ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Mitra Malekzad, a 21-year old woman hailing from the Kohistan district of northern Afghanistan, found ActionAid a safer place for women to work. She started working in AAA in November 2013 as an intern, but hadn’t expected to become a part-time staff member after completion of her internship. 


Mitra's perception about  NGOs:

“I had learned and perceived no good things about NGOs in Afghanistan’s strict and conservative society, and I was worried about that when I joined AAA. I didn’t even know how to approach a colleague in the workplace,” she says of her AAA induction. “Moreover, I didn’t know anything about keeping a personnel file, preparing contracts and offer letters or maintaining a human resource management information system (HRMIS) before joining.”

However, during her internship, Mitra received intensive on-the-job and formal training on HRMIS, compliance and HR documentation to enrich her knowledge and skillset, allowing her to further expand her career.

Changed Mindset of Mitra:

 “I never had a chance to work amongst professionals and supportive colleagues in a friendly working environment like AAA. I would really like to continue,” she says. “I learnt good things that will boost my confident to further explore leadership roles in future.”

Mitra’s parents were very reluctant to allow her to take a job in an NGO. But they are now happy that their daughter is improving her skills and doing well in ActionAid. Her father, Fazal Rabi, made special mention of the working environment that she enjoys in AAA, compared to work in the private sector. “If she wishes to continue her job in AAA for a longer period, we will be happy,” he says.

Upon graduating in Computer Science and Engineering from Kabul Polytechnic University in 2015, Mitra wants to become a full-time AAA staff member – and, in a few more years, she’s keen to take a leadership position in Afghanistan.

 AAA introduced an internship programme to assist in human capital development and experience building for fresh graduates and individuals interested in the development sector. Through internships, AAA promotes women in leadership positions with intensive on-the-job training for six months. Interns who successfully complete their tenure are frequently offered jobs by ActionAid.