How to turn your dissatisfaction into action | Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

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2020-07-02・ 2911    125


Visit http://TED.com to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. After the devastating rebel invasion of Freetown in 1999 and the Ebola epidemic in 2014, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of the city, refused to be paralyzed by her frustration with the status quo. Instead, she used her anger as a catalyst for action. In this inspiring talk, she shares how she transformed her city by taking the risks necessary to bring about dramatic change -- and shows how you can find power in your dissatisfaction. The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You're welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know. For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), submit a Media Request here: http://media-requests.TED.com Follow TED on Twitter: http://twitter.com/TEDTalks Like TED on Facebook: http://facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://youtube.com/TED

Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

Translator: Silvia Miguélez Reviewer: Xosé María Moreno
00:13
Sometimes,
Ás veces
00:15
you have a negative feeling about things.
tes sentimentos negativos.
00:18
You're not happy about the way things are going.
Non estás contento con como van as cousas.
00:22
You feel frustrated and dissatisfied,
Sénteste frustrado e insatisfeito,
00:25
and so often, we choose to live with it.
e moitas veces eliximos aceptalo.
00:29
It's a negative that we tell ourselves we have to endure.
É algo negativo que nos dicimos que temos que soportar.
00:34
And yet, I passionately believe
Pero eu creo apaixonadamente
00:37
that we all have the ability
que todos temos a capacidade
00:39
to turn that negative feeling
de converter ese sentimento negativo
00:41
into a positive
noutro positivo
00:43
by allowing our dissatisfaction
ao permitirmos que do noso descontento
00:46
to give birth to change.
naza o cambio.
00:49
On January 6, 1999,
O 6 de xaneiro do 1999,
00:52
I was working in London
eu estaba traballando en Londres
00:54
when the news channels began to report
cando comezaron a informar nas noticias
00:56
the rebel invasion of my hometown,
da invasión rebelde na miña cidade natal,
01:00
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Freetown, Serra Leoa.
01:03
Thousands of people lost their lives,
Miles de persoas perderon a vida,
01:05
and there were bodies littering the streets of Freetown.
e os corpos cubriron as rúas de Freetown.
01:09
My husband's elderly aunt was burned alive,
A tía maior do meu home foi queimada viva,
01:13
and I thought of my own two-year old
e pensei no meu neno de dous anos
01:16
as I saw images of little children with amputated limbs.
cando vin imaxes de pequenos coas extremidades amputadas.
01:21
Colleagues said to me,
Preguntáronme os compañeiros:
01:22
"How could we help?"
"Como poderiamos axudar?"
01:24
I didn't know,
Eu non o sabía,
01:26
so I began to call the telephone numbers that came up on my screen
así que comecei a chamar aos números de teléfono que aparecían
na miña pantalla ao comezar as axencias de axuda internacionais
01:30
as international aid agencies started to make appeals
a facer chamamentos para recadar cartos para abordar a traxedia.
01:34
to raise money to address the tragedy.
01:38
The vagueness of those telephone conversations disappointed me.
A vaguidade daquelas conversas telefónicas decepcionoume.
01:43
It felt like the people who were raising the money
Parecía que aqueles que estaban
a recadar os cartos estaban moi afastados da crise,
01:46
seemed so far removed from the crisis,
01:48
and understandably so,
comprensiblemente,
01:50
but I wasn't satisfied
pero eu non estaba nin satisfeita
01:52
and I wasn't convinced
nin convencida
01:54
that the interventions they would eventually implement
de que as intervencións que levarían a cabo
01:58
would actually have the level of impact that was so clearly needed.
terían o nivel de impacto que claramente se precisaba.
02:02
There were butterflies in my stomach for days
Tiven bolboretas no estómago durante días
02:05
as I continued to watch horrors unfold on television,
mentres seguía vendo horrores na televisión,
02:08
and I continuously asked myself,
e preguntábame continuamente,
02:11
what could I be doing?
que podería estar facendo eu?
