LFT Afghanistan – Zohra and Zahra’s story – Twin sisters
Zohra and Zahra are twin orphaned girls who re-enrolled at school this year with the help of the Lady Fatemah Trust (LFT) in Dasht-e-Barchi of Kabul Afghanistan. The twins live in a highly impoverished area of Dasht-e-Barchi in the western part of Kabul city. Their residence clearly showed what the life of the poor really look like. Their father who was in the previous Afghan army was killed during a trip from the north of the country to Kabul while coming for vacation.
Previously Zohra and Zahra were going to school with the support of their father and later with the assistance of a benevolent man who donates for orphaned education. But, since 2020, the twins have remained out of school due to losing their source of support and no money to pay their fees. “… I took my kids to a public school where they said there is no more capacity for us to accept new students,” said Fatima – their mother.
Fortunately, last winter Fatima learned about the LFT-initiated education program for orphaned, poor, and vulnerable children in her neighborhood. She then visited the school office where she described her living condition and asked them for help. The school, thereafter, introduced the twin girls to Dekada Mehr “LFT Local Partner” after which it conducted an assessment of the applicants and then enrolled them in the school. “Happily, the organization admitted Zohra and Zahra to continue their schooling with the LFT’s sponsorship scheme for the poor and orphaned,” Fatima added. “Certainly, if it weren’t for this program, Zohra and Zahra would stay at home and lose miss the opportunity to study.”
Since the beginning of school, Zohra and Zahra are feeling so happy and empowered, according to their mother. “Given that my daughters are provided education, kept at school, and assisted by the organization, I am struggling to find money or other helps to make a living, especially in a society where increasing limitations on women’s work and public participation are imposed.
“At this time, life is hard for all people, particularly the orphaned and widowed. I am one of those bearing the brunt of this economic burden and can’t easily make money to feed my children. They neither have enough food at home nor can they have the means to get it at school. For example, when my twins head to school, they often ask for cash to buy a snack just like their friends but I sadly fall short. Instead, what I can give them is only a piece of bread for their break time which is a sort of frustrating for them when being among others,” she further indicated.
Having benefitted from the program, Zohra and Zahra say they are hopeful for their future and consider this opportunity a golden one to make the best use of and learn education. “We will grow anyway and succeed to make life sweeter for us because what can help us in achieving our dream is education,” Zohra stated. “We are too happy while we are on the way to school and when seated on a school chair. We especially thank the LFT for making our education possible,” Zahra said with a smile on her face.
Being at school is an amazing experience for Zahra and Zohra where they have developed good relations and friendships with the school’s student body, as well as with teachers. Meanwhile, they have made promising progress in their lessons, learning skills, and doing their homework as verified by their mom and teachers. The twins don’t now feel that they are orphaned and have developed a deep love for book, pens, and classmates and found the school truly encouraging. For example, Zahra recalled a moment when her classmate Aziza told her: “If we go for success and prosperity to have a good life in the future, the place to pursue that path is school.”