Not long ago Tahmina*, a 16-year-old girl, was living quite happily with her mother, father and sister in a southern Afghan village. Unjustly accused of having an affair, Tahmina was punished for the crime. With the help of her father and sister, she was able to escape and found refuge at Hagar. Her journey continues as she finds hope and renewed value. Here is her story, in her words:
I didn’t have an affair. But that didn’t matter. There was a sham trial, a false conviction, and a brutal flogging.
But not for the man who accused me, or the man accused along with me. They both went home unharmed. I was the one who went home in agony.
And it wasn’t just once. They came back again the next day. I fled, but the welts came with me—along with the anger. It was so injust.
When I first got to Hagar, even though I was safe, I picked fights. I was so bored and alone.
But that was only at first. Now, I am so grateful to be learning new things. Now I am being trained and am remembering that I have value—because my trainers value me as a person. With the training, I know I'll be able to get a job and support myself. I know that soon I will be free to live a better life.
When you support this project -- Transform Lives of Afghanistan's Most Forgotten -- you bring hope and better futures to more women like Tahmina.
*not her real name
Last month, we celebrated a milestone in our recovery program for trafficked girls. Since its beginnings, Hagar's program has supported 200 girls on their journeys toward wholeness. Many dreams have been realized. Dreams for education. A career. A loving family. Many new futures are being envisioned.
Here is the story of one girl, named Srey Mao:
Sold by her own family to a brothel, Srey Mao remembers the pain and the trauma of the place. She lived for a long time under the impression that her sole value was the $500 her family received for selling her. Not so anymore. It has been a journey over years. But now Srey Mao says confidently, "Now I know I am priceless. I am more valuable than money."
When you support Hagar's project on Global Giving, you bring more dreams to girls like her.
Hagar Afghanistan rounded out 2012 with encouragement and hope. Over the past year, we saw numerous women and children find protection and begin to participate in their own healing. At the end of the year, 31 clients were becoming whole again.
Many experienced education for the first time. Some learned job skills and began to earn a salary. One by one, we saw clients overcome tragedy and experience empowerment. One by one, they began to understand they have value, deserve respect, and that they will be treated with dignity at Hagar.
"For the first time in my life, someone is asking me about my future plans and giving me support for my future." -- Sima, healing with Hagar.