The prolonged yet dry tears



From Pakistan

In the rigid culture and male dominated society of Afghans, when a woman with children lost her life partner the real misery begins where the harsh society unturned every stone of taunting her one way or the other. Such is the story of the 50 year old widow of five children, Khalida.

By Ali Hassnain, Protection Officer, DRC Pakistan

One can hardly imagine a widow, a refugee and a mother of five children with no source of income, where even the definition of vulnerability becomes insufficient. Khalida, a registered Afghan belongs to District Marawara; Kunar-Province has been living in Naguman Refugee village, Pakistan for a very long time. After her husband’s death she was left with three daughters and two sons. The lack of income earning sources, basic needs make life and raring and caring of children a hurdle to live a dignified life.

She raised her children with alms and charities and got her eldest daughter married to reduce the burden on the family. Her eldest son, the only hope to live with pride, also left her due to some family disputes which further aggravated their life.

Now that she is the only source of income for her two young daughters and an eleven year old son of epilepsy patient, she is still holding against the ruthless society. She works in the field to harvest seasonal crops and fetch daily use items for other refugee households and get paid with income that keep her hand to mouth; yet she has to marry her two daughters and to get medication for her son. As in Afghan society trends of selecting wife from a resourceful and rich family is common, Khalida shared that:

“My daughters are in age of marriage but they are only approached by widowers - because we are poor.”

While approaching extremely vulnerable individuals, the DRC Protection field team came across the case of Khalida. Keeping in view the miserable living standards of this particular deprived family, the DRC protection team recommended Khalida for Non Food Items kit under the individual protection assistance component which is considered as a best fit assistance in current circumstances.