Athiel's Poem

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Every day the young women of RefuSHE inspire us with their stories, voices, and strength. Today, we are proud to share Athiel’s profound poetry sharing her own personal story and strength.

At sixteen years of age, and in her distinctly tender voice, Athiel expresses the story of her “lost” childhood resulting from South Sudan’s brutal war. Despite being forced to flee her home, the loss of her parents, and the heavy responsibility of caring for her younger siblings, Athiel exemplifies the true resilience of the young women who RefuSHE serves. 

Time of Regret

I used to be a child,

I used to have a family,

I used to have a dream,

I was happy,

But then everything was taken away from me.


If I knew I was going to lose everything on that day,

I would have pretended I loved to cook,

Just to spend more time with my mother.


I would have told my grandfather to tell me more stories,

And my father to teach me to write a composition,

Because I now know its significance.


I would have told my brother that he looked handsome,

And all the girls I knew talked about him,

Just to make him happy.


I would have argued more with my sister,

Because that was my favourite hobby.


I would have hugged my grandmother,

Because it’s comforting.


I would have played more,

If I had the time.


I wish I could turn the hands of time.

But who can?


While I lost everything, 

I could not do anything.

RefuSHE is the first and only organization of its kind devoted to protecting and empowering unaccompanied refugee girls and young women living in Nairobi, Kenya.