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Dreaming Individuals

Do you have a dream? Do you work with what you love? Do you still remember what you dreamed of when you were younger? Do you believe everyone has the right to work with what they want to, and do you believe everyone would be capable to do so?

My aim with this website as a final project on my studies on human rights is to show that you can't put labels on people according to only their skin color, and believe that all of them are the same. People in Sweden don't all do and dream of same things, neither does everyone on Zanzibar or anywhere else in the world. We all are individuals with our own dreams and goals in life, even if the societies we grow up in of course affect us (this graph, by World Values Survey, is a good reminder of the basic values in different countries).

Especially when it comes to working in specific jobs, the society and it's expectations and norms have a big role. Everywhere you can find those stereotypes saying women or people of specific skin colors are less expected to work in some roles than men or people of other skin colors, and vice versa - in some places those stereotypes are still stronger than in other places. But different jobs are also differently valued, and therefore people working with different jobs are also stereotyped and valued accordingly. But behind all of those stereotypes, there still are different people with different thoughts: maybe even people who dream of working with something else, but for one or another reason end up in that job.

That's why we should respect every person as themselves, stop putting labels on people and stop telling people their dreams or choices of work are stupid, unworthy or impossible. To stop pushing down each others, and instead see people's strengths and capacities, and treat differences as a way of "thinking outside the box", that can lead to development and refreshed thoughts (like the study "Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity" by Cedric Herring shows).

Happy surfing on my website, keep on dreaming and don't let people push you down - and don't push anyone else down!

/ Maija



Maryam, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I work as a teacher.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I like my job but I would also like to be a businesswoman and own a stationary shop, where people can get photo copies, print papers etc.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

As a child I wanted to work as a secretary.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I was living with my relatives as a kid so I dreamed of studying and passing my exams with good grades to be able to move to Stone Town to live with my parents.

5. What do you dream of now?

My dream now is to have children and to start my own business.

6. What is most important in life?

Peace and love are most important in life.

Martin, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work as a seller in a shop for a telephone company, and also at Luossabacke ski slope in the café/restaurant/equipment rental.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

It would be cool to work with product development, especially with different kind of materials.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

A researcher on all different cool things. After I read one book as a teenager I wanted to become an explosives technician.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

As a child I wished to become the best in sailing, and to not stay in Trollhättan (where I was born) - but that was more like a unconscious wish. When I was in daycare I dreamed of marrying a girl I really liked there.

5. What do you dream of now?

My dream now is to start to produce music, to climb up to Aconcagua, to travel from Portugal to Vietnam by train and also some day in the future to study (maybe chemical engineering, but that will probably change).

6. What is most important in life?

To not be normal (ie. to be yourself).

Eminem, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I work with tourism and hospitality, mainly as a tour guide.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'd like to work more with hospitality management in a private sector.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to become a tour guide and a driver.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of having a family and an own house and a job that would make it possible to afford those and keep me alive.

5. What do you dream of now?

My dream is to have an own company in tourism and travelling.

6. What is most important in life?

Most important is to be helpful and friendly with people, which will make you blessed by God.

Mildred, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

Now I'm retired but I still work non-profit for women shelters. During my working career I used to work with stores and banks and as the last thing before retirement with projects abroad.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I wish I had worked more with social participation.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

As a child I wanted to become a nurse.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I wanted to travel a lot, inspired by my grandmother in USA.

5. What do you dream of now?

I wish all well for my grandchildren and hope they will have good lives. Also dreams of traveling haven't disappeared yet.

6. What is most important in life?

Since I'm an older person I find health important, but in general it is important to totally stop men's violence against women.

Teresa, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

As a waitress.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'd like to have an own business, like a shop selling clothes and jewellery.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to work as a police.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

About having an own family and becoming a good mother.

5. What do you dream of now?

I don't really have any dreams..

6. What is most important in life?

To have a good behaviour and to be a good person.

Idris, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work at Arbetsförmedlingen (job center) as an employment officer and for the establishment of newly arrived immigrants on the labour market. I also have an extra job at Radiotjänsten (radio service) and I'm active in politics.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'd like to work even more with integration issues and a bit later I'd like to work with international issues in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and with politics also in the parliament. But right now I do still feel that I work with something important and I like that.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

Already as younger I was interested in politics since I've always had a desire to make things better, and also in my family I've had role models who have been active in politics.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of engaging and leading people, and of becoming a political reporter or analyst for TV or radio.

5. What do you dream of now?

Now I dream of a better world, and of doing something useful for myself and for other people; to help and develop myself and others - to grow and let others grow. More in particular I dream of some day becoming a member of parliament.

6. What is most important in life?

The most important in life is health and happiness, and that you give of yourself and do good things for others - that way you'll also get good things back.

Abdullah, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I work as a chef and do sewing.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

It would be cool to work as a driver.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

My dad teached me to sew clothes as a kid so I wanted to become a tailor.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of getting an own family.

