Danielle Smith: Lessons learned from Amanda Lindhout

Activist, speaker, journalist and author Amanda Lindhout
Amanda Lindhout, is the keynote speaker at the 150 Women of Inspiration brunch and awards ceremony, on September 30. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Amanda Lindhout thought she would teach herself to be a journalist in 2008, when she set out as a freelance writer to tell stories from one of the most dangerous places in the world.

She didn’t become a journalist, but she ended up with a harrowing story to tell: while en-route to a refugee camp, she was apprehended by militants in Somalia and held hostage for 460 days.

READ MORE: What happens when an ISIS member returns to Canada? The story of one Toronto-area man 

Most people will have heard her name for the first time when she was forced by her captors to call a Canadian television station and read a note that said:

“My name is Amanda Lindhout and I am a Canadian citizen and I’ve been held hostage by gunmen in Somalia for nearly 10 months. I’m in a desperate situation.

I’m being kept in a dark, windowless room in chains without any medicine so I’m begging my government and my fellow citizens to assist me in putting pressure on my government.”

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Thankfully, her story had a good ending. She returned, wrote a book and has become an inspirational speaker. But, she still suffers from post-traumatic stress.

Now she shares the coping mechanisms she used to get through her captivity and return to a healthy state of mind. She will do so in Calgary as the keynote lunch speaker at the Women of Inspiration Awards on Sept. 30. Tickets are available here.

LISTEN: Amanda Lindhout, keynote lunch speaker at the Women of Inspiration awards

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