02:13
What should I be doing?
Que debería estar facendo?
02:14
What I wanted to do was to help children affected by the war.
O que quería facer era axudar aos nenos afectados pola guerra.
02:18
So that's what we did.
E iso foi o que fixemos.
02:21
Myself, my sister and some friends
A miña irmá, algúns amigos e mais eu mesma
02:24
started the Sierra Leone War Trust For Children, SLWT.
montamos a Fundación para os Nenos da Guerra de Serra Leoa.
02:28
We decided to focus on the thousands of displaced people
Decidimos centrarnos nos miles de persoas desprazadas
02:32
that fled the fighting
que fuxiran dos combates
02:33
and were now living in really poor, difficult conditions
e agora vivían en condicións moi duras
02:37
in camps in Freetown.
en campamentos en Freetown.
02:39
Our work started with the Ross Road Camp
O noso traballo comezou co Campamento Ross Road
02:42
at the east end of the city.
no leste da cidade.
02:44
Working with a local health organization,
Traballando cunha organización sanitaria local
02:47
we identified about 130 of the most vulnerable single mothers
identificamos preto de 130 das nais solteiras máis vulnerables
02:52
with children under the age of five,
con nenos menores de cinco anos.
02:55
supporting them by providing business skills,
E apoiámolas con habilidades empresariais,
microcréditos,
03:00
microcredit,
03:02
whatever they asked us.
todo o que nos pedían.
03:04
Working in those difficult conditions,
Traballando nestas condicións duras,
03:07
just getting the basics right, was no small task,
xa era difícil acertar co básico,
03:11
but our collective sense of dissatisfaction
pero o noso sentimento colectivo de insatisfacción
03:14
at an unacceptable status quo
cun statu quo inaceptable
03:17
kept us focused on getting things done.
mantívonos centrados en obter resultados.
03:20
Some of those women went on to open small businesses,
Algunhas desas mulleres abriron pequenas empresas,
03:24
repaid their loans
e pagaron os seus préstamos
03:26
and allowed other mothers and their children
permitindo que outras nais e os seus fillos
03:28
to have the same opportunity they did.
tivesen a mesma oportunidade que elas.
03:31
And we, we kept on going.
E nós seguimos adiante.
03:34
In 2004, we opened an agricultural training center
No 2004 abrimos un centro de formación agrícola
03:38
for ex-child soldiers,
para exnenos soldado,
03:40
and when the war was behind us,
e cando a guerra xa pasara,
03:42
we started a scholarship program for disadvantaged girls
comezamos cun programa de bolsas para nenas desfavorecidas
03:46
who would otherwise not be able to continue in school.
que doutro xeito non poderían continuar na escola.
03:50
Today, Stella, one of those girls,
Hoxe Stella, unha desas rapazas,
03:54
is about to qualify as a medical doctor.
está a piques de graduarse como médico.
03:56
It's amazing what a dose of dissatisfaction can birth.
É incrible o que pode nacer dunha dose de insatisfacción.
04:01
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
04:03
Ten years later, in 2014,
Dez anos despois, no 2014,
04:06
Sierra Leone was struck by Ebola.
xurdiu un brote de ébola en Serra Leoa.
04:08
I was working in Freetown at the time on a hotel construction project on May 25
Eu estaba traballando en Freetown nun proxecto de construción de hoteis
o 25 de maio, cando anunciaron os primeiros casos,
04:15
when the first cases were announced,
04:17
but I was back in London on July 30
pero volvín a Londres o 30 de xullo,
04:20
when the state of emergency was announced,
cando se anunciou o estado de emerxencia,
04:24
the same day that many airlines stopped their flights to Sierra Leone.
o mesmo día que moitas compañías aéreas cancelaron os voos cara a Serra Leoa.
04:30
I remember crying for hours,
Lembro que chorei durante horas
04:32
asking God, why this? Why us?
preguntándolle a Deus: "Por que isto?" "Por que a nós?"
