A part of Operation Mercy National BLiSS Program manager's responsibility is the routine monitoring and evaluation of the partner organizations that we have previously trained. In November 2011 an evaluation took place in the City of Herat, Afghanistan. Our National BLiSS manager was interviewing BLiSS participants to better understand the impact of the BLiSS lessons in communities.
She relates the following interview:
In one of the BLiSS groups that I monitored in Herat, I saw a woman who seemed very happy. I asked her name and she replied: "I am Shirin Gul." Again I asked her, "Why do you like BLiSS?" Then she smiled and the others started to talk about her and the changes in her life that BLiSS had brought. The people said, "Shirin Gul has four daughters; one of them was born after taking the BLiSS course." Another lady laughed and said, "The last one born was the luckiest one!"
Before BLiSS, Shirin Gul had a very difficult time because her husband did not treat her well. He did not help her when she was pregnant. Even when she was sick during her pregnancies, he did not try to take her to the hospital. He was saying, "These problems are natural for women. I never take her to a male doctor because it is a sin in our culture."
One of the facilitators said, "One day when we were sharing BLiSS concepts with them, someone came and said Shirin Gul's husband is beating her and she and her husband really need to hear about this course." So they invited them to participate.
The community people continued: "When BLiSS came to our village and Shirin Gul and her husband attended this course, their lives were changed. Everyone in the village acknowledges the changes in their lives. Her husband changed a lot and this time when she was pregnant he helped with the housework, he brought water for her and took her to the doctor for a checkup for the first time. He was very careful this time and if she had any problems during the pregnancy he took her to the doctor."
Today, Shirin Gul and their 6 month old daughter are doing well and the relationship between Shirin Gul and her husband continues to improve.