Hope After War in TigrayReading and educational activities are impossible to focus on when you are instead running into bushes and caves to avoid heavy weapons and air strikes; this was the case for the last three years for the now 19-year-old student, Asli.

Despite living through three years of war, Asli emphasizes “I will not let myself be a mother who dropped out of school, I will not wait another minute to start my education.” After years of terror from the war, imagine1day has completed construction of her school, inaugurated it, and added a water point in the community, allowing girls like Asli to avoid the very real risk of gender-based violence on their walk to fetch water.

Asli discussed another issue girls face at her age, “Many of my friends who were in 7th or 8th grade when the war began have now gotten married at 18 or 19 years old. They have lost their hope for university and even graduation.” Despite this challenge, Asli also sees new opportunities in her community, “It gives me immense pleasure to see students going to school with exercise books in their hands instead of guns, teachers wearing school gowns instead of joining war fronts, and parents dropping their children to class instead of hiding them away from violence.” Like the rest of the community, she cannot wait fro the inauguration of more schools in Tigray.

“I want to be an accountant when I finish my education, and I want to thank Riyaz Devji, Werklund Foundation, the Regional Government of Tigray, and imagine1day for helping our community,” Asli exclaims.