Arezu is a baby girl born to a young newlywed couple in Afghanistan. Before she had even come into the world, tragedy hit Arezu’s family hard. 

Her father wanted to provide for his pregnant wife but could not find a job in Afghanistan. He instead had to smuggle himself into Iran for work. On the border, he was shot by Iranian soldiers and bled to death. He was buried right there. He was an orphan himself and the same fate befell his unborn child.

The man’s young wife was still pregnant with Arezu when the shocking news reached home. Already the woman had it rough, eating only a small piece of bread each day to nourish herself and her baby. The news depressed her.

She lived with her father, a cobbler who wasn’t making enough money to take care of his family. It was at this difficult time that Arezu was finally born. She weighed less than one kilogram but she had the most beautiful big eyes.

Mahboba Rawi with Arezu.

The family couldn’t keep Arezu. They realized that the baby would not survive the winter. They had no coal to warm their home and did not have enough food to feed everyone in the family. So they decided to find someone who could take care of Arezu and raise her properly.

A friend mentioned that there was an orphanage called Mahboba’s Promise Hope House in Kabul that could help. The family took Arezu there.

I tried to convince them to keep the baby because I wanted to see mother and child stay together. Sadly, the mother was too weak and sick and said that she would not be able to take care of her daughter. So I finally said to them that I would take the baby and raise her as my own child in Hope House.

The next day, the family brought Arezu back to Mahboba’s Promise. She was a beautiful baby, but she hadn’t tasted her mother’s milk. She had no clothes, no diaper, and hadn’t been washed in four days.

The other orphans at Mahboba’s Promise Hope House washed Arezu and fed her and took turns to hold her and play with her. Arezu had become the youngest orphan of Hope House, and the youngest child Mahboba’s Promise had ever taken care of.

From the tragic circumstances she had been born into, she would now have a safe, welcoming place to call her home.

To find out more about Mahboba’s Promise activities in Afghanistan and how you can help orphans, visit or call +61 2 9887 1665.