Last September, my mother told me that we would have an Afghan girl, Nilab Nusrat, staying in our house for a few months.
My mother is the founder and board-member of a 10-year-old organization called Women for Afghan Women (WAW; www.womenforafghanwomen.org). WAW works to secure and advance Afghan women and children’s human rights. In addition to many other programs (see sidebar), WAW also runs three Children’s Support Centers for children whose mothers are in jail. In Afghanistan, when mothers go to jail, the children go with them if no family member is willing to take them. The jails are awful places for the children, and without education, so WAW tries to get these children out of the jails and into the support centers, where they not only have a home and access to education, but also have a loving and supporting community and access to many programs. Because these children have spent long periods of time without education, WAW focuses on tutoring them so that they can get into good schools where they will do well. They have excellent tutors, and nearly all the children from the shelters are among the top of their classes. Nilab is one of these children.
Nilab was born in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and lived there all her life, except for a brief stay in Pakistan. For the first part of her childhood, she had a pretty great life. She had gone to school, loved her parents and siblings, and had many friends. And then, when she was 11 — just 6 years ago — her father, for reasons she isn’t comfortable with sharing with the press, set himself on fire, right in front of Nilab’s eyes.
Read the rest of the article at KidSpirit Online.Source: kidspiritonline.com