Step by Step

“I used to help people, and now I am the one who needs the help”

Founder of The Waterboy, Thomas Nabbs, rates Shogafa as one of the most inspirational people he has ever met!

Shogofa founded an organisation whose mission it is to bring human rights and equality to females in Afghanistan. Fluent in 6 languages, Shogofa is well educated and used her knowledge to help change the lives of many women in Afghanistan. But in a Muslim country such as Afghanistan, the establishment do not agree with equal rights, and as punishment for her work against their values, local government arranged to have her husband executed. Her husband, and father of their son Mohammad and expectant second child was shot twice, once in the head and once in the neck in front of Shogofa.

Shogofa piled the blame onto herself, the stress of losing her husband and terror of thinking she might be next caused her baby to be born premature. After 8 long months in an induced coma, Shogofa lost her second child.

Seeking protection from the Taliban and local government the UN offered her refugee status to come and live in New Zealand.

Whilst safe, New Zealand offered it’s own challenges and life has been immensely tough. Upon arrival Shogofa had no friends, no family and had to fend for herself and her 3 year old son Mohammad amid constant racist and religious prejudice and bullying of the neighbourhood. Neighbors left trash on her lawn, broke her windows, and bottled her all in the name of hatred and trying to get her to leave New Zealand. Never has she felt so alone, helpless, depressed, and unwanted.

Shogofa pulled herself up time and time again and after constant contact with home she fell in love with her childhood friend and became engaged to marry him. Through poor advice, Shogofa and her fiance were confident the fiance (father of her new baby) would be allowed into New Zealand. Unfortunately NZ immigration laws exclude her fiance from being allowed to come to New Zealand meaning she is now stuck raising two children by herself in a foreign country. She went back to try to marry her fiance but whilst back, atrocities were committed against her and she has realised she must never go back. She has asked for the events of her return to be kept confidential.

Shogofa is extremely well spoken, extremely knowledgable and has a heart of gold. With time she will do amazing things in New Zealand. Between raising her two children she is working hard to study the New Zealand way of life. She is trying to make connections to position herself to help others in the long term.

But for now, she is the one that needs our help.


Mohammad, her five year old son, is hugely keen on cricket and would love to play. Shogofa currently struggles to provide the necessities of life for her children, sport is simply not an option for Mohammad. He needs money for subs, transport, and some equipment to play cricket and (for now) that is not feasible.

Upon hearing about Shogofa and Mohammad, The Waterboy wanted to help and have teamed up with major sponsor Side by Side to help Mohammad to play Cricket. In the context of things, we realise this act of kindness is so small, but sometimes such small gestures can mean so much. We’re passionate about helping people do sport and the benefits that Shogofa and Mohammad are going to receive. A former Volleyball player herself, it saddens Shogofa that she is not in a position to enable Mohammad to play sport. With our help we can bring some joy to their life in New Zealand and help make their new home a great place for them like it is for us.