04:37
But beyond the tears,
Pero máis alá das bágoas,
04:39
I began to feel again
comecei a sentir de novo
04:42
that profound sense of dissatisfaction.
esa profunda sensación de insatisfacción.
04:45
So when, six months after those first cases had been confirmed,
Asi que, cando seis meses despois de confirmarse os primeiros casos,
04:49
the disease was still spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone
a enfermidade seguía espallándose rapidamente en Serra Leoa
04:52
and the number of people infected and dying continued to rise,
e a cantidade de infectados e mortos seguía medrando,
04:57
my level of frustration and anger
o meu nivel de frustración e rabia
04:59
got so much that I knew I could not stay
era tal que eu sabía que non podía
05:03
and watch the crisis from outside Sierra Leone.
seguir mirando a crise dende fóra de Serra Leoa.
05:07
So, in mid-November,
Entón, a mediados de novembro,
05:09
I said goodbye to my much loved
díxenlles adeus aos meus queridos
05:12
and very understanding husband and children,
e comprensivos marido e fillos,
05:15
and boarded a rather empty plane
e subín a un avión bastante baleiro
05:18
to Freetown.
cara a Freetown.
05:19
Freetown was now the epicenter of the outbreak.
Freetown era entón o epicentro do brote.
05:23
There were hundreds of new cases every week.
Había centos de casos novos cada semana.
05:26
I spoke to many medical experts,
Falei con moitos expertos médicos,
05:29
epidemiologists
epidemiólogos,
05:30
and ordinary people every day.
e xente común cada día.
05:33
Everyone was really scared.
Todos tiñan moito medo.
05:35
"We won't succeed until we're talking to people under the mango tree."
"Non teremos éxito ata que falemos con xente debaixo da árbore do mango."
05:41
So said Dr. Yoti,
Así falou o doutor Yoti,
05:43
a Ugandan doctor who worked for WHO
un médico ugandés que traballou para a OMS
05:46
and who had been involved in pretty much every Ebola outbreak
e que estivera involucrado en case todos os brotes de Ébola
05:49
in Africa previously.
en África anteriormente.
05:51
He was right,
Tiña razón,
05:52
and yet there was no plan to make that happen.
e aínda así, non había un plan para que isto acontecese.
05:57
So during a weekend in early December,
Así que durante unha fin de semana a comezos de decembro,
06:00
I developed a plan that became known as the Western Area Surge plan.
elaborei un plan coñecido como Plan Rápido da Área Occidental.
06:05
We needed to talk with people,
Tiñamos que falar coa xente,
06:08
not at people.
non falarlle á xente.
06:10
We needed to work with the community influencers
Tiñamos que traballar cos influentes das comunidades
06:14
so people believed our message.
para que a xente crese a nosa mensaxe.
06:16
We needed to be talking under the mango tree,
Tiñamos que falar baixo a árbore de mango,
06:19
not through loudspeakers.
e non a través de altofalantes.
06:20
And we needed more beds.
E necesitabamos máis camas.
06:22
The National Ebola Response Center, NERC,
O Centro Nacional de Resposta ao Ébola, NERC,
06:25
built on and implemented that plan,
puxo en práctica ese plan,
06:28
and by the third week of January,
e para a terceira semana de xaneiro
06:30
the number of cases had fallen dramatically.
o número de casos caera drasticamente.
06:33
I was asked to serve
Pedíronme que fose
06:35
as a new Director of Planning for NERC,
a nova directora de planificación do NERC,
06:38
which took me right across the country,
o que me levou por todo o país,
06:40
trying to stay ahead of the outbreak
tratando de ir por diante do brote
06:43
but also following it
pero tamén seguíndoo
06:44
to remote villages in the provinces
a aldeas remotas nas provincias
06:46
as well as to urban slum communities.
e ás comunidades urbanas de chabolas.
