27Nov 23

“All that we are is story…

0 Comment

From the moment we are born to the time we continue on our spirit journey, we are involved in the creation of the story of our time here.”

– Richard Wagamese 



I am Nahida and here is my story.

I am a Hazara young woman from Kabul, Afghanistan. I am 19 years old and have been living in Canada for one year. It has been a long journey since I left my country to pursue my dreams and education.  


I was a happy young girl with many dreams, following a routine of going to school, studying, writing, reading, and sometimes painting. My biggest conflict at that time was buying a guitar. My family did not support me in this endeavour. I tried various ways, even attending guitar lessons without my family’s knowledge. However, after just two sessions, my brother discovered my secret, and it became a hassle. So, I decided to save my allowance and buy a guitar, thinking I could learn to play it in my room by watching YouTube videos. It was a cherished dream, and it took me two years to save 15,000 Afghani, which is approximately $250.  

As a student, it was challenging to collect every cent to reach my goal. I always wished that my family could buy it for me as a birthday gift or perhaps as a reward for achieving the first position in school, but it never happened. My family never fulfilled this wish due to societal norms, cultural restrictions, and other obstacles that Afghan girls face. 

By the time I had collected enough money to buy a guitar, Afghanistan suddenly fell to the Taliban. In a single day, dreams and ambitions crumbled.


Four days after Kabul’s fall, my family and I emigrated to Quetta, Pakistan. My last memory of Kabul is of dusty roads, enormous buses heading to the Pakistan border in Qandahar, Taliban checkpoints, and fear.
I carried just one backpack with my laptop and a pair of clothes, unable to take my certificates, poem books, notebooks, or the money I had saved.  

I lived in Quetta with my family for almost a year before joining other girls in Islamabad who had been waiting for visas for a year. After three months in Islamabad, I finally received my Canadian visa. On October 2nd, 2022, I arrived in Saskatoon. 


I spent over a year in despair, far from school and studies. It was not a vacation; it was a living hell. Coming to Canada was a matter of chance, but it changed my life and my destiny. When I arrived, my friends had already rented an apartment on the west side. The four of us became housemates and shared unforgettable moments. We ran after buses, got lost, cried, and eventually found everything together. It was not easy for us but it taught me valuable life lessons. It transformed me into a different person with new desires beyond owning just a guitar.  

Initially, I started my education at a collegiate, but after a month, I realized it wasn’t what I needed, as I already had a diploma from Afghanistan. I researched universities and learned I could gain admission after passing an English proficiency test. I left school and began self-study, which proved to be challenging.  


Self-study alone was not enough, so I consulted with my counselor from the Open-Door Society, who recommended Foundations Learning & Skills.  

After registering, I met my coach, Rae, and we worked together for four months.
I cannot express how fortunate I am to have met wonderful people like Charlene and my coach, Rae. Rae dedicated himself and selflessly helped me on my journey. His time and knowledge were invaluable to me. Words alone cannot convey my gratitude. All I can say is thank you.  


As I mentioned earlier, I am now a student at the University of Saskatchewan, thanks to Rae’s help in passing the English proficiency test. We met in the library once a week for an hour and a half. He was not only my coach but also a good friend who listened patiently and taught me a lot. My heartfelt thanks go out to Foundations for their tremendous assistance. 


Now, I aspire to become an accountant and eventually pursue a law degree to become a lawyer defending the rights of girls and women in Afghanistan and worldwide. 

I have also received a scholarship from my workplace and university which helps me to concentrate on my education.  

Canada has taught me to aim higher in life. With my first salary from McDonald’s, I fulfilled a dream that I had lost in Afghanistan: I bought a guitar. A girl who had once lost her ambition in Afghanistan is now learning not only the guitar but also the piano by watching YouTube videos.  

I came to Canada to continue my education, just as my father had always wanted.  

Even though I am at the beginning of my journey, I am very optimistic about the future. I want to express my gratitude to those who have helped me along the way. Once, I heard a beautiful sentence from a friend who supported me greatly during my time at university. She said, “I wish for you to be there for someone as you wished someone would be there for you when you needed help.” I hope to become a volunteer to assist another person, just as Foundations did for me. 


I also invite you to be part of someone’s journey. Last year, Foundations worked with over 3,000 individuals looking to complete a goal of their own. Foundations needs donations and volunteers to make that happen again this year.  

Your gift can provide free learning programs for people just like me. 



 Nahida Adib 


P.S. Rae walked alongside me while I studied to improve my skills. Your gift ensures there is a volunteer like Rae for the next person who reaches out for help.