Saturday, 4 May 2019

UNDAUNTED CHACHA.


Meet an amazing woman and mother striving to make a difference by teaching inclusion and spreading awareness about down syndrome and encouraging parents who also have children with down syndrome to join her in making a difference within the community.

Joshua with mum, Victoria

Victoria (aka Chacha) is a mother of two who lives in Manchester, England. Her first son, Joshua is a unique and special boy who was born with down syndrome. At the time he was born in 2008, she knew absolutely nothing about down syndrome and felt like a heavy burden had been placed upon her.

 As the years went by, she learned about down syndrome and learned how to care for her son. She became his carer and before time, found herself telling others about down syndrome and encouraging other mothers not to feel weighed down, also to let them know that their children are special and very unique. 

There were times Joshua was not invited for birthday parties of children his age simply because the parents did not understand what was wrong with him.

In 2014, Victoria decided to start a charity (though not registered then) whereby she could bring families together; have all children (including parents), irrespective of their uniqueness, and teach them what inclusion is all about. She hopes that one day the world will be a place where children with special needs as well as those with different disabilities would be treated equally, listened to and respected like every other person. Her charity is known as Lovely Heritage Down syndrome. Her purpose is to raise awareness of conditions and factors that lead to down syndrome. To provide help to those with down syndrome, their families as well as their carers. She knows first hand how difficult it can be when caring for these special children and would do anything to ensure they are treated right and equally.
During one of the LET'S SHARE activities.


A day out at Space Centre, Preston with our Let's Share family


LHD became registered in 2017 and had her inauguration in June 2018.
LHD TEAM-  June 2018 Inauguration
Victoria Ibe with Volunteers- June 2018 Inauguration
Lord Mayor June Hitchin of the City of Manchester during the LHD inauguration, June 2018.

Lord Mayor Hitchin of the City of Manchester with the CEO of LHD, Victoria Ibe.


In the last four years, she has gone out to spread awareness. She has been on the radio-Beautiful Mind, Vine Juice and also on Premier Gospel Radio and DOZ radio. She was also featured on DOZ magazine and Diaspora Lifestyle magazine and was interviewed by us last year - https://www.isparklenow.com/2017/06/victoria-had-first-child-and-son-in.html

She won the Community Leader Award in 2018 at Milton Keynes. It was awarded by 'A Well-Woman UK'. She was recently nominated for 'Role Model and Community Organisation Awards for the UK Premier Diversity Awards. 

Community Leader Award - A Well-Woman UK

If anyone is interested in supporting this charity or would like to be a volunteer, do not hesitate to get in touch by going to the website: http://www.lovelyheritage.org.uk
Also, if you know anyone living in Manchester with a child with down syndrome or even if you have children who have no disability, please feel free to join in every last Saturday of the month at our monthly activity titled 'LET'S SHARE' - St Georges Community Centre. M40 7NY, Manchester.

            
CEO of Lovely Heritage Down syndrome (LHD)- Victoria Chinyere Ibe.
She is Sparkling all the way.✨✨

Thursday, 18 April 2019

GOOD FRIDAY- HIS DEATH!

As I read through the journey of Jesus and His death- a story I have heard and read so many times, I cannot but wonder how He could love a person like me even before I was born centuries later.

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ are truly so amazing that I can understand why some people believe it to be a myth. I mean, imagine someone dying and telling you- "hey girl, I will be awake in three days, don't worry". I definitely would think such a person had lost it, or as we say in Nigeria, the person's head is "turnioniown"

After reading and studying the word of God (the bible), knowing who God truly is and meeting with Him; one will have no reason to doubt that the story of Jesus actually happened.

God loved us so much and was sad when we turned away from Him. He loved us so much that Jesus offered to return us back to our Father, the one who created us in His image and likeness. He(Jesus) did this by giving up His life so that we can once again be close to our creator. To be able to communicate with Him and be under His full protection. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought all hope was lost, but when you called on the name of Jesus, everything turned around and you could barely contain yourself? 
Well, I have been in so many situations where Jesus came to my rescue. Do I believe he died and rose again? Yes, I do, 100%. I do because I know Him and I've met with Him. The word of God says in John 14:13 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” 

My life may not be perfect, but He has been with me every step of the way, and He will always be with me. He has made my life so beautiful, each day since I rededicated my life to Him, I see Him do even more in my life.

