To illustrate the daily work of our member child helpline in Afghanistan, Aneeta Williams, Head of Programme Quality and Eshaq Karimi, Programme Manager at War Child UK, have shared the story of 17-year-old Shukriya, who contacted the child helpline after having taken opium in an attempt to end her own life. The full article is available here. A summary of the story follows below.
Shukriya contacted the child helpline early in the morning, explaining that she had just taken opium in a bid to end her own life. Nasrin, who was on duty, had spoken to Shukriya the day before and Shukriya had told Nasrin that she was the victim of forced marriage and exposed to violence from her husband and other family members. Shukriya had declined legal support the day before since she was worried about sharing her story with people outside of her family for fear of repercussions.
Child helpline social worker Nasrin educating girls about their rights as part of the child helpline awareness campaign. Credit: War Child UK
With only the name of Shukriya’s village, the child helpline team together with local police, managed to find her and take her to hospital in time. The child helpline referred Shukriya’s case to an agency specialized in rights of girls and women who have supported to enable her to get a divorce. Today, Shukriya is safe and happy and living with her brother.
The child helpline in Afghanistan has received almost 7000 calls since it was set up in 2010 by War Child UK. The service is toll free, and children at risk of injury or harm can get in touch with a War Child social worker within a few minutes. War Child UK have recently transferred the running of the Child Helpline to the Social Welfare Department of the Afghan government, which will continue providing support for children.