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Photo: Shaima giving different speeches

My name is Shaima Ghafury. I am from Afghanistan. Since 1992 I am living in Marburg. I am married to Noor M. Ghafury and we have four children. With our three dear sons-in-law we have seven children.

I have been working for about 20 years as social counselor at Bewohnernetzwerk für Soziale Fragen e.V. (BSF). I had to fight for this job. After completing my work at the women's shelter Marburg in 1998, I went to the women's representative of the City of Marburg and suggested that migrant women also need a women's representative, due to their special problems and challenges. That was a daring demand at the time, which caused amazement. But then I was asked if I could give a lecture on the Women's Day (8 March) on the situation of migrant women in Marburg. This was the first time ever that the problems of migrant women were opened presented in the Marburg City Hall. Many women came to the lecture and the topics of migrants had a public hearing. But my proposal to serve as women's representative for migrant women was rejected. One reason for this was the fear, that a counseling center for migrants in the city hall would attract many migrants to use that service – a fact that would not be acceptable for the wide public. The whole situation was like that back then. At that time, migrants actually lived on the margins of society. In 1999, I started to work for the interests of migrants at the BSF e.V.. Taking part in specialized trainings I became a social counselor for the citizens of Richtsberg (a living quarter in Marburg). Since 2015, I am also ombudswoman for the needs of refugees in the city of Marburg.

I also do volunteer work - for 25 years I am chair woman of Initiativen afghanischen Hilfswerk (IAH). When the civil war broke out in Afghanistan, our family had to leave the country in 1992 and we arrived to Germany. In 1994, with the support of „Dritte Weltladens“ in Marburg, we founded the organization IAH e.V. The association works in two directions:

  1. Work for Afghanistan: education work for children and women, empowerment of women
  2. Work in Germany: Integration and position of migrants in the society
    Due to the activities of our organization we have already achieved a lot for the migrants in Marburg since 1994. We were able to create interest in the situation of migrant life and the related problems. The first idea for child care during German language courses comes from the voluntary German courses organized by IAH. The idea of women swimming hours was ours too.

From where I draw my motivation? An old saying in our homeland is: "When you stand, give your hand to the one who lies." This is my life motto. My commitment gives me peace, contentment, a clear conscience and a lot of knowledge. I passionately work with people.

Of course, there were times when it was difficult. But I never lost hope and always fought. I think a good reason was and is that I always have my husband by my side. He always supported me on my way. I am glad that I had the opportunity in my life to help others. For the future, I wish that I could continue my work in Afghanistan and thereby support women and children more effectively on the ground.

I want to motivate people to work for higher goals. With motivation, determination and hard work, the impossible can be made possible. A social transformation needs such dedicated people. The human chain always needs new powers to stay healthy, lovable and peaceful. Every human being is part of this chain. Everyone can give the chain energy and love. Ultimately everyone can benefit from it.

Shaima Ghafury calls herself a "rebellious" woman.

She got different awards

  • 1978: Golden medal for the best learning success in Bulgaria
  • 1981: Medal for "Bulgaria's Best Graduate of the Year" in Bulgaria
  • 2010: Award as rebellious woman of the year 2010 by the foundation "Aufmüpfige Frauen" in Dortmund.
  • 2012: Award of the Federal Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 2012: City seal of the City of Marburg for integration work

Further links:

Shirley Heywood - Nepal
 


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Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

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Please support our work


Accounts for donation:

Sparkasse Marburg-Biedenkopf
IBAN: DE46 5335 0000 0000 0444 40
BIC: HELADEF1MAR

Volksbank Mittelhessen
IBAN: DE58 5139 0000 0016 4090 06
BIC: VBMHDE5F


or conveniently online:

button-spende-english