Would you like to meet with Him? Why not try Him? Don't assume He is a myth or that He does not exist without trying Him out.

Call on Him today. Speak to Him, have a conversation. Tell Him you want to have an encounter with Him. There is no harm in trying my Saviour out, I mean, what harm is there right? Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Know and believe He is patiently waiting for you with arms wide open. Always know that no matter how filthy, guilty, abandoned, hopeless, helpless, distraught, depressed, or weighed down. He is waiting to take it all away. Cast all your cares/burden on Him.

As we remember how He was crucified and the reason He came to die for us, let us also remember that with His death came a second chance and brand new life for us.

Jesus is the reason and only reason for this season. Worship Him!

Please read and study Isaiah 53:1-12.



Friday, 22 March 2019

BALANCE.

Growing up, my brother and I had to do our chores every morning even though we had people to do it. We took turns in sweeping the house and when it was my turn to wash the car (which we took turns in doing on Sunday mornings), I did it happily. Dad taught us how to check the oil and top it up, check the radiator, change the tyre and most importantly, how to wash the car thoroughly. I cut my hands a couple of times whilst trying to clean the tyre areas thoroughly. I later knew when a car needed an alignment or balancing.

Realistically, most things in life need to be balanced for effectiveness. Your daily meal needs to be balanced ( balanced diet) for you to stay healthy. You need a certain balance in your lifestyle, Be it at work, school, at home or just hanging out with friends and family. 

As I grew older, I realised I also needed a balance in my faith. It wasn't just about reading or studying God's word, but also about putting it into action, For there to be a balance, I could not just be a hearer but also be a doer of the word. I had to live the life that Jesus expected of me. To show love and give love to whoever I come in contact with.  I also know I have to pray, fast and read/study to build myself spiritually and intellectually. 

Take a look at Daniel (in the bible), he prayed three times a day without fail, fasted and also read a lot. Not just the word of God, he read other books which was why he was so wise and was able to rise to such a great position in Babylon even though he was a slave.

How balanced would you say you are. Not just physically, but also mentally, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. 

Search yourself, find out where it is you are losing balance or, have no balance at all and then work on it until you gain your full balance. If you are not balanced, you cannot fully achieve your potential and will find yourself in a position where you cannot cope or align properly.

As you find your balance, make a note of everything you change or work on in your journey to be fully balanced. You just might be able to help someone else in finding their balance too.

Stay Sparkling ✨ and remember to put a smile on someone's face. 
Have a lovely weekend.💖





Friday, 15 March 2019

WHERE DO YOU BELONG?


Hello everyone 🙋 . It's been a while I posted and I must say that I have missed being on here. 

So, as it's Lent season I thought to throw in something I read from the bible.
As I was studying my bible last night, (I am studying the book of Luke) I read something that got me pondering.

When Jesus was telling the people a parable about trees which did not bring good fruits being cut down, (Luke 3:9). the people asked Him what they should do. His response got me thinking and comparing what he said (Vs9-14) to our lives today.

Luke 3: 11-14*
Jesus said if you have two coats, give one to someone who has none. My question now is, how many suits, shoes, bags, perfumes do you own? How many of them did you wear or use last year? How many of these have you given out to those you know genuinely need them?

When the publicans (tax collectors) asked what they should do, He said to them-"Exact (take) no more than which is appointed you". ( Corruption did not start today )

You work in a place or are in a position to receive payments. If the actual bill/payment says £70 but you collect £100 instead, what would you call that? You are misusing the power and position given to you. You may be working as a civil servant or in the private sector. Wherever you work, if you are exacting funds from customers/clients/people who have to deal with you, this is the time for you to sit back and think hard about what you're doing. It's time for you to change your ways.

