Sakina and Shukria have been through more difficulty in their short few years than many of us will in our lifetimes. Left alone in Kabul after their father’s death, raised by their grandmother in a freezing cave, Islamic Relief’s orphan sponsorship programme is making sure the rest of their childhood is safe, happy and healthy.
When their mother’s new husband didn’t want Sakina and Shukria, he left the little girls behind in Kabul, Afghanistan, all alone. Their grandmother, Rahima, travelled to bring them home.
But back in Bamyan, she had little to offer them. They lived in a draughty cave, a tiny coal burner barely protecting them from the sub-zero winters. While six-year-old Shukria was desperate to attend school, three-year-old Sakina spent her days playing amongst the rocks, dreaming of a brighter future.
Whenever their grandmother scraped together a little money, she faced an agonising choice: buy food to feed the girls, or fuel to stop them freezing?
Today, Rahima doesn’t have to make that impossible decision. Both Shukria and Sakina have been enrolled onto the Islamic Relief orphan sponsorship programme, and will soon receive regular support from their donors.
The family have been provided with a house in the hills of Bamyan, a world away from the draughty cave they used to call home. Their sponsorship will allow Shukria to get the education she always dreamed of, and Sakina will have a safe place to play.
Now, thanks to their sponsors, these two little girls will have everything they need for a happy, healthy and safe upbringing – alhamdulillah.