As part of its Empowerment initiative, Growth Is A Journey is very honored to share Ramona’s story of persevering in life, while on a mission to give back to the less privileged.
Ramona’s profound belief is that irrespective of circumstances, the best way to recharge oneself is by helping others.
GIAJ: We will learn a little bit more about your life stories throughout this interview, Ramona, but I will start by asking you how do you think you managed to persevere through hardships and come out stronger?
Ramona: First, thank you for the opportunity of this interview and being part of the Growth Is A Journey community! As to your question, I would say that everyone has a sad story to tell or maybe more, including me! From personal disappointments to business decisions that have cost me my health, sanity and almost loosing my faith in humanity… How I managed to stay sane through tough times and get where I am today? I think first and foremost, it’s because at every low point in my life, irrespective of the pain of the drama involved, professional or personal, I have managed to find solutions. In retrospect, I believe what has always helped is that I have faith and never lose my hope. Overall, with all the good and the bad, I am so grateful for everything I have and I am. I guess the key for me was that I never gave up during difficult times and over time I have developed my ability to control my panic levels so I do not take rushed decisions.
GIAJ: What principles have most guided you through your life journey?
Ramona: I have three principles I never ever break … even for the sake of just having more or getting out of a bad situation.
First, I never respond back with anger if other people do. I am not a crowd follower. I believe that bad words can hurt more than a punch and you can never retract them. So for me, whoever does that only helps me to see the true colors of the situation or person. So I filter the energy that surrounds me.
Second, I do not seek revenge even in the utmost circumstances as I always believe in a greater force than all of us above, a force who sees and knows it all, I call it God. Life has showed me that what goes around comes around and it so happened that whoever harmed me or tried to destroy my life they ended up miserable, harming themselves and destroying their own life and I had to do nothing. The universal law is always there keeping a balance.
Third, I never cut corners. Integrity represents the most valuable asset for me. If I loose my integrity I have no value personally or professionally. So I never stepped over others or go behind others to obtain any benefits. I am actually straightforward in all my discussions and relationships, I don’t waste time with fake compliments. I believe that having always kept my integrity is the reason life has opened plenty of amazing opportunities for me and helped me get out of difficult times.
GIAJ: Can you share with us about your passion to give back and your most recent experience in this area?
Ramona: Something that always lifts my soul during difficult times is to focus on helping others less fortunate to have access to the education I had and the opportunities I was provided with.
This year, before all the Covid-19 episode started, I took part in a second bike ride of 280 mile/ 450 km #Ride4Ceylon, a charity which encompasses and tackles 3 main causes dear to my heart: (1) Access to healthcare, (2) Education and (3) Empowering Orphans. I am not a bike rider, this experience has been very painful and tiring for my body, not to mention my achy back😬. But what kept me going, in this case biking, was reminding myself the purpose of riding for 4 days to cover a distance of 280miles/450km – to fundraise for the restoration of the first Medical School in South Asia which was built in 1848 to serve both the poor and the rich for free. After 30 years of civil war this amazing hospital is now slowly rebuilt to its former glory. The restoration of the pediatric ward, cardio unit and the neuro rehabilitation center and formation of a nursing academy have made a tremendous difference to hundreds of families in South Asia.
The Hospital is now able to provide support to parents dealing with autistic children, and to victims of war to deal with various mental conditions. Moreover, the hospital is also supporting the war orphans and other orphans by giving them a chance to have a better life and providing them with training and options to a medical career.
GIAJ: Thank you, Ramona, very inspiring. As we near the end of the interview, do you have any special message for the Growth Is A Journey community?
Ramona: I would encourage everyone to think about this. If people will only stop for a second and realize they have the power to rebuild not only to destroy and that irrespective of beliefs, we are all humans and by definition we should be compassionate and do good, this world will quickly change for the better. By giving this interview my message is, look for the light within you, do not be blinded by darkness. It is easy to destroy life but remember that humans do not have that right, so whoever does that, cannot be called human again.
GIAJ: Lastly, before we conclude, how would you describe Ramona in a few words?
Ramona: Ramona became an orphan at an early age but she managed to take the good path in life and get educated at highly recognized international schools, became a respected corporate professional, worked for several multinationals and as a trusted advisor to several Company Boards and later embraced the world of entrepreneurship. Ramona is a serial entrepreneur in multiple industries, a wife, a mother, a humanitarian and an enthusiast for martial arts.