It's not often that ambition and compassion come together harmoniously yet Tatiana Sharpe has successfully managed to balance both since childhood.
Being born and raised in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa, Tatiana has always been exposed to injustice and vast differences in society that have fueled her passion to help others; making joining SDG 16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions an easy decision.
At just eight years old she decided to help underprivileged children by writing and illustrating her own non profit book called The Lonely Tiger, which follows a tiger's journey to find friendship.
As well as its proceeds going towards providing children with textbooks and food, the book taught them to always be a friend to those in need.
Tatiana told Merit360: "I remember at five years old going with my mum and giving out clothes and food in orphanages. At the time I was an only child and they were the closest thing to brothers and sisters I had."
Proving good things come in small packages Tatiana continued her charity work by creating a partnership with the youth parliament of Zimbabwe at the age of 14.
This marked the beginning of her own trust called Tariro Nevana (Hope for the children) which aims to give a hand up, rather than a handout, to children who were living on the streets.
Putting her trust on hold to finish her degree in International Relations at King's College London, Tatiana hopes to continue her work in the future by setting up a sanitary system for the children and providing them with camping sets.
At just 20 years old Tatiana exudes self assurance and dreams of establishing her own advisory law firm which works with states to create change through a better understanding of diplomacy.
Above all Tatiana believes everything happens for a reason as she was originally on a path to becoming a professional ballroom dancer before her partner, Junior Gwap, tragically died in a car accident.
She said: "it was very difficult for me to even think about dancing for a long time, I couldn’t picture dancing with anyone else, but I soon realized my education in International Relations was very important to me and now I'm here today at Merit360."
"I know he wouldn’t have wanted me to stop dancing and so I've started dancing againin London, I hope to dance in his name for as long as I physically can."
Text: Rochelle Beighton
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