When 31-year-old Nooria came home and declared her intention to take rights awareness and vocational training courses with Women for Women in Afghanistan, her war-wounded, heroin addicted husband told her she was forbidden. “He told me no, that it is wrong for a woman to work,” Nooria says, “What would the neighbours think? He managed to convince my entire family to support him in his decision, too.”
Nooria lost one brother to Afghanistan’s years of conflict, whilst another brother and her husband were both seriously injured in different attacks. Shrapnel from a rocket attack tore into her husband’s head, arms and stomach, “He’s unable to work, needs constant medical attention, and is addicted to heroin”, she said.
With no means to earn a living in a war ravaged country, and inspired by the call for female trainees, Nooria spent months pleading with her husband and family to let her take the vocational course. In time, they gave in to Nooria’s request.
“Now, my role in the family, it has changed 100 percent.” Nooria now specialises in local styles of embroidery for a women’s cooperative. “I support my husband and five children – I now have money and I have respect.”
Nooria takes inspiration from Women for Women, and told us of the impact it has had on her life, “With Women for Women, I was given the capacity to develop myself, to develop my children and to teach my family about many different things. I am so thankful for Women for Women and the gift they have given us. The more women who receive this training, the closer we will be to improving our positions in society and preventing violations against our rights.”
Women for Women International help women like Nooria by supporting them in their journey from victims to survivors to active citizens. When we enroll women in our one-year programme
, they learn job skills and receive business training so they can earn a living. Women become confident, independent and productive, embracing their importance in rebuilding their families, their communities and ultimately their nations.
The work that we do with women in Afghanistan and other war afflicted countries would not be possible without the money raised and donated by our supporters. Without this generosity we would not be able to run the in-country programmes that make such a difference to the lives of the women who particpate. Women like Nooria.
Each woman we help is an individual, with their own unique story of suffering and survival. For many their struggle has left them physically and emotionally drained, but knowing that women around the world care enough to reach out and support them can give them the strength to carry on. As one of our programme graduates, and a rape survivor, from DRC, Honorata Kizende, told us: "It is one thing to have been through what I have been through. To have no one acknowledge it enhances that pain threefold." Our programmes need your financial support to continue, but for the women who participate in them it is about so much more than that. It is about knowing that somewhere in the world someone cares about their struggle, and is willing to help them rebuild their life.
This year we are asking you to give more than just your voice to the Join me on the Bridge
campaign by donating and fundraising at your event. There are so many ways to do it, and we have plenty of advice and tips
on the website - including a guide on setting up a JustGiving page
. So please, get involved in our big fundraising push this year, and help raise the money we need to support women in war-torn countries around the world. Your generosity will mean more than you could ever imagine.