06:50
On one occasion, I got out of my car
Nunha ocasión saín do meu coche
06:53
to call for help for a man who had collapsed on the road.
para pedir axuda para un home que se derrubara na estrada.
06:57
I accidentally stepped in liquid
Accidentalmente pisei un líquido
07:00
that was coming down the road from where he lay.
que baixaba pola estrada desde onde estaba el.
07:03
I rushed to my parents' house,
Saín correndo á casa dos meus pais
07:04
washed my feet in chlorine.
e lavei os pés con cloro.
07:07
I'll never forget waiting for that man's test results
Nunca esquecerei a espera polos resultados das probas dese home
07:11
as I constantly checked my temperature then and throughout the outbreak.
mentres medía seguido a miña temperatura, algo que fixen mentres durou o brote.
07:17
The Ebola fight was probably the most challenging
A loita do ébola foi probablemente a experiencia
máis difícil e gratificante da miña vida,
07:22
but rewarding experience of my life,
07:25
and I'm really grateful
e estou realmente agradecida
07:27
for the dissatisfaction
pola insatisfacción
07:28
that opened up the space
que me deu a oportunidade
07:30
for me to serve.
de axudar.
07:32
Dissatisfaction can be a constant presence in the background,
A insatisfacción pode ser unha presenza constante nun segundo plano,
07:37
or it can be sudden,
ou pode ser repentina,
07:38
triggered by events.
provocada por sucesos.
07:41
Sometimes it's both.
Ás veces é ambas.
07:44
With my hometown, that's the way it was.
Así foi coa miña cidade natal.
07:48
For years, our city had changed,
Durante anos, a nosa cidade cambiara,
07:52
and it had caused me great pain.
e causárame moita dor.
07:55
I remember a childhood
Lembro da infancia
07:57
growing up climbing trees,
subir ás árbores
08:00
picking mangoes and plums
e recoller mangos e ameixas
08:03
on the university campus where my father was a lecturer.
no campus universitario onde meu pai era profesor.
08:07
Went fishing in the streams deep in the botanical gardens.
Pescaba nos regatos das profundidades dos xardíns botánicos.
08:12
The hillsides around Freetown were covered with lush green vegetation,
As ladeiras dos arredores de Freetown estaban cubertas de exuberante vexetación,
08:18
and the beaches were clean and pristine.
e as praias estaban limpas e inmaculadas.
08:20
The doubling of the population of Freetown in the years that followed the civil war,
A duplicación da poboación de Freetown nos anos seguintes á guerra civil,
08:25
and the lack of planning and building control
e a falta de control da planificación e a construción
08:28
resulted in massive deforestation.
deron lugar a unha deforestación masiva.
08:32
The trees, the natural beauty, were destroyed as space was made
As árbores e a beleza natural destruíronse ao tempo que se deixaba lugar
08:36
for new communities, formal or informal,
para novas comunidades formais e informais,
08:39
and for the cutting down of firewood.
e para a corta de árbores para leña.
08:42
I was deeply troubled and dissatisfied.
Quedei profundamente preocupada e insatisfeita.
08:46
It wasn't just the destruction of the trees and the hillsides
Non só me molestou a destrución de árbores
08:49
that bothered me.
e dos outeiros,
08:51
It was also the impact of people,
tamén foi o impacto das persoas,
08:54
as infrastructure failed to keep up with the growth of the population:
xa que a infraestrutura non puido adaptarse ao crecemento da poboación:
08:59
no sanitation systems to speak of,
sen sistemas de saneamento,
09:02
a dirty city with typhoid, malaria and dysentery.
unha cidade sucia, con tifo, malaria e disentería.
09:07
I didn't know the statistics at the time,
Entón non coñecía as estatísticas,
09:09
but it turned out that by 2017,
pero resultou que para 2017
09:12
only six percent of liquid waste and 21 percent of solid waste
só se estaba a recoller o 6% do refugallo líquido e o 21% do sólido.