5. What do you dream of now?

Now I dream of getting ready my own house and to help my family.

6. What is most important in life?

A house is important, and for that you need money so in that way money also is important. But as itself money isn't important.

Jenny, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work as a teacher at a driving school.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

A librarian is something I could think of working as if I'd some day leave this job that I still enjoy. And maybe to work as a teacher for the youngest classes in primary school could be fun.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

When I was a kid I dreamed of the same carrier as many others: to become a vet. When I was a bit older I wanted to become a writer or a journalist.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

As a kid I dreamed of being around animals.

5. What do you dream of now?

I dream that the rest of my life would be good, and right now I also wish that my pregnancy and everything around that will go well.

6. What is most important in life?

The most important is to be happy and to feel that life is meaningful, fulfilling and developing.

Papaa, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I work as a guard.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'd like to study human rights and computer skills to be able to help the society.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to become a lawyer or a policeman.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

Of becoming a good father and taking care of my family, also of becoming a good person.

5. What do you dream of now?

Now I dream of learning more English and Swedish, and of living in a place with snow. Also I dream of teaching people about how female circumcision is bad and hurting, and I'm hoping for it to stop everywhere.

6. What is most important in life?

Love and peace.

Ingemar, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work as a teacher.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

Not really, I'm happy with my job.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

To be a musician was always what I wanted to do.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of becoming a hockey player in the national team, and of traveling and spending time climbing, sailing and surfing.

5. What do you dream of now?

My dream is still to learn to surf.

6. What is most important in life?

Justice and equity.

Kigeni, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I'm a teacher.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'm happy with being a teacher but it would also be nice to work as a secretary.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to be a teacher and also wanted to study.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

About having an own family.

5. What do you dream of now?

To educate, give advice and spread information about human rights, HIV and social work.

6. What is most important in life?

Studying and having an own family.

André, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work as an operations developer at ABF Nord (liberal education association).

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

No, I'd not want to work with anything else.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

As a kid I wanted to work with many different things and also that changed pretty often: for example as a firefighter, police and other typical things children dream of becoming.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I wanted to become rich.

5. What do you dream of now?

That my work would give good results, which means less xenophobia and racism.

6. What is most important in life?

The most important is to be happy.

Zulubu, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I am a fisherman.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I would want to work as a security guard.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

As a child I wanted to work as a soldier.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

My dream was to travel abroad and see other countries.

5. What do you dream of now?

My dream nowadays is to have my own house and to get married.

6. What is most important in life?

Most important in life is to get married.

Greta, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

I work as a host/guide on Ice Hotel.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

At the moment I'm happy with my job, but it's not something that I'm planning to work with the rest of my life. I think peace and conflict studies and human rights are subjects that it would be interesting to work with, but I also like to work with people so the tourism industry feels good, and also in it there are many things you can try to affect.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

Many different things: at least I wanted become a doctor, a jurist, a writer or an actress.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of a life as an actress: of working as an actress for both theaters and in some big movie, I also wrote some own plays.

5. What do you dream of now?

Right now I dream of Zanzibar, that I want to be there and spend more time there.

6. What is most important in life?

Family and friends.

Azizi, Zanzibar

1. What do you work with?

I work as a guard and plan to work in a hotel soon when I finish my job as a guard.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

It would be nice to work as a tour guide and when I get older I'd like to work as a soldier.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to work as a soldier, like my father and uncle.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

I dreamed of visiting my friend who lived on Haiti and of speaking many languages (being multilingual).

5. What do you dream of now?

Right now I dream of getting rid of all of my problems, and I'd want to have a good wife and a good job.

6. What is most important in life?

Most important is to have good time with your friends, to have an own house and developing your own skills and your society.

Maija, Sweden

1. What do you work with?

At the moment I'm only a student.

2. Would you like to work with something else? What?

I'm happy with studying, but I'd also like to work with programming or journalism or for some organisation that works for human rights, global development or stuff like that.

3. What did you want to be/do as a grown-up when you were younger?

I wanted to work as a groom on a stable in the United Kingdom.

4. What did you dream of as a child?

My dream as a child was to live in the Moomin Valley... But I also dreamed about traveling and moving to Stockholm and living in the northern Finland on a farm with my horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, sheep and other pets.

5. What do you dream of now?

Right now I dream of getting done with my bachelor thesis on general linguistics, working some summer on the Faroe Islands and longer periods in different places, learning Spanish and studying more courses on human geography.

6. What is most important in life?

Respect for people and nature, and awareness and curiosity on the world.

Also don't forget the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that
  • was decided on after the Second World War in 1948
  • starts with the words "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights"
  • contains the article 23 saying:
    "(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection."
© Maija Rönkkö
| Thanks to Annika Kling for the photos of Kigeni and Abdullah