LFT Afghanistan – Farida’s Story
Farida’s Story – One of the 70 girls studying in the Learning Center for Vulnerable Girls in Kabul
I am Farida one of the participants of the course specially established for girls whose access to education is denied currently. I was born in Malistan district of Ghazni province and have been raised in a poor family like most other girls in my community. I am currently studying in the learning center for vulnerable girls which is supported by the Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT) in the west of Kabul. I studied school up to grade 5 in a public high school in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood of Kabul city. Thereafter, I continued my education until grade 8 in Abdul Rahim Shaheed high school in the marginalized area of western Kabul which was not completed due to unexpected changes that took place in Afghanistan last year.
Since school doors closed, I stayed home for nearly a year and completely lost access to education – whether formal or informal. Honestly, these months that I was forced to stay home were extremely difficult and frustrating for me. This made me mentally keyed up and somewhat disappointed in my future. I am living in an 8-member family in a disadvantaged area of the city where poverty, consequences of conflict, and existing dire conditions have all combined to overwhelm people.
Especially, living costs and enjoying means of livelihood are a matter of big concern given the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis. For example, we are 8 people at home and it is really hard for our family to make ends meet. My father, who is the only breadwinner of the family, suffers from backache and can’t work properly. He had a job before and was paid some amount of money but now he doesn’t. We are feeling the effects of his joblessness from the core of our bones.
In such a situation, we have relied on borrowing money to provide food just to feed ourselves and survive. There is no income to support the family financially and be able to even pay for the goods we have bought with borrowed money. The story of my life, especially in the past year is very painful. I am worried a lot since our destiny in not clear and the future prospect for us looks very bleak. Every day, I hear shocking news and unpleasant events take place around me. The persistence of ban on girls’ secondary education for girls is particularly distressing and disappointing.
As a young girl, I couldn’t bear this situation in which I was experiencing a high level of mental pressure. But, happily, it was the LFT’s education program that came to my help and helped change my circumstance. When I heard about this program, I became very happy to get another chance to get back to the classroom. After LFT’s local partner team conducted surveys for the selection of eligible girls, I got selected and afterward started attending the learning center in May 2022. In the course, I am studying basic school subjects and English which are aimed at keeping us connected with our official learning. Additionally, the environment at the center has not only made me feel better psychologically but also helped me learn what I had missed and strengthened my knowledge of school books such as mathematics, science, English language, as well as drawing skill.
In other words, this chance turned a new page in my life in this status quo and enabled me to dream of continuing education once again. Further, I hope schools are reopened for Afghan girls and we are given our right to education which is a fundamental human right. Attending this course with high-quality education and extensive support have a huge meaning for us in the current context. In summary, I would like to express my deepest appreciation and thanks to the LFT for delivering such tremendous support to us, and making our learning possible. I also thank those who generously donate to and support such programs and causes.