09:18
was being collected.
09:19
The rest was right there with us,
O resto
estaba alí mesmo, connosco,
09:21
in backyards, in fields, rivers
nos xardíns, campos e ríos
09:25
and deposited in the sea.
e depositado no mar.
09:28
The steps to address that deep sense of anger and frustration I felt
Os pasos para abordar ese profundo sentimento de rabia e frustración que tiña
09:33
didn't unfold magically or clearly.
non xurdiron maxicamente.
09:36
That's not how the power of dissatisfaction works.
O poder da insatisfacción non funciona así.
09:40
It works when you know that things can be done better,
Funciona cando sabes que as cousas poden facerse mellor,
09:44
and it works when you decide to take the risks to bring about that change.
e decides asumir os riscos para provocar ese cambio.
09:49
And so it was that in 2017
E así foi como en 2017
09:52
I ended up running for mayor,
acabei de candidata á alcaldía, porque sabía
09:54
because I knew things could be better.
que as cousas podían mellorar.
09:57
It seemed the people agreed with me, because I won the election.
Parece que a xente concordaba comigo, porque gañei as eleccións.
10:01
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
10:04
Today, we are implementing an ambitious plan
Agora estamos levando a cabo un plan ambicioso
10:08
to transform our city,
para transformar a nosa cidade,
10:11
and when I say we,
e cando digo estamos,
10:14
what gets me really excited
o que me fai moita ilusión
10:16
is that I mean the whole Freetown community,
é que quero dicir toda a comunidade de Freetown,
10:19
whether it's being part of competitions like rewarding the neighborhood
tanto participando en competicións que gaña a veciñanza
10:25
that makes the most improvement in overall cleanliness,
que consiga os mellores resultados en limpeza xeral,
10:29
or whether it's our programs
coma cos nosos programas
10:31
that are leading and joining people and waste collectors
que lideran e xuntan persoas e recolledores de residuos
10:35
through our apps.
a través das nosas apps.
10:39
In Freetown today,
O Freetown de hoxe
10:41
it's a much cleaner city,
é unha cidade moito máis limpa,
10:44
and those trees that we're so well known for,
e esas árbores polas que somos tan coñecidos,
10:47
we planted 23,000 of them last rainy season.
plantamos 23.000 na tempada de choiva.
10:51
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
E no 2020
10:52
And in 2020,
10:53
we plan to plant a million trees as part of our "Freetown the Tree Town" campaign.
queremos plantar un millón de árbores como parte da nosa campaña
"Freetown: cidade de árbores"
11:00
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
11:03
Sometimes, sometimes we have a negative feeling about things.
Ás veces temos sentimentos negativos por diferentes motivos.
11:08
We're not happy about the way things are going.
Non estamos contentos con como van as cousas.
11:12
We feel dissatisfied,
Sentímonos insatisfeitos
11:14
and we feel frustrated.
e frustrados.
11:16
We can change that negative into a positive.
Podemos cambiar ese sentimento negativo nun positivo.
11:22
If you believe that things can be better,
Se cres que as cousas poderían ir mellor,
11:26
then you have the option to do something rather than to do nothing.
entón tes a opción de facer algo, mellor que non facer nada.
11:31
The scale and circumstances of our situations will differ,
A escala e as circunstancias das nosas situacións serán distintas,
11:36
but for each of us,
pero todos nós
11:38
we all have one thing in common.
temos unha cousa en común.
11:42
We can take risks to make a difference,
Podemos arriscar para conseguir cambios reais,
11:45
and I will close in saying,
e vou acabar dicindo:
11:48
step out,
dade un paso adiante,
11:49
take a risk.
arriscade.
11:50
If we can unite behind the power of dissatisfaction,
Se podemos todos empregar o poder da insatisfacción
11:54
the world will be a better place.
o mundo será un lugar mellor.
11:56
Thank you.
Grazas.
11:57
(Applause)
(Aplausos)
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