Focus on Fellows
Program Assistant, Organization for Better Tomorrow in Afghanistan
UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Leadership Programme for Afghanistan: Governance and the SDGs 2018 – Participant
“I will bring back the skills learned at UNITAR to my organization, capture our needs, find the solutions, and eventually give back to the society of Afghanistan,” said Tahera Fahimi, a Program Officer at Organization for Better Tomorrow in Afghanistan (OBTA).
Tahera was one of the twenty participants for UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Leadership Programme for Afghanistan: Governance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2018, which trained young, female professionals in Afghanistan on developing their knowledge and skills on organizational needs assessment, gender equality, women empowerment, and governance.
Before participating in UNITAR’s programme, Tahera had several experiences getting trained as a leader in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, where her organization, OBTA is based. However, she wanted to develop her capacity and skills further as a woman leader beyond local training programs Tahera found UNITAR and submitted her application for the new programme targeting Afghan women. “What I liked about UNITAR’s programme was the actual impact it brings. I have seen many UNITAR Afghanistan Fellowship Programme alumni doing very well now back in the country, so I applied,” said Tahera.
After the first workshop in Kabul, one online course, and a month putting together a need assessment project on their organization, the participants joined the second and last workshop held in Tokyo and Hiroshima. The ten-day workshop with a packed schedule featured lectures by UNITAR staff and international Resource Persons with a blend of study tours to Japanese shrines, Peace Memorial Museum, and Hiroshima Women’s Center. When asked about what she had gained in this programme, Tahera answered, “It is a little hard to say because I have learned a lot.” The training has equipped Tahera the skills to improve her organisation – familiarizing with the logical steps to pinpoint the needs of an organization and find the corresponding solutions to solve the problems.
Tahera has been working on a youth skill development project, which focuses on helping young adults improve their tools crucial to finding job opportunities, passing the application process, and eventually getting employed. Tahera pointed out that a common situation in Bamyan Province now was that many recent graduates were unable to get a job even when received a chance to the second round because they did not know how to answer the interview questions. Thus, the primary goal of the project becomes teaching young adults how to put together a good resume and answer interview questions smoothly.
During study tours to Peace Museum and Women’s Center in Hiroshima, Tahera saw Hiroshima City’s dedication – especially women’s efforts and roles – in the process of rebuilding and re-developing the city after the atomic bombing. “I will tell the story of Hiroshima to women in Bamyan, how their solidarity helped the reconstruction of Hiroshima. We, women, can contribute to our society too,” said Tahera.
Tahera described herself as a seed that UNITAR Hiroshima planted through the Women’s Leadership Programme for Afghanistan. She wishes to spread the seeds further to Bamyan and other provinces and to grow the roots for the future development of Afghanistan.
Photos: Tahera spoke at a training session and the reception of UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Leadership Programme for Afghanistan: Governance and the SDGs 2018.