24 February 2019

Suha's story

Suha’s story, A UNICEF volunteer shares her experiences with drugs and justice in the Maldives. Less than two months after she tried drugs for the first time, Suha was in a jail cell. “I started doing drugs because it seemed like everyone I loved was doing them,” Suha* said. “I thought there had to be something good about them, but I was wrong. Drugs ruined…, The beginning, Growing up, Suha always said she would never do drugs. Her father was addicted to heroin, a habit that made him unknowable to Suha for most of her childhood. When she was in secondary school, however, it seemed like everyone around her was hooked on something. She didn’t understand why drugs were so popular, but on the brink of 2015, she decided…, Life in Maafushi Prison, Suha kept her head down as she stepped onto the boat to Maafushi, an island that is home to the Maldives’ largest prison. At this point, she was 18 years old. If her sentence wasn’t appealed, she would be in Maafushi Prison until she was 35. When the prison gates swung open, she overheard the prisoners shouting. “Look!” they said. “There’s a girl…, Moving Forward, Eventually, Suha’s case was appealed by the high court. After repeating her Ordinary Levels in prison, Suha returned to Malé under house arrest. She began working and studying, and someday, hopes to become a forensic psychologist. Suha wants to help victims of child abuse and domestic violence, she said, and support vulnerable people as they go…