What Does it Mean to Empower Someone?

Here at Oasis, we talk a lot about empowerment. But what does it mean to empower someone?

Empowering someone means giving them the tools to make choices for themselves. Choices that are not restricted due to their gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, ethnicity, disability, or anything else. 

Empowering someone means solidarity, or standing with. It means not putting ourselves above them, but standing shoulder to shoulder in recognition of our shared humanity. 

Empowering someone means recognizing what they have to give, not only what they can receive. It means recognizing their unique talents and creating an avenue for those skills to flourish.

Empowering someone means listening to them, and not prescribing a list of what they should do to improve their circumstances. It’s trusting that they know themselves and their needs best, and helping them make the best decisions to reach their goals. 

Empowering someone means not stereotyping them based on their background, but accepting the web of culture, experiences, and personality that make them who they are. 

Empowering someone is not a simple process, but can take years of effort and care. 

Empowering someone puts the power back into the hands of people who have traditionally been oppressed and silenced. It is not the act of giving them a voice, but acknowledging the voices that have been silenced for too long. 

Empowering someone is not an individual act, but a communal one.

Empowering someone is not a single action but a long-term commitment to the well-being of another person or community. 

Empowering someone does not have to be you empowering someone else, but can include empowering yourself. 

What is one way you can empower yourself or others today?

Join us in empowering our community in Belgium by committing to the 9 campaign here. Your gift enables us to provide holistic care for women who have experienced gender based violence and exploitation, isolated elderly people, and children with a migration background.