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By Zephaniah - Founder, Zephaniah Free Academy, Pakistan

Maya is an 18 year-old young woman. She was born in a very poor family; she does not speak much, and she thinks she is not that pretty, because her complexion is dark.

One year before she joined our centre, she was not confident – from the day one; I knew that she was special, though.

There are some people who are against our centre, so the first time she joined, she had to leave after some time, because her father was misguided by those people.

But soon she came back. This time, she was admitted to our beauty salon training centre and slowly, I tried to make her feel that she was very beautiful and that she could do anything. She completed her beautician course, and now she is learning stitching.

I kept telling her during her training that education is very important and without education, we can do nothing, and after a few days, she came to me and said that she wanted to study; it was a big achievement for us, so I immediately bought her books and a bag and now she is studying.

I love to look at her when she studies, because her interest in her books is amazing; she is the first one in her family to receive an education.

Although she is silent, I feel that there is a storm of desires in her heart, to tell the people around her that she is not common. And one day she will prove it to them that she is the prettiest, because beauty is not our face, but real beauty is our character, though her face is so beautiful and innocent

She is learning English in evening class, so she has to live at the centre all day; she is working so hard.

Now she is a qualified beautician and soon she will complete her English language course, and stitching course, too; she is studying also. And she will learn how to use a computer, when I have a computer centre, soon.

And you know, she will more skilled than me. How amazing it is!

She will be educated as well as skilled. In the beginning, her father was not happy for her to do it all – he wanted her to stay at home, because some people misguided him.

But now he comes to drop her off at our centre and also collects her himself. I am feeling very happy and proud.

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More blogs by Zephaniah on the Safe World website


Disclaimer: Views here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent an official standpoint of Safe World for Women, as an organisation.