At AUW, I was able to play any kind of sport except golf. Yet golf had changed my entire life. I was confident that one day I would become a professional golfer and that is still my dream. I used to watch golf training videos to improve my basic golf skills. At night, I used to imagine myself playing golf and picture holding the golf club and practicing golf swings. As always my imagination was a big part of me. Sometimes I would question my thoughts, why do I live in my imagination and why I do imagine my accomplishments before I achieve them. I realized that my imagination was the key that helped me build my confidence and trust toward fulfilling my dreams. I thought that if I couldn’t practice golf in real life, I could in my imagination!

One evening, I decided to contact my golf friends from Dhaka, Bangladesh who I met in the 2015 tournament. They were very excited that I was back in Bangladesh. They encouraged me to start playing golf. I was excited to play golf but it was very expensive for a student like me. I did not have golf clubs, an outfit, shoes, or tees. I had nothing. I brought nothing with me when I escaped Afghanistan. I told my golf friends that it was not possible for me to play golf as I could not afford all the equipment.

One day, one golf friend connected me with his friend who is a golfer trainer at a local golf course in Chittagong. His friend also had a school named Play Park School. The school provided English, computer, art, sports and other programs for kids from lower income families. My friend advised me that if I could teach children English and computer skills, his friend would teach me golf. It was a life changing idea. I loved teaching inspiring children I was very happy to accept the offer.

Starting in 2017, I was able to teach once a week and also play golf on the golf course. It was a great experience to convey my knowledge to kids who would become the change-makers of society and also achieve my biggest goal, to improve my golf skill. Teaching my students was fun and exciting for them and for me. The language was the biggest barrier. I used to create flashcards to teach them English words. I tried to learn Bangla to have a basic connection with them and to make my teaching interesting. The older students helped to lower the language barrier to teach English and computer programs such as Paint, Word ,Excel, PowerPoint including internet browsing.

I was very excited to get back to golf. The commute from AUW to the school was very far and the weather was very hot, but it was worth it. I did not know what other miracle golf would bring in my life until I met a wonderful lady on the golf club. After we had a very brief conversation, she invited me for dinner at her house where only she and her husband were living. She had only one daughter and one son who were abroad. I was very lucky to be her little daughter. Since that day, her love, her family and her kindness became the backbone of my success. She became a mother to me and her husband as my father. Her family became mine. I was very lucky to receive love and attention and support. I used to spend the weekend at her place. She used to cook tasty soups and many varieties of Bangladesh cuisine. We used to have wonderful conversations where I shared my concerns and happiness with her. In fact, her love made me stronger and I felt I had found my family. Anytime I felt lonely and homesick, I would call her and tell her “ Dear Aunty what should I do about my future after graduation? Will I be successful?”. She used to tell me “Don’t worry my daughter, everything will be okay and we are here for you.”

Her powerful love made my future brighter. Through her open-heart and pure love, I learned that I am not alone. I found my mother, my family and my hope again.

Please help Shagufa raise funds to pursue her education and help end child marriage in developing countries. Donate here: ShagufaGoFundMe