Hajira, 18, comes from a family with 12 members. For 31 years, Hajira’s family lived in Pakistan as refugees, where they were not able to enroll in official schools. Her brother was taught to memorize the Qur’an and he taught Hajira some math and English. Hajira desperately wanted to attend school but did not have the opportunity to do so.

When Hajira’s family was 11 they moved back to Afghanistan, to their village, Jangal Aregh in Jawzjan province. Unfortunately, the village was under the control of the Taliban and girls were not allowed to go to school. During this year, Hajira lost her father and her mother fell sick, leaving her unable to work. Hajira’s sisters were married, so Hajira was left responsible to care for her mother and began weaving carpets to earn money.

During this time, the Taliban announced that families with young girls must have them married or else members of the Taliban would marry them. Hajira’s family decided to leave their village and moved to Mazar. Hajira was intent on attending school but was reminded by her brother that she needed to take care of their mother.

Then coronavirus hit and there was no choice but to stay home. Hajira said that a woman from Islamic Relief knocked on their door and convinced Hajira’s brother to allow Hajira to enroll in Islamic Relief’s Assisting Out-of-School Girls Access to Education (AGE) program.

Hajira is grateful for the opportunity to attend school and said, “I  am deeply thankful and appreciate my teacher and Islamic Relief for providing such an opportunity to internally displaced persons (IDPs), vulnerable families, orphans, and refugees to study and enroll in school for further education.”

Hajira says it’s her goal to become a doctor to treat sick people and hopes to one day work for Islamic Relief to provide services to those who are vulnerable and make their futures prosperous.

 

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