FOR many people, covid19 challenged everything they thought they knew about life and living. In contrast, entrepreneur and NGO founder Khadijah Alisamhoul, 37, said the pandemic reinforced her beliefs and provided an opportunity for people's eyes to be opened to proper values.
The founder of Tower of Power Movement – an NGO aimed at assisting youths – Alisamhoul is no stranger to helping people achieve their potential.
The Mason Hall resident's latest effort comes via her first book, published by Amazon two months ago.
She told Newsday the pandemic created the perfect storm for her to channel her thoughts and put pen to paper.
"Writing was always on my mind but I became buried with other important issues...It was not until my birthday in March and being emerged in a new lifestyle due to coronavirus, that a spark was lit to proceed with this book. It was the perfect timing to concentrate on writing, which is one of my childhood passions, especially writing poetry," she said.
Titled Women of Worth The Overcomer 7-day devotional, the book seeks to empower women through biblical quotes and the experiences of its author.
Alisamhoul said the book will will change people's mindsets about how they view people and certain types of jobs. She believes it will help create a society that is value-driven.
"Laws are important but we need more vales. In the absence of good values, people will continue to break laws," she said.
Alisamhoul, the owner of Pro Kleen janitorial company, said she felt compelled to assist and empower women after observing how her all-female employees were sometimes treated by people.
"Some people overlook cleaners. I, myself, have been looked down on. So I know the feeling. But the truth is, without cleaners and janitorial staff your place will be in a mess."
She said the emphasis on cleanliness during the pandemic has showed people the importance of janitorial services and she has noticed more respect is being given.
She said June last year she decided to hold a Women of Worth appreciation ceremony for her staff to dispel the notion of janitorial work being inferior.
After a conversation with other companies, the ceremony mushroomed into an island-wide event.
"At first it was only to honour my employees, an appreciation for them. But when I reached out to other janitorial companies, they jumped on board so quickly. We honoured 22 employees from eight companies throughout Tobago," she said.
"It was only then I thought it necessary to empower these women who often go undervalued and overlooked."
She said the book will help women discover or reassess their worth.
Alisamhoul said the reviews she has been getting have been positive and even men are buying the book and enjoying it.
A certified member of the John Maxwell Team, Alisamhoul said there is something in the book for men, women, Christians and non-Christians.
"They can (learn something) because the value system is based on my leadership skills. I'm a leadership coach, trainer and speaker."
Earlier this week, Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy posted a picture of the book on her Facebook page and mulled whether Alisamhoul would sign it.
That gesture meant a lot to the mother of three.
"It is an honour and humbling moment that a notable figure who's focussed on progressing gender, youth and children affairs is interested in my transformative book, and the icing on the cake was her request for an autographed copy."Alisamhoul said the book will be on local shelves by December and she plans to have an official book-signing ceremony.
"My intention with the devotional workbook is to use it with groups to build confidence and empower people to become their best selves To show them that through their faith and prayer that all things are possible, if only you believe.
"I share on certain things I've overcome in the past. I've overcome stuff within my personal life, relationships and business. It's more of a workbook. They ask their self questions after each chapter."
She said the book will be a two-part series, with the second based on setbacks she experienced.
The book is available for US$9.99 on Amazon.