be forced to marry a man of their choice – often to a much older person or a cousin – despite only just hitting the legal age of marriage for the UK. This is typically done for the same reasons as child/teenage marriage, though often these British born woman (or woman of any nationality) are seen as commodities in that moment, and stripped of their right to say no and often threatened and bullied psychologically into accepting. Their passports here are all that is valued usually and again, the marriages typically don’t last often and are more like a easy pathway for the man to become a citizen of the country the girl is resident to. This makes me sick, as it completely devalues the girl as a individual whose citizenship is merely valued – not her. Marriages like this may be to benefit the family economically and socially, again devaluing her and silencing who she wishes to become. This is not to be confused with arranged marriages – still very common, however it gives both parties the right to refuse or accept, and are welcomed by some brides/grooms to be. The point is however, neither party should NEVER feel pressured or forced to accept a marriage that they do not want.

There are laws and minimum ages set in many of the countries that have high rates of child/forced marriage though law enforcement is hard to maintain and therefore thousands of them go ahead with no regards for the law. This is essentially re-enforcing gender equality in the sense that woman are culturally seen as to be kept ‘weakened’, with disregard for their education or future plans and so marriage is seen as the only option to preserve honour and prevent immorality which is deeply exaggerated. This is sparking more in poverty, where families are finding it hard to provide for her. However, no matter how we put it, it demeans them of their right of choice and right to decide their future and must be abandoned. Forced marriages are NEVER ok.

Perhaps with more opportunities for education for woman and increased emphasis on the benefits of extending the age in which they get married, such as better stability for their future children and themselves economically, socially and even culturally if attitudes can change. Because with education, can we not only benefit ourselves, but change and mould the opinions of the future towards this practice, and much, much more….. we can change the world….

CLICK THESE TO LEARN MORE about this, your rights and every human on this planet:

https://www.gov.uk/stop-forced-marriage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_marriage

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and SHARE to show support 😀

Twitter: @BushraSpeaks

Bushra xx

Jordana Matte Lipstick Review <3

Hey!

Today I’m going to review one of the best lipsticks I’ve tried, and surprisingly, it’s also one of the cheapest. It was bought in Bangladesh, while I was there last holiday because I love to try products from different IMG_20150617_145113countries, however I soon  discovered that it is actually from an American company, and so the country just happened to sell the product there. In all honestly, I thought that the product may actually be a dupe or a fake version of the actual brand because it was such a good lipstick, and it was only priced at the US equivalent of $1.80, which seemed surprisingly cheap for such a good product, however on the actual website it is only $1.50, which shocked me considering how much I loved it! (and it made sense that Bangladesh sold it for slightly more as Western imported products tend to be more pricey there). It was a win win situation! But anyway, enough about the great price, lets move on to the lipstick!

The lipstick I purchased was the matte Jordana lipstick in shade 49: Lavender Lady. The packaging was okay and quite different compared to typical lipstick packaging, and expected for the price. This is a really subtle, natural looking, but absolutely beautiful shade as seen in the swatch below. To be honest, I find that with most ‘matte’ claiming lipsticks, 20150617_145005they usually don’t fit the definition of matte when you apply it, and as with previous lipsticks I’ve tried, they tend to come out more glossy than matte. However, this is amazingly matte, with easy and smooth application which looks absolutely gorgeous and much more expensive looking than my other lipsticks, which cost more. The lipstick looks beautiful and lasts very well without any form of primer or even a lip liner, which would just be bonus! Even with one coating of this lipstick, it gives such an effortless, yet classy and flawless look, which in no doubt floods in compliments. This particular lipstick is a stunning natural shade, which certainly would look flattering on all skin tones, though after viewing their website, there are dozens of shades for all occasions, and no doubt – a shade for everyone.

Overall verdict: These are perfect for someone on a budget, but I honestly love it so much for the fact that it lives up to the ‘matte’ lipstick claims, and so if I had bought more, which is my only regret, it would’ve become my go to lipstick! 😀

LINK to the Jordana Cosmetics Website: http://www.jordanacosmetics.com/default.aspx

LINK to the lipstick: http://www.jordanacosmetics.com/p-82-matte-lipstick.aspx

Let me know what your favourite lipsticks are! Don’t forget to subscribe and share! 😀

Bushra xxx