In war-torn Afghanistan, Ehsan’s grandfather suffered a fatal injury, sending his family into turmoil. Rahim, Ehsan’s father, took on the immense responsibility of caring for his nine siblings. Having an older brother with a life-limiting disability and no one else to rely on, Rahim’s uncle extended a lifeline. The family made the brave decision to leave their homeland behind and seek refuge in the Islamic Republic of Iran, hoping for a brighter tomorrow.
Life in Iran presented its own set of challenges. The family settled in the small village of Deh-e-Now, Yazd Province, where agricultural work and manual labor provided their meager livelihood. Rahim toiled tirelessly, working various jobs, from blacksmithing to construction work, to make ends meet. Despite their hardships, Rahim and his wife shared a common dream – to provide their children with an education that would help break the cycle of poverty.
Relief International was able to provide essential support to Ehsan’s family. Through the School Readiness Program (SRP), Ehsan, at the age of six, was given a chance to realize his full potential. The program, designed specifically for Afghan children aged 6-9, aimed to overcome barriers to education and pave the way for a brighter future.
Ehsan’s journey within the Iranian education system was nothing short of extraordinary. With each passing grade he gained confidence, surpassing all expectations. His mother joyfully shared, “Ehsan started to read storybooks in Farsi! We were so shocked and happy about this!”
"Ehsan started to read storybooks in Farsi! We were so shocked and happy about this!"
Yet, life had more obstacles in store. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered schools, forcing students into remote learning. Ehsan, lacking access to devices such as a laptop or tablet, faced academic setbacks. Despite passing marks, he was unprepared for the next grade.
In 2023, Relief International was once again able to offer a helping hand, offering Remedial Classes to Ehsan and his peers facing similar circumstances. These classes became a lifeline for those struggling to bridge the educational gaps exacerbated by the pandemic. With unwavering support, Ehsan regained his enthusiasm for learning and embraced his studies with renewed determination.
Through collaborations with organizations like UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, Relief International has expanded its reach. RI remedial programs are now able to support much greater numbers of newly arrived Afghan students, addressing language barriers, empowering children with illiterate parents, and ensuring that household responsibilities do not hinder their educational journeys.
Ehsan’s story stands as a testament to the transformative power of education. Through unwavering determination and the support of organizations like Relief International, he defied the odds, shattered limitations, and emerged triumphant. His journey serves as a reminder that with the right opportunities and consistent support, every child can unleash their true potential.