wie-newGraduate_compressedMaryam Abraham[1] is one of the many young professionals in Afghanistan hoping to find a job. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Herat University in 2014 but even a year after graduation, she was still looking for a job! Maryam had diligently searched the newspapers and internet for jobs but it seemed that employers were only interested in applicants who already had some professional experiences.

While browsing the internet, Maryam came across an announcement of the internship opportunities offered by USAID Promote-Women in the Economy (WIE) Program. She right away submitted her application, however, not hoping to receive something in response. But to her pleasant surprise, she was called for an interview with the Professional Development Institute of the American University of Afghanistan Foundation (PDI-AUAF)[2]. Maryam performed well at the interview and her educational qualification was a perfect match to the internship opportunity. She started off as an intern and in April this year, she started working as an administrative assistant at PDI-AUAF.

“I am very fortunate to be accepted as an intern and be placed in a prestigious organization. I have always been fascinated with learning new things and this opportunity has been perfect for me to acquire new skills. I want to be a University Director someday and this experience will hopefully be my entry point to that path,” says Maryam with her eyes full of dreams for a better and brighter future.

WIE provides opportunities for young Afