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Barati Family

Khadija Barati and her daughters came to the U.S. in 2014 to escape mounting danger in their native Afghanistan. The nurturing environment they found at Decatur’s Global Village Project, a refugee school for girls, has allowed Khaty and Farzana to blossom. “Here, girls have freedom.”

Khadija Barati and her teenage daughters Khaty and Farzana came to Atlanta from Kabul, Afghanistan in 2014 on special immigrant visas because their lives were in danger.

Like many refugee children, the girls arrived knowing little English language and with gaps in their education. In 2016, they enrolled at Decatur’s Global Village Project (GVP), a loving and supportive school for refugee girls that provides intensive instruction in English, academic subjects, and the arts, and both girls have thrived.

”The teachers treat you with love and respect,” says Farzana. “They open their hearts to people and they care. They want you to experience life and the world. Everyone is like a family and we are like sisters.”

Khaty describes her life in the United States as “heaven.”

“Before I came to GVP I hated reading because I couldn’t speak and I could not read any words. Now I am really in love with reading books. In my country, some girls cannot go to school. They have to marry when they are 13 or older. Here, girls have freedom.”

As for Khadija, she lives with fervent hope for the future: hope that her daughters will finish their secondary education and go to college and hope for peace and acceptance for all refugees. “We are Muslim, so it is hard for us. We never hurt people. I want people to know that we are hard-working and try our best to prove ourselves. We can be successful and make America bright.”

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