Faces of Hope

Meet the brave women refugees from Bosnia, Congo, and Afghanistan who are not defined by tragedy but by courage.

madina naderi
Meet the brave women refugees from Bosnia, Congo, and Afghanistan who are not defined by tragedy … but by courage.
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Rennio Maifredi
Madina Naderi

Madina Naderi, 18, has grown up surrounded by conflict in Afghanistan. Now in high school, she likes painting her hands with intricate henna patterns and hopes to be a doctor.

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Rennio Maifredi
Wahida

Wahida, 33, was forced to marry an Afghan warlord at age 16. "I hope to see my five children educated," she says.

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Rennio Maifredi
Georgette M'Batumike

Georgette M'Batumike, 34, was raped by Congolese rebels, who then killed her husband. She hopes for a better future for her four children.

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Rennio Maifredi
Fatuma Mushinga

Fatuma Mushinga, 28, lives in the shadow of conflict in Congo. She makes pottery and tiles, and wants to expand her business.

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Rennio Maifredi
Mastorra Rashidi

Mastorra Rashidi, 20, grew up amid war in Afghanistan. She hopes to be a teacher.

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Rennio Maifredi
Claudine Barhalibiru

Claudine Barhalibiru, 36, was beaten by an abusive husband and brutally raped by a Congolese rebel. A mother of eight, she now lives with her own mother, and plans to start a small business.

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Rennio Maifredi
Samra Mulic

Samra Mulic, 21, survived her childhood in Bosnia as war raged around her. Now married for a year to a butcher, she hopes to get a job of her own and start a family.

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Rennio Maifredi
Furaha Hamuli

Furaha Hamuli, 26, is a mother of four who lives amid conflict in Congo. She left her husband after he infected her with HIV, and wants to learn a trade.

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Rennio Maifredi
Francine Imani M'Muzusa

Francine Imani M'Muzusa, 20, a single mother of two, wants peace in Congo — and straight teeth!

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Rennio Maifredi
Mersija Topic

Mersija Topic, 30, lost two brothers in the war in Bosnia. A divorced mother of one, she lives with her parents and wants to become independent.

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Rennio Maifredi
Maida Gul

Maida Gul, 45, a mother of three, lost her husband in a bombing in Afghanistan. "I want to see peace in my country," she says.

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Rennio Maifredi
Nabintu M'Kahukula

Nabintu M'Kahukula, 29, was enslaved and raped for three months by Congolese rebels. Afterward, her husband left her. She hopes to learn job skills and educate her four children.

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Rennio Maifredi
Shakiba

Shakiba, 35, lives on a farm with her husband and six children, as conflict roars around her in Afghanistan. "My greatest dream is to raise my children in a peaceful environment," she says.

Want to help? You can sponsor a woman in a war zone for a year. $30 a month will provide her with basic necessities and job training — and you can get to know her personally, too, by exchanging letters throughout the year. Sign up at womenforwomen.org.

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