The Big Girl Who Can't Read

Rahaf fled Aleppo with her family when missiles started crashing into their neighborhood.

They now share space with others in a communal shelter near Aleppo. Crowded, chaotic, crammed together.

She attends a temporary school there. Due to a learning disability, she is older than the grade level she is in. For other students, she is “the big girl who can’t read.”  It was very hard for 14-year old Rahaf when others made fun of her.  

Making friends was very hard, too. Teen girls, especially in the turmoil of war, need friends and places where they feel they belong – where they are emotionally safe.

She was at her wit’s end to know what to do with this ridicule. We introduced her to a mentor who patiently coached her in reading skills. And patiently helped other students understand that people with different abilities are okay, too.

Rahaf blossomed as she made progress in reading. She now talks excitedly about how she is no longer “the big girl who can’t read.”

Her classmates also grew to accept others who are different. They recently elected her as a group leader. Confidence builder!

Rahaf told us, “If it were not for my mentor, I would have quit school for sure. I couldn’t cope anymore.”

She is now determined to become a teacher and champion for children with learning disabilities – just like her mentor did for her.


You can support girls like Rahaf who are determined to thrive, not just survive, and truly live a life that creates life for others. Donate Here.