The story of Mariam’s journey was told to a member of our Women for Women International- Afghanistan team.
When I was a very little girl, Soviet troops had invaded Afghanistan. They destroyed everything in my village and every day it got harder and harder for my family to live. One day, my father was killed. I felt that the enemy of humanity had taken everything from me. It took away my future and left me with no hope.
My family decided to flee to Pakistan but life there as a refugee was very hard. We were in a camp without any financial support. When I was just old enough, I was married away to my husband. He is a day laborer, but he earns very little money. We had seven children together, but his meager salary was not enough to feed all of us. I decided to start washing other people’s clothes and cleaning their houses and that was how we survived for a time.
Just last year, after having lived in Pakistan for most of my life, I returned to Afghanistan. The Pakistan government made all refugees leave so I, along with my children and husband, made the journey back to our home land.
Here in Afghanistan, life is not easier. We are struggling for a better life and fighting against the poverty that is so close to consuming us. I am very thankful to the humanitarian aid workers that help us. Without their aid, we would not be surviving today. Without their aid, we would not have been able to start our lives again.
Our lives are still hard, but there is hope. I believe that humans come across many challenges in their lives, but only those succeed who can endure it and do not surrender to it, no matter how bad it gets.
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