Touching Lives: The Story
of an Afghanistan Girl
One Afghanistan girl had her life changed when she received the aid of several international NGO's (non-governmental organization) coordinating transportation and medical intervention. (A true story, but names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.
In a remote corner of Afghanistan we have the privilege of meeting and journeying with many wonderful families. We enter in to knowing their struggles, sharing in their joys, crying and laughing together.
One family in particular comes to mind. The story of an Afghanistan girl, Ahu (which means Deer), a 17-year-old burn victim, whose life and hope came to a sudden halt.
One night, she had an epileptic attack and fell into a fire; her whole torso, right arm, neck and ears were burned; her face was untouched by the flames.
These epileptic attacks began several years ago right after her father’s death. After she sustained her injuries from the fire she received minimal medical care, and the skin on Ahu’s neck started contracting, causing her chin to rest upon her chest. It was at this point that we were introduced to Ahu and became aware of her situation.
One of our teachers, who had completed a teaching training program through our agency, introduced us to Ahu and her mother, Fatima. Even though our NGO is an Educational NGO, upon sharing Ahu’s story with many, we received generous financial donations from people in the USA to assist with Ahu’s medical treatment.
Ahu made four trips to Kabul to receive surgery and treatment. Two were very grueling road trips and for two hospital visits she nervously flew by plane. It was wonderful to see hope replace the despair in her life.
It’s been 3 months since her fourth and final surgery, the pin in her hand has been removed and life is returning to “normal” for both her and her family. They are a poor family who weave carpets for a living. Ahu has never attended school.
Even though Ahu is doing better medically, the struggles of poverty are still knocking at their door. She has said that with the scarring she has no hope of ever being married and that is difficult for her and not acceptable in this culture.
For this family, arranged marriages have brought hope and despair. A younger sister of fourteen married a boy of eighteen; this marriage was arranged years ago while their father was still alive.
Ahu does not get to see her sister, as the husband does not allow the family to visit or her to visit them. Ahu’s brother of seven is already betrothed to a distant family member who is merely three now.
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