I never got the chance to excel, to show my potential, to reach my dreams. In Afghanistan, it doesn’t work that way. At least for girls it doesn’t.
Because I was abused, I was rejected by my family. Because I was exploited, they abandoned me. Because of what happened to me, I was disgraced.
To stay alive – to survive – I ran away. Because in my country, you can get killed when a man abuses you.
I searched for a safe place for a long time. A place of refuge. Of belonging. But every shelter and safe house felt like a prison.
I just want to be free.
In Afghanistan, women like Aziza* are often punished for the abuse and exploitation they have suffered. The threat of death is very real. Today, Aziza finds herself at HAGAR’s Transitional Care Centre, the Lighthouse. It’s a safe place for women like her who cannot go home. Aziza is clever and hungry to learn. Staff give her opportunities to grow and apply her skills. And they always dream that one day, women like Aziza will experience life in all its fullness, using their minds and their talents to shape Afghanistan.
*Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.