Background: Sima belongs to a small village in the center of Bamyan, Afghanistan. In 2009, she was made part of CWS-P/A’s Child Rehabilitation Center (CRC) which helped her to study well. Her active involvement at the CRC gave her confidence and made her social. More importantly, Sima who is now 17 is well on her way to helping her family with increased income.
Story Collected by: Mohammad Omar
Sima’s father did not receive an education and works occasionally as a daily wage worker. Her mother and two sisters weave carpets at their home. The money is used to meet everyday household expenses for Sima’s family which includes ten members. She said, “My sisters do not attend school. While I attended school I would also help my mother in weaving carpets. As a result, I could not do my homework well or study at home and this led me to getting lower grades.”
Sima added, “Eventually, I was not interested in studying but my mother introduced me to the Cooperation Center for Afghanistan (CCA) team that had come to do a survey in our village. I was selected by the team and enrolled as a student at the CRC.”
With various ongoing interactive initiatives as part of the CRC’s agenda, Sima shared that during her first month at the CRC she did not like it because it made her realize that she was passive. “I quickly decided to change myself and became an active student at the CRC. I told my mother that I would not be able to assist in carpet weaving and used that time to prepare for all that was being taught to me. I began to study hard and actively participated in all activities which made me become social. I was supported by my teachers who discovered I was a quick learner. They gave me the opportunity to take responsibility of making announcements.”
Sima’s progress in school after she had left the CRC led her to achieving the first position and realizing her potential she was usually assisting her teachers. “As a co-teacher I gained some basic teaching skills and increased my knowledge about managing a class. I also took part in role plays. I realized if I worked hard I could support my family.”
In early 2013, while Sima was in class 11, an organization had advertised vacant positions for teachers. She shared, “I knew I did not meet the qualification requirements but I was confident about my talent and knowledge from the CRC. I passed the written exam and did very well in the practical exams because I was the only person who had knowledge on child rights, human rights, and health and hygiene education.
Sima adds that she is really proud of herself for being able to support her family. “Now my mother does not have to work more than 12 hours per day.”