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We were trying to raise our voice for hundreds of thousands of Afghan girls who dream of education but they still could not go to school.

“Dear Reader: you are reading all about Zahida.

On a beautiful late winter afternoon on a special day which is called Arafa (the day before Eid ul Adha) in 2000 I was born in a big family who were living in a small village in the Laghman province of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately life in a society such as Afghan society is a big tragedy for everyone especially for women who dream for a better future. Very few women can go to school in the villages and almost 60% of the population of our province is uneducated. Therefore, going to school for girls was a miracle.

I was one of those luckiest girls who had support of their family to go to school. Obviously all this credit goes to my both dearest parents. My parents want women to be educated. My family were fighting against our community to make sure that men and women have equal rights and the same responsibilities in our society. We were trying to raise our voice for hundreds and thousands of those girls who dream of education but they still could not go to school. In this process unfortunately we lost two beloved members of my family (my father and a young brother) in two separate cases before we left our country.

In 2018 my four siblings and I arrived in the UK. At that time I was not able to speak any word of English. In the same year I started studying at college and I am still studying there today. Since a very young age I had dreams to become a lawyer in the future. When I first met my new friends here in London I approached different types of people to talk to them about achieving my dreams.

Unfortunately I never got support and everybody was giving me a red light that I can not achieve my goals. They were telling me you can’t become a lawyer because of your language skills. Sometimes I also lost hope, and thought I cannot do it. However, I didn't give up even though I was so worried and wondered because all the people whom I asked told me that law is very very difficult and you cannot do it.

Luckily, I started studying with REUK and I had a mentor and she asked me about my goals. “What do you want to be in the future?“ I told her about my dream and also about the negative answer of the people who've told me it is hard and you can not do it. She told me you can do it, nothing is easy but it is not impossible. Ater that I felt confident and comfortable. I found hope again. I told Rachel, who works at REUK, all about my goals. She gave me information about The Talent Tap and she sent me their website as well. We applied together.

I decided to go to The Talent Tap because my mother doesn't have much money and I am the first person in my family to want to study at university in the UK but I do not know anything about law. This was a good opportunity to achieve my goal. To know how I can be a lawyer and what I need to do, I thought I would see myself among people who were more educated.

Maybe you will be thinking about what The Talent Tap is. The Talent Tap is a UK registered charity. In addition,The Talent Tap makes the lives of talented state educated students better and gives them the work experience, support and network that they need to succeed in achieving their dreams. Also they help people whose parents do not have much money, or they did not go to university and they help people who are the first persons in their family to want to study at university.

I had an interview and they accepted me on to The Talent Tap. I was so happy when they sent me the email because this was my first interview I did and they gave me good feedback. I started The Talent Tap in summer 2021. I had a week of online work experience. Before I started I felt nervous and shy because everyone had a higher level of education than me. When I started I felt comfortable because I could do the same thing as everyone else. I learnt a lot of things about law, networking and business. I learnt how to prepare a presentation and how to present. This was my first time writing and presenting a presentation. I did well and got very positive feedback from my colleagues. I was so happy and found hope and I believe that feedback pushed me toward my dreams. I told myself nothing is impossible and I can do it. Even though it will take a long time, I know I will achieve my goal.

Thank you for reading

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