For Fazila, learning the local language is the key to a new world

On attending language courses every day, Fazila feels that “Not only do I get to improve my Turkish language skills, but it also helps with my mental well-being as I get to interact with others and make new friends here from other nationalities.”

Fazila attends daily UNHCR-supported Turkish Language courses with the Human Resource Development Foundation (HRDF) in Van.

Life, so far, for Fazila has been challenging: Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, she came to Turkey nine years ago with her husband and three sons. After living in Van for over a year they lost their house during the 2011 earthquake. The family had to live in a tent for six months until they could rebuild their lives again and move into a new home.

Despite this, she is proud of how far her family has come. Her husband provides for the family, through daily, albeit unsteady, work he finds in the city. Two of her sons are at university and the other is studying hard in high-school. She hopes that they will grow up to be self-reliant and independent individuals and looks forward to when they can provide for a family of their own.

With everyone occupied, Fazila finally wanted to do something for herself. Since arriving in Turkey, she has had to depend on the kindness of neighbours to help with Turkish translation and to access services. She reasoned that “You cannot rely on others all the time, even just for basic communication”. Therefore, she finally decided to enrol in Turkish language classes so that she could interact and relate with others around her. Doing so, Fazila has seen her world open up and is excited to see what will happen in the future.