This is the story of Parvaneh, a 7-year-old girl from Afghanistan.
Parvaneh lives in Iran with her mother, father and five siblings. Fleeing conflict, her family migrated from Afghanistan six years ago.
Although they feel safer now, Parvaneh’s family lives in destitution. Her father struggles to find enough work as a day laborer to feed his family. Relief International provides them with food and cash assistance.
Iranian schools are open to Parvaneh. She doesn’t go, though — her parents can’t afford the uniform or supplies she would need. “I like to go to school, but my mother does not send me,” she says.
As part of a Relief International food distribution, Parvaneh recently received colored pencils and a coloring book containing messages about the importance of hygiene. An eager artist, Parvaneh quickly completed the coloring book and proudly shared it when an RI staff member visited her home.
Flipping through the pages, Parvaneh showed off her meticulously colored images of children brushing their teeth and washing their hands.
As members of RI’s food distribution program, Parvaneh’s family will have enough to eat, at least for a few months.
Parvaneh hopes to realize her dream of going to school. Of tasting a banana.
For now, Parvaneh draws.