A few days ago, I was looking through some old pictures with my sister and noticed how blond my hair was. At first, I thought it was due to the sun, but my sister quickly corrected me, explaining that my hair was lightened by childhood malnutrition. I was shocked that I had missed this all these years. Hypochromotrichia, or the lightening of hair color, is a visible symptom of a lack of essential micronutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals, resulting from childhood malnutrition.

My childhood memories have been surfacing lately and I must admit, it’s painful to revisit them. I grew up in poverty, in an environment that stripped me of my dignity and left me feeling ashamed and less human. I remember the smell of the ditch in front of my house, the infestation of mice, and the destruction of my possessions by rodents. I remember living without running water in some places and feeling the deep shame and trauma of my childhood.

Although I’m in my twenties now, the memories of my childhood still haunt me. I have suppressed these memories for so long and have unconsciously used them as motivation for my work, from food banks to my blog, as a way of trying to heal and save myself. I am determined to work hard so that my children have more opportunities than I had and to use my experiences to drive my passion and better myself, my family, and others who face poverty in the world.

I refuse to let my past define me and instead, I use my memories to keep me humble and remind me that I have the power to create a different story for my future. I am far from my childhood now, but I still work to heal from it and move forward.

As a society, we need to continue this conversation and work together to end poverty and its impact on the natural world. People living in poverty often resort to cutting down forests, hunting endangered animals, and consuming cheap, processed foods, due to a lack of alternatives and desperation to feed their families. We must help provide them with choices and opportunities to live better life.

This is why I am a firm believer in embracing a frugal lifestyle, one that emphasizes sustainability, self-sufficiency, and reducing waste. Living frugally means living within your means, avoiding debt and unnecessary expenses, and making the most of what you have. It’s about finding joy in the simple things and being mindful of the impact your actions have on the world around you.

One practical example of frugal living is growing your own food. Not only does this provide you with fresh, nutritious produce, but it also helps reduce waste and lower your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy used to transport food from farms to your table. Growing your own food is a wonderful way to connect with nature, and it gives you a deeper appreciation for the food you eat.

Another way to embrace frugal living is to shop for second-hand goods. This not only saves you money, but it also helps reduce waste by keeping items out of landfills. Thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces are great places to find gently used items that still have plenty of life left in them.

Living frugally is not about living without, it’s about living with purpose. It’s about making conscious choices that align with your values and help create a more sustainable world. I believe that by embracing frugal living, we can all play a role in reducing poverty and creating a better future for generations to come.

My experiences have shown me the harsh realities of poverty and the impact it has on people and the world around us. Embracing frugal living is one way to make a positive impact and help reduce poverty, while also improving our own lives in meaningful ways. I hope that my story and my passion for a frugal living can inspire others to make positive changes in their own lives and help create a better future for us all.


Creator of the slow living and sustainability blog: She is Awake and NGO founder.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *