For as long as I can remember, I’ve been alone. I’ve had my own mind. My own opinion. My own plan for my life. Although it is typical in my country for young girls to marry, it is unwanted by many. I was one of the lucky ones one who got away.
My parents supported my decision to break the marriage arrangement, and they helped me escape the wrath of my in-laws to be. But when my future husband’s parents found out I was missing, they threatened my own family and my very life. I was costing them power and wealth in my defiance. They made clear that if found, they would not hesitate to kill me.
I’ve been living in hiding at one of Hagar’s shelters for the last five years and am studying diligently to become a journalist. Although I am far behind in school according to my age, I know that if I work hard eventually I will get to where I am supposed to be.
Recently, I began studying English and soon I’ll have the opportunity to start my employment training. Hagar will prepare me with the skills and resources I need to turn my dreams into a reality. They even have a writing class set up for me!
Although I can’t return home and must learn to become a fully independent woman, I know after experiencing the support of Hagar I am never really by myself.
Hagar has cared for me as a daughter. I am celebrated instead of being forgotten.