< Stories of Resilience

A sister’s loving letter from Wales to Afghanistan

With love from Wales to Afghanistan: A letter about finding safety and hope during dark times.

Dear Sister Parwen,

Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you), I hope you and your respected family are doing well. 

The sudden collapse of Afghanistan has broken my heart. We did a tremendous job in developing our country. Now my family members are in hiding, as the cruel group of Taliban returned to power. I am very sorry for all the people there.

Dear sister, from the time I left Afghanistan I dearly miss my job as a humanitarian worker, my daily routine and everything else. 

As soon as I came to the UK, the coronavirus pandemic outbreak started and lockdowns were announced.

I was not going out, and I was so scared. Nobody was there to help. I was very lonely. I didn’t have enough phone credit to talk to anyone. My children Ahmad and Maryam were also very sad because they were mostly home. I started to develop depression. I couldn’t sleep for six months. I was going mad.

After I contacted the Welsh Refugee Council and told them about my problems, they helped me a lot. They sent me food and other items, they came to see me, and I got an internet dongle so I could talk to family and friends. I received my medicine on my doorstep, and they even talked with my solicitor to accelerate the decision in my asylum case. 

Our Eid celebrations in Wales.

The day that I got my UK visa I cried a lot. I was very happy.

And slowly, slowly, lockdowns were easing. We began attending playgroups organised by the Welsh Refugee Council. It was Ahmad and Maryam’s only opportunity to play with other children, and for me to share what I was going through with somebody else.

The toys donated by the playgroup were the only ones my children had, because I couldn’t afford to buy them any. The support from the playgroup staff and volunteers during tough times also means a lot to me, and makes me feel less isolated. 

A drawing by my daughter, Mariam

Going to the playgroup has given me a feeling of having a community.

I feel hope and positivity when I think about my time there, and I look forward to it every week. When I talked with the playgroup staff about my job in Afghanistan, they recommended using my skills to volunteer with the Welsh Refugee Council. I am now also a panel member of the Comic Relief Global Majority Fund

It has been really rewarding - some of the tasks are similar to my work back in Afghanistan. It has felt so good to be doing this again, and it has helped me to start building a community around me. 

By the mercy of Allah and with the help of the Welsh Refugee Council, everything is going so smoothly, and I have found a nice new home. 

Now I am very hopeful and happy, my children will have a very bright future here. I will continue to use my experience to assist refugees. 

Dear sister, I hope this letter can offer you some consolation during the difficult times you are now facing, and hope that these too will soon end. 

God bless you, and let us wish for peace in Afghanistan. 


My family, adjusting to our new life in Wales