Raihana Akbari

In New Zealand, as women we belong to ourselves.

My dream is to own a restaurant where I’d serve traditional Afghani food, not just to people from Afghanistan, but for everyone to try it. At Hagley, I’m preparing for my next step which is to gain entry to a course in Hospitality. In New Zealand, as women we belong to ourselves. It’s important to me that I can support myself and I have more options here than in the small village in Afghanistan where I came from.

I chose Hagley because I can study subjects like Maths and Science, and learn English at the same time- I know this will help me with my future plans. Science is probably my favourite class. We learn so many interesting things about the world. I go to the Homework Centre once a week in the evenings for some help with my writing; I find it enjoyable because we choose to go. There’s also a translator available at Hagley who I have seen help students with many things, not just schoolwork.

What I also like about Hagley is that there is time in my week to take my classes but also for other things. I have time to help my mother, and take her to her course, as well as time I can spend in the Library here at school, reading or catching up on my studies. I’ve met lots of people and am friends with people from so many places like Somalia, Ethiopia, Fiji, and the Phillipines. The adult Kiwis here are helpful, friendly, and smiley. I’d like to make more friends with young Kiwi students, they seem nice too, and I’d have the chance to practise my English skills.