Lastly, Jesus responded to the soldiers who wanted to know the right thing to do. He told them not to be violent, not to accuse falsely and most importantly, be content with their wages.

Hmm, They all sound simple and straightforward don't you think? Imagine if all could be followed. The world would be a better place. Bribery and corruption will become a thing of the past. Crazy killings would not be on the rise. The wrong people would not be sent to prison or killed due to being accused of wrongly/falsely.  

I know in some countries were so many people find it hard to survive, it would be difficult to avoid bribes as some people barely earn enough to survive. If only everyone would work together in love and harmony to make life easier. I am no politician, but if we want any changes, such changes will need to go all the way through in society, From the bottom to the top or vice versa. The end game should be that everyone gets what they should as a citizen of a Nation or country.

How can we change things? For me, I believe it starts with me. One person at a time. I will share what I have with those who don't have, I will not bear false witness. I will not live a life of corruption. I will always be content with what I have.
Remember, “If anyone who knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17).

Where would you say you belong from the above? Can we really live a life free of all Jesus has asked? Share your views.

Keep Sparkling and show love to all around you.✨



Friday, 1 February 2019

GOD SHOWED UP.

Have you ever found yourself at a point where you felt the entire world was against you? Did it feel like no one was on your side? The more you prayed, trusted and believed, the worse things got?

That was me on Wednesday evening. I felt like everything was crumbling on top of me and I had absolutely nowhere to hide. 

I did the only thing I could do at that point, I had a chat with God. Not pray, but had a direct conversation with Him. I have so many questions I need Him to answer me. Yes, we grew up hearing we must not ask Him questions. I don't know about you but I for one, I ask Him. He is my Father after all. What I do not do is doubt His competence or love towards me.

I had a payment to make on the 31st of  January and I knew I did not have it, but I said to the person, you will get it. So my conversation with God was also in regards to this situation. 

Just when I was about to start stressing, I got up and started to read my bible. A few hours later, two different people paid in money. I immediately transferred it and I said to my Father in heaven, I won't ask anyone. I am waiting for you. Before I went to bed, the balance was sorted. I had to ask the person, "are you sure"? and I got a "YES".

I could not really sleep because  I was so full of joy. My friend Sylvester always says  "you and your last minute miracle" lol. Honestly, God makes ways for me just at the last minute.

Yesterday (Thursday), a group of amazing people who felt I was worth it (I still don't know what exactly I did right) gave me a surprise that made me cry from joy. I cried until my eyes were red. That feeling of love, that feeling of appreciation. It can never be bought. I just kept saying "thank you Abba Father" over and over as no other words could come out of my mouth.

I am still passing through my storm at the moment, but one thing is for sure. I am not alone, even though I felt all alone these past weeks. He ( my Father in heaven) has shown to me that He is with me. He hears and sees my silent cries, and heartache. He has sent me helpers through the past weeks that I cannot begin to thank them enough.

I don't know who I may be speaking to. But know that no matter what storm, or phase you are going through, you are not alone. You can never be alone. There are people who care, love and appreciate you. There is most importantly, our heavenly Father who loves you beyond measure. 

Stand tall and please keep the Sparkle on. I almost lost my Sparkle, but I am determined to keep it glowing.


Friday, 18 January 2019

SURVIVING THIS PHASE.


It's already 18 days into the first month of 2019. For the first time in the last couple of weeks, I can genuinely say I feel relieved and actually not stressed or worried anymore.

A lot of people began the year with new year resolutions, new plans and all you can think of. For me, it started with struggles and frustration. Just when I thought I had it sorted, BOOM! it came crashing down. This time around, I could not take any more of the stress, disappointments and all the extras that came along with it all. They say when it rains it pours, mine felt like an unending storm.

 I had been unable to cry all through those weeks. I was laughing too much and talking less. I was also irritated and just wanted to be left alone (I still want to be left alone). It took me opening up to a family member to breakdown, Cry my eyes and heart out. After the conversation, I screamed my lungs out until I felt better (It really does help to let out all that anger and steam).

