News & Stories Latest News World Humanitarian Day 2019 World Humanitarian Day is marked every year on 19th August to celebrate aid workers and unsung heroes, who risk their lives in the service of people in crisis, and to mobilise support for those crises. The 2019 campaign theme is Women Humanitarians so this year we're honouring all of the inspiring women who are helping to make the world a better place. This includes Khaleda - one of our very own humanitarian heroes, who makes it her mission to change and save lives in Afghanistan every day. The absolute best part of my job is working with women, for women - particularly supporting highly vulnerable women who may be isolated, widowed or poor. It is great to be able to pass on my good fortune to them and help them to better their lives as I have done. Khaleda's story Khaleda, now 37, moved from busy Kabul to a small village in Samangan Province following an arranged marriage. Adjusting to life in her new husband’s village proved to be challenging and, despite having been educated in Kabul, this was not the norm for women in this area and her husband’s family did not want her to work, so Khaleda was stuck in the home. These days she is working to empower women, in one of the most difficult places in the world to be a woman. This is the story of how she got here Things started to change for Khaleda when Afghanaid came to deliver training sessions on human rights and women’s rights to both women and men in the area. “Taking part in that training changed my husband's attitude towards the idea of women working”, she says. Then Khaleda became deputy manager of her local Council, which was established by Afghanaid, where her natural leadership skills began to flourish. Soon after this, Khaleda was elected as the leader of an Afghanaid-created savings group. Under her leadership, the group collected money to distribute to its members in the form of business loans. Khaleda took out a loan from the group to buy nine cows and ended up setting up her own business making and selling dairy products. The things I’ve experienced, I don’t want my children, or anyone else, to go through those same issues. I want to share my knowledge to help others. Khaleda's success drew the attention of other women's savings groups, who she started developing successful business plans for in her spare time. Her achievements were also noticed by Afghanaid, and she was promoted to a new role in which she visited villages and trained other women to help them set up their own businesses. “As a beneficiary myself, I especially enjoyed the capacity-building training Afghanaid delivered,” Khaleda recalls, “so now I want to share my abilities with others.” Khaleda is now on the ground, working in a senior position in our large-scale women's empowerment project. Having worked for Afghanaid for a number of years, she is passionate about empowering others. “The things I’ve experienced, I don’t want my children, or anyone else, to go through those same issues. I want to share my knowledge to help others." Being a humanitarian means having the honour of serving people, by providing them with the basic services and rights deserved by all around the world, regardless of nationality, religion, culture or gender. "In my opinion, being a humanitarian means having the honour of serving people, by providing them with the basic services and rights deserved by all around the world, regardless of nationality, religion, culture or gender." Empowered women empower women "The absolute best part of my job is working with women, for women - particularly supporting highly vulnerable women who may be isolated, widowed or poor. It is great to be able to pass on my good fortune to other women and help them to better their lives as I have done." "The most challenging part of my job is working in Afghan communities where democratic processes are in their infancy, so there are many obstacles in reaching these women and we come up against resistance when it comes to furthering women’s human rights. However, we do not give up and progress is always being made. It is in my faith to serve Afghan women and to support them to claim and exercise their rights. In my opinion, helping women means getting them involved in the process of developing and implementing projects which could improve their skills and knowledge, so that they can take the lead in their own lives, make long-term positive change for their families, and drive the progress of their communities forward.” - We couldn't have said it better ourselves! Women like Khaleda across the world make up a huge number of those who risk their own lives in order to help and save others. Join us in celebrating each and everyone one of these women humanitarians, today and every day! How you can get involved The daily work of women like Khaleda relies on regular support from our generous community of monthly givers. You can join this community in a few short clicks. Make the first click and take the first step to changing lives For more information on how your regular support can change lives, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our Supporter Care team at [email protected]. Find out more about what we do.