Who We Are Meet the Team Our Humanitarian Heroes Hear from just a few of our humanitarian heroes - our inspiring members of staff who make it their mission to change and save lives in Afghanistan every day. Gul Sum is a trainer for Afghanaid’s ‘Strengthening Resilience of Afghanistan's Vulnerable Communities Against Disasters’ project, which supports communities to better prepare for, and respond to, natural disasters and reduce their exposure to environmental threats. I run training courses with Afghanaid to help local people learn how they can reduce the risks of natural hazards and plan ahead so that they can build stronger futures for themselves and their families. Whenever I hear from the people what they have learned, and that they are responding to this by making positive changes in their communities, I feel honoured to have been able to help them in such a big way. I am proud to be a part of this work because it is something which is clearly needed in these communities, who in the past have been devastated by disasters. We work with the community members to gain an insight into the issues affecting their specific villages and help to raise their awareness about these disasters and how to reduce the risks associated with them. It is great to see that the local people are happy with this project and, due to their happiness and the wonderful results we are seeing from this work, I am also very happy! Find out more about how we support communities to prepare for disasters and recover during emergencies. Najib is our Grants and Partnership Development Manager, a key position which helps to develop new projects and build on the success of Afghanaid's past work. As an organisation, we at Afghanaid strive to make life better for others who need our help and I personally believe that the pleasure of life is in helping others rather just thinking about serving ourselves. It is great to see the impact of what I do on the ground, as Afghanaid’s activities are truly changing the lives of poor people in remote areas of Afghanistan. We listen to people’s needs and opinions, and we support them, involving them in the decisions we make that will effect their lives. We work in difficult areas and challenging circumstances, but with a clear goal in mind, which is the support of these communities. I am certainly not doing everything, but I give what I have in my hand to help our communities; I devote my few hours each day to Afghanaid to support those who need us. Find out more about how we work to give communities a voice in their own development. Mariam is the Project Manager of Afghanaid’s ‘Strengthening Community Champions of Women’s Rights’ project, which aims to facilitate a true understanding and acceptance of human rights and campaign for a greater respect for women’s rights throughout entire communities. I am passionate about helping women and girls claim their rights, so that they can live a life free from abuse and have the opportunities I have had. I love the work that I do, especially because Afghanaid has created a uniquely positive working environment for women in Afghanistan. All the female staff feel respected and appreciated; women are treated with dignity, and are allowed to work independently and to take control of decisions. Afghanaid is respectful of local culture and religion and, as a result of this, the organisation enjoys a significant amount of acceptance of its work throughout entire communities, which has been key to the success of our women’s rights project. Working with religious leaders and using culturally sensitive messages rooted in Islamic teachings has helped us to successfully deliver this project in a way that is acceptable to everyone in the community. For example, with the help of religious leaders and community elders, we have successfully persuaded families to let their daughters finish their education, even in some of the most conservative areas of Kabul Province. Afghanaid truly brings about change in the lives of those who need it most. It is incredibly rewarding to bring about change in these areas and I am proud to be part of this organisation. Find out more about our work targeting women's empowerment and gender rights. Ashaqullah is one of Afghanaid's human rights defenders, who we train to advocate for the social and economic rights of women and intervene on behalf of vulnerable women in their local communities. I was a teacher for 15 years before becoming a human rights defender for Afghanaid last year. I enjoyed teaching but, in the last year working with Afghanaid, I have learned and gained so much more than in 15 years as a teacher. Afghanaid has given me the capacity bring positive change to my community. I have been involved in at least 40 cases of conflict resolution, and one of my biggest achievements has been helping 35 girls in my community find themselves a job. I’m passionate about helping girls and women get an education. That’s why I have organised a car for local girls to be picked up from their homes and be dropped off again, after they have attended courses at the Afghanaid-established community resource centre in my district. Afghanaid has given me the capacity to not just work in my community, but to bring about lasting change in Afghanistan. Make a donation today to enable us to train up more human rights defenders like Ashaqullah. Find out more: Hear from our Managing Director and Executive Team of Directors.