The most important thing I have learned from all of this is that when I go through crazy times and feel I am drowning, I must not be too quick in making any decision. 
A very loving friend always tells me to stop rushing into things or making decisions when I am in panic mode, but rather to slow down, take in everything and view the situation from the outside. Take time to process it all, only then can I begin to make a decision, he is right.

I became so overwhelmed that I snapped at every little thing. Right now, I have decided I need some time off to re-assess, heal and plan. So, this is me creating the time to take care of me the right way. 

January has not been great thus far for me, but I am believing that it won't end worse than it began and I am hoping and praying for anyone out there going through their own rough times, crazy challenges ( I know sometimes there might be no one there to lean on), that you find a way to overcome whatever it is you are passing through. 

I pray we all come out better and stronger, but we can only achieve this by working towards a better tomorrow and keep believing in ourselves.
We can do this. Remember, winners never quit.
Do not give up, I know I won't.

 Stay strong, keep pushing and don't allow your Sparkle wear off.

Sisi Alero loves you. 🌟✨



Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2019- WE MADE IT!


Hurray!! we made it. A New Year is here again. I am not starting the year on a high but I am 100% thankful. At first, when I looked back, I felt my 2018 was as good as empty but, having my devotion and whilst giving thanks, I realised I had more than enough to be thankful for. Above all, I got a last minute miracle that reminded me of how great it is to worship.

I am thankful and grateful for every day of 2018, for those who came into my life, those who left, those who have loved me beyond measure, those who stuck by me even when I was grumpy and irritating, and those who supported and shown me what love is all about, in my extremely trying times. I am so thankful for being alive. Most especially for GRACE. God has been too good to me. In my unfaithfulness, He remained faithful. I have no words to describe how thankful I am. Who am I that you are mindful of me my Father and Creator?

I am looking forward to a mega 2019 as I begin with God as my Father and partner. 
Here's to a great year. 
Loads of people did not make it but, if you are reading this then you should be extremely grateful.

WELCOME ON BOARD 2019. CONGRATUlATIONS!!




Friday, 28 December 2018

HANG IN THERE.

There's a saying that when it rains, it pours. There are some of us who right now feel like the year is ending on a very depressing low. You watch those around you celebrating, sharing and giving gifts, and you wonder why you can't feel that way, why you are not feeling happy. You feel so depressed and angry, your head hurts from worrying and thinking of a way out. You keep wondering why everything seems to have just gotten so messed up. You just cannot see any way the new year would come with a new and better beginning.

I have been there and I know exactly how it feels. I encourage myself by reminding myself what my purpose in life is. Why I decided to embark on my journey, and when I feel so depressed and weighed down, I tell myself I cannot quit now. I know slowly but surely I will get to my goals, dreams, and be truly happy. For better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit (Ecclesiastes 7:8).  

Learn to be patient when you are angry, when you feel so frustrated and think life has been too unfair and unkind to you. I know it is easy to say and advice when one is not going through such frustration, but I am writing from my own experience. Anger makes things worse as we get blinded by our emotions and how we feel, do not make decisions when you are angry. Be not hasty in the spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

No matter what it is you are facing right now, please just stay strong, hang in there. Take things a day at a time and trust that you will reach your dreams eventually. As the year rolls to an end, do your best to hold on to the happy moments. You are alive, you are breathing without tubes, you are walking without any aid, you don't need any equipment for your heart to function, your kidneys are okay and you can go to the toilet normally. The list is endless.
Be thankful, stay strong and above all, love yourself.

Remember, Winners, don't quit. stay sparkling and keep believing in yourself.


#faith #keepbelieving #isparkle #keepsparkling #depression #mentalhealthawareness #positivity #love #journey #newbeginning #blogger #sisialero #behappy

Monday, 24 December 2018

SEASONS GREETINGS!

Hello everyone.
Another Christmas is here again. We have so much to be thankful for - life, health, family and loved ones amongst other things. 

As we celebrate this period, let us also not forget the main reason for this festive season- the birth of Jesus Christ. IMMANUEL- The Son of the Living God.

