A Strong Woman is a Beautiful Woman

Inspiring Women to Discover Their Inner Strength

Inspiring Women to Discover Their Inner Strength

By in Inspiration | 12 comments

Pat is passionate about Inspiring women to reach their full potential. Volunteering and helping others have always been part of her life. She worked as a telephone counsellor for many years in her native town, Durban. Driven and always full of energy, Pat devoted her life to teaching and empowering single and divorced women who have been abused or were struggling financially.

Pat’s commitment didn’t change, even after a homeless young woman robbed her.  She had kindly taken in the woman and a small baby into her own home four years ago.    

Pat knows what it means to struggle. She faced financial problems herself when her husband lost his job as a manager after more than 30 years of service. On top of this, he didn’t receive any unemployment benefit or pension. The firm he had worked for closed down. Pat found herself struggling to make ends meet for her family of six.


Pat Maharaj on overcoming difficulties and climbing her first mountain

Despite all her setbacks, Pat continued to give herself to those in need. About one year ago, she dreamt about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. To sustain herself throughout this project, Pat took a photo of herself and pasted it onto a photo of the mountain. She pinned it on her fridge. Over the months, she visualized the climb over and over.

Moshi, a small town in the foothills of the Kilimanjaro, is the starting point for many climbers seeking to conquer Africa’s biggest mountain. In these idyllic surroundings, I met 55-year-old Pat Maharaj from Durban in South-Africa. She takes us on her personal journey to self-discovery.

“Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was like therapy to me”, stated Pat. After having faced many problems in her recent past, she decided to let go and to embark on a life-changing experience. After one year of intensive training, she made it to the summit of the majestic mountain on the morning of her 55th birthday.

No mean feat for this 1, 50-meter-tall South-African lady who had never climbed before.

“Thankfully, I didn’t suffer from altitude sickness or nausea. I also worked my way up slowly, slowly, pole by pole, one step at a time”, says Pat.

She made it a point to help other climbers when she noticed they were in difficulty. This was the case with three young women, who had run out of water. Because of the cold, their water supply had frozen in their bottles. Contrary to other passers-by, Pat offered them her own water.

As it turned out, the four women were fellow South-Africans. They discovered this afterwards when they ran into each other at Kilimanjaro airport, and the three women wanted to thank their “Indian” saviour.

”All my struggles made me stronger and more determined to endure and persevere. I hope to inspire other women to discover their inner strength and to make their dreams a reality”.

This is a guest post by Heidi Verdonck. Read more about Heidi in her bio below.

About Heidi Verdonck

Heidi Verdonck is a freelance writer from Belgium. After graduating from the University of Ghent and the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, she worked as a radio journalist for the Belgian Public Broadcasting. Heidi's passions are travelling, women's rights the diversity of the Arab world. She fell in love with Morocco, where she wrote a series of articles on women’s rights. In 2013 Heidi swapped the rainy skies of Brussels for the sunny climes of Abu Dhabi. She speaks six European languages and Arabic. Heidi writes about her experiences of living in the Middle East and her travels from Africa to Asia. You can find her here: http://cross-culturalwomen.blogspot.ae


  1. Inspiring indeed. I really enjoyed Heidi’s story about climbing the mountain. The part where she met the women from the trail at the airport was also great. The world can seem so big or so small depending on our openness to strangers.



    • Thank you, Leah… Pat’s story is an inspiration to me too because of her openness and kindness in the face of trials of life. Great to hear that you liked it too.



    • Thank you, Leah. Pat is a strong, dedicated woman with a heart for helping other women. It’s lovely to know there are people who will do all they can to help others at whatever cost.

      I also believe that strangers are friends we don’t know. As soon as we get acquainted with them, they are no longer a stranger.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Enjoy the rest of the week. 🙂
      June recently posted..Inspiring Women to Discover Their Inner StrengthMy Profile

      June June


  2. Awesome inspiring article thank you for your informative article

    aadita rani


    • Thanks for leaving a comment.

      June June


    • You’re welcome and thank you. 🙂

      June June


  3. Very Inspiring!!

    The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her; but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.

    Kartik Jani


    • Well said Kartik and so true. And every time a woman overcomes challenges it makes her stronger. 🙂

      June June


  4. Thank you Leah
    Thanks for sharing 🙂



    • You’re welcome. 🙂



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