Afghan Girls Excel as Interns

Ms. Sahar Dellawar, intern at the Afghan Ministry of Economy
Ms. Sahar Dellawar, intern at the Afghan Ministry of Economy
USAID/EGGI
Through a USAID-supported internship, young women are break-ing the mold and paving the way for others.
2 MARCH 2012 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
 
“Before working as an intern with the Ministry I was a part-time IT teacher in a private school. I taught the same subject every day; there was no opportunity to learn about a career with the public sector. Through my internship, I have many opportunities to learn new things and build my career. I feel happy and prefer to work with the Ministry rather than anywhere else.”
 
Ms. Sahar Dellawar and Ms. Sayeeda Donia Amin are interns in Afghanistan’s Ministry of Economy.  They recently delivered a lively and thoughtful presentation to supervisors and co-workers on the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.  In addition to providing valuable recommendations to the Ministry management, the presentation was an inspiration to fellow interns.  The interns’ supervisor, Mr. Mohd Ismail Rahimi, said: “I sincerely appreciate the valuable contribution of these women and fully expects them to be successful in their careers. They are wonderful examples of what internships can do to advance equality and opportunity for women in government employment.” 
 
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Kabul University in 2010, Ms. Dellawar accepted a position with USAID’s internship program that places young Afghan women into six-month internships in the Afghan government.  Her hard work, dedication, and firm grasp of the Ministry’s mission immediately made her stand out to her supervisors.  Her advanced IT expertise also drew attention and she was asked to develop a database to track elements of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.  The database progressed remarkably well and her supervisors asked her to conduct a workshop on this new tool for other Ministry staff. Ms. Dellawar’s internship has helped her to gain real-world employment experience, which is an invaluable commodity in Afghanistan’s job market.  
 
Ms. Amin also plans to use the skills she learned in her internship to her advantage. “Before my internship I was not able to speak in front of people and felt uncomfortable in job interviews.  This internship has helped build my confidence to launch a successful career with the government.”
 
USAID’s internship program provides qualified female university graduates with the opportunity to gain functional knowledge of government entities as well as employment experience. Since 2010, 88 interns have been placed in positions throughout the government in fields related to economic policy and private sector development.  The program boasts an amazing 85% job placement rate following graduation.

Last updated: January 08, 2014

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