Returning “Home” Is not Always Easy, A Refugee Story

"We didn’t even have one room to stay in."

Noorzia is a forty-five-year-old woman living in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. She graduated from Women for Women International’s program in March 2018 and is working towards creating her own small poultry farm using her newly-gained skills. The future looks bright for Noorzia, but that wasn’t always the case.

Like most Afghans, Noorzia experienced great loss and obstacles due to war and insecurity. Violent conflict in Afghanistan drove Noorzia and her family to leave their home and loved ones and flee to Pakistan where they lived for nearly 17 years.

Woman in a head scarf

“Moving to a new country and starting a new life was very difficult,” Noorzia says.

When Noorzia and her family returned to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, things were not the same at home either. Without support systems, jobs, and resources readjusting was a difficult task. To make matters worse, Noorzia’s house was destroyed in the clashes.

“We didn’t even have one room to stay in,” she recalls.

At a bomb blast, Noorzia’s husband got injured adding to the family’s heartbreak. While he eventually recovered, they struggled to provide for their 11 children.

To be able to contribute to her family’s income, Noorzia joined Women for Women International’s program in Kabul in 2017. Through the program she learned about the importance of taking care of her own health and that of her children and about her human rights. She also learned important numeracy and business skills and poultry farming. Noorzia also took the time to build a network with the women who were in her classroom.

“I am in touch with other participants and I have plan to share these things which I have learned to others. I hope that together we can create a poultry farm,” Noorzia says.