Let us not just remember only our family and friends when giving out gifts, but also remember those who have nothing at this time. It could be paying for their gas and electric so they can keep warm, or sharing your turkey and festive meals with someone who cannot afford a meal. Nothing is too small to share with one who has none. 

Show love, show you care and put a smile on a face this season. 

Here's wishing you a very happy and splendid Christmas with love from Sisi Alero. 
Make sure you Sparkle through the remaining days left in 2018.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!


Friday, 14 December 2018

BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION 2

CONTENT WARNING: Please note that there are pictures that you may find disturbing.

Last week we read the story of a beautiful lady, Jynnie who was mauled by five of her grandmother's bull mastiff dogs(to read Part one follow the link - https://www.isparklenow.com/2018/12/beautiful-imperfection.html). Today, we conclude on her amazing and touching story. Remember, this is a true story and not made up. We must never give up no matter how many times we are pulled down. Enjoy as you read. 



JYNNIE'S STORY: I mentioned that I was mauled by my grandmothers' dogs. What you do not know is that after I was attacked, my grandmother asked me and my sister to lie to the hospital and police that there had been only two dogs and I was breaking up a fight. She appeared to be more worried about what would happen to her dogs than her granddaughter. After my attack, the dogs were quarantined and ordered to be put down. My grandmother sued me to court for the loss of her dogs.


After an eight-year-long trial, my grandmother lost the case and was to pay me the sum of $184,000(One hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars), rather than pay me, she claimed bankruptcy and moved out of the country. Though I may not have received any money, I am thankful and grateful to be alive as there are no price tags on a person's life.


After going into depression, and turning to drugs to ease the pain I was going through, I decided to come out from hiding. I began to motivate and encourage myself. I  really wanted to wear a pair of shorts, a skirt or even a bikini. I just wanted to be able to feel pretty and comfortable in my own skin. One day, I woke up and got dressed for school. My mum saw me and marveled as I had on a pair of shorts. She asked me if I was sure I was ready, and I replied with a strong 'YES' and left for school. Ever since the day I made that decision, I have felt confident in my own skin. I feel beautiful to worry about what anyone thinks about me or my scars. I was finally at peace with my scars and nothing could take that from me. I got off the drugs and started to live a healthy life.



If you are reading this, and you are someone with a hidden scar, stop hiding. I want you to know that your scars are beautiful, they show the strength of a fighter. Everything happens for a reason and God chose this as your path to show the world your courage.




A few years ago while on vacation, I was in a bikini by the poolside chatting to some ladies. one of the ladies happened to have noticed my scar and said: "oh my God, what happened to you?" I then told them my story and made them know I was comfortable and confident with it. I let them know I did not need pity and I do not allow negative talks get me down. After I finished talking, one of the ladies came to me, she had on a big-long t-shirt and pants as her swimming costume in the hot sun. She told me she was ashamed of her body because she had stretch marks and cellulite. She had always hidden her body and would not wear shorts, dresses or bikinis. She was inspired by my story and the following day came to the poolside in a bikini and borrowed a pair of shorts from one of her girlfriends. She went out dancing that night in the borrowed shorts with her friends.  She had taken her first step of breaking out of hiding. Please, know that no matter the type of scar you have, seen or unseen, you do not need to hide behind it. Love who you are the way you are. When you love yourself, then others can love you too.


WHAT I DO FOR FUN: I love the outdoor life. From the age of seven (7), my dad taught me how to dirt bike and so, every summer when I get the chance, I go dirt biking. I also love to go boating, swimming, fishing and just relaxing around the fire with family and friends. I also love to go to karaoke and sing for fun. 


Though I got mauled by dogs, it did not stop me from loving animals. I have three dogs- A labrador, a red-nosed pit bull and a chihuahua. I love spending time with my wonderful fiance, and gorgeous stepson. We do a lot of activities together. I listen to meditation in my free time and focus on being mindful.




WORK: At the moment, I do personal training and I  actually did a fitness show called My Best Self. In the winter time, I do snow removal and in the summertime I do landscaping. I am writing a book about my life, I plan to make a difference in the world with my story.


