For Farida, now a typical 9-year old in Herat, the experience of a normal childhood came with difficulty. At the age of 2, in keeping with certain longstanding traditions, she was married to a cousin by her father. Her marriage, and the future it entailed, weighed heavily on Farida’s mind. “She behaved more like a grown up than a child”, says a teacher. Living everyday with the reality of being married was not easy on young Farida. It bothered her the most when she played with her friends, who would taunt her every day about having a husband. Farida became severely stressed, afraid of everyone around her and of the future. Her cheeks would quiver and hands tremble when she tried to speak. She lived with the dread that something bad would happen at any moment and began to suffer from shyness and discrimination. About six months ago Farida started attending a child support center at Masklakh on the outskirts of Herat city, run by Women Activities and Social Awareness Association (WASSA) with support from terre des hommes Germany. After several counselling sessions with Farida and engaging her in group psychotherapeutic games, WASSA’s staff started to see a positive response from her. Gradually she started enjoying play, even beginning to win in games. She started to speak without hesitation or reserve. Her attitude became positive. Farida now speaks boldly about herself and also her group. She mingles freely in the group and is not afraid of being amongst others. Benefiting from hygiene awareness sessions for her and her family, she has improved her hygiene significantly. Farida is now a regular and active student at the center and plays a lot. She says, “If I had not met Ms. Rahmani (of WASSA), I would have continued to be miserable. I am now able to live normally and set goals for myself. I am enjoying being with everybody and learning.” Today, Farida is a very different child from the one who came to the support center six months ago. She now laughs out loud and plays with everyone.