4 Days of Giving - Zahra and Maryah's Story


For our 4 Days of Giving, Utah Health & Human Rights is sharing stories of healing, resilience, and hope. We are highlighting the impact that our programs have for clients — the path from personal and family healing to community involvement and reconnecting with a feeling of purpose and strength. 

Please consider donating to support these valuable programs during 4 DAYS OF GIVING as Utah Health & Human Rights aims to raise $15,000 during our virtual fundraiser. Your donation will be matched by an anonymous donor to have double, and maybe even triple, the impact.

Zahra and Maryah's Story

Many of Zahra's family members were victims of terrorist violence and threats in Iraq before she was able to flee as a refugee with her husband and her seven-year-old daughter, Maryah -- terrorists had even attempted to kidnap her young daughter. Zahra's family was resettled to Salt Lake City in 2014.When she first came to UHHR. Zahra was very upset and dealing with PTSD and depression, along with all the stressors of resettlement and domestic violence. After starting therapy at UHHR, she eventually got support, got divorced, and became a single mother. This was a very difficult transition for both Zahra and Maryah. Zahra has participated in many UHHR services over the years, but parenting group has been one of the most impactful.

Zahra has been an enthusiastic parenting group participant. In the past, Zahra and Maryah reported having a tumultuous relationship. Maryah used to say that her mom "yelled too much" and didn't understand her. She said she felt "alone" all of the time. Zahra reported not knowing how else to interact with Maryah aside from yelling at her. She said she often felt like she didn't have any control and yelling was her only option.

After Zahra competed the parenting group sessions, Maryah said, "my mom has been so much nicer lately and I don't really know why." She said her mom started giving her incentives to do better in school, which has helped her feel more motivated. She also said her mom hasn't been giving her the option of not doing homework, which has been "annoying," but she said she has been feeling good seeing her grades improve. She also said her mom talked with her school counselor and now she is receiving in-school tutoring for her most challenging subjects. Recently Maryah and her mother were observed holding hands, smiling, and interacting with one another in a really positive manner. Very likely, the improvements Maryah's overall mood were connected to her mom's participation in parenting group. Utah Health & Human Rights has seen how participating in the group helped from both the parent and child’s experience.

Months after the parenting group ended, Zahra shared “I am still using the skills I learned. I continue to talk more with my daughter and I notice that I am yelling less. I feel less angry and my child seems to be less angry too. I wish the group could start again."



With your help, Utah Health & Human Rights can continue connecting survivors to communities that enrich their lives and support their healing. These community groups focus on learning and sharing skills, various activities for social engagement, and therapy.

During 4 DAYS OF GIVING, your donations will be matched up to $25,000 by an anonymous donor, so your financial support goes twice or three times as far. We are grateful for your support. To make a donation, please click here.