MY FAITH: I am a woman of faith and I believe in God. My family was not the church type, but my sister and I used to go to church with a family down the street, it was always a wonderful experience. It is God who saw me through all I have been through and is with me even now. I called out for God to save me during the attack. I would not have survived the attack if not for God, 

My name is Jynnie Ashley Kent, and this is my Sparkling story.
Social Media: Instagram -@ jynuhysahrkogirl

                            Twitter -@ Jynniek

Friday, 7 December 2018

BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION.

A lot of times we hear stories and wonder in amusement if the stories are true as they sometimes sound so unbelievable. Meet a young lady whose story sounds like fiction but sadly, is real. I read her story on @miraclesandmesses and just had to reach out to her to come share her story with the world.

CONTENT WARNING: Please note that there are pictures that you may find disturbing.

My name is Jynnie, I am 26 years old born 26th of October 1992. I am the youngest of four siblings. 
While growing up, I lived in Pickering, Ontario. My street was called Tatra Dr. My childhood was not a regular one growing up. My parents were drug addicts. There was also violence and abuse in the home. 

I suffered sexual abuse which at the time, my parents knew nothing of. I was from a poor home, we could not afford nice clothes and due to this, I suffered bullying in school as I looked dirty and also was not up to date with the styles trending. On several occasions, I was beaten up by kids from school. I was once stabbed on my throat with a pencil, to show how much I was disliked. Even though I endured a lot of pain as a child, I always held my head high and had a positive view of every situation. Though I have a few friends, the ones I made as a child are still my best friends till date.

On October 26th, 2003, I was viciously mauled by five of my grandmothers bull mastiff dogs, leaving my entire body scared. When my grandfather realised what was happening to me in the backyard, he came to my rescue. At the point he came to help me, I was on the verge of giving up. In the process of the attack, the dogs had ripped off most of my clothing (I had winter clothing on). It had rained so the ground was muddy. I was covered in blood and mud, so, when we arrived at Uxbridge hospital and was placed on a stretcher, the nurse kept asking if I was a burn victim as I looked completely black. The Uxbridge hospital did all they could on me before flying me to Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, Ontario.

 I suffered 13 tears all over my body, had over 150 puncture wounds, about 1,000 stitches inside and outside of my body. I had a skin graphing repair on my lower right leg, suffered severe blood loss and was hospitalised for three months. On the first night at the Sick Kids hospital, the doctors found that the dogs had torn the main artery in my right leg and that there was no pulse. The doctors decided that they would amputate my right leg to the hip but later decided to call in a vascular surgeon by the name of Dr. Rubin who came in and took over the procedure. After ten hours of intensive surgery, he was able to find a vein in my left leg and used it to repair the artery in my right leg after which he got a pulse. Thanks to Dr. Rubin, he saved my leg.
I had intensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation, I learned to walk again. I still have to see my vascular surgeon (Dr. Rubin) every six months (for the rest of my life) due to the artery in my right leg. I have to be careful with certain activities as I am at risk of an artery collapsing in my right leg which would then lead to the leg being amputated to the hip.

I am very grateful to be alive. As a teenager, I hid my scars from everyone. I had social anxiety and battled with low self-esteem. I believed no one would ever love me because of my scars. I suffered bullying because of these scars, some kids in high school called me a 'dog chew toy'. Some even go as far as saying the dogs should have just killed me.


Depressed and not knowing where to fit in, I turned to drugs to ease the pain. Eventually, I got tired of hiding behind long clothes and self-harming. I no longer wanted to hide behind the walls I had built around me.

  My name is Jynnie Ashley Kent and I am Sparkling through and through✨
Social Media: Instagram -@ jynuhysahrkogirl 
                            Twitter -@ Jynniek


Join us next week to read the rest of her story, until then stay Sparkling and keep smiling.


Sisi Alero

UNDAUNTED CHACHA.

Meet an amazing woman and mother striving to make a difference by teaching inclusion and spreading awareness about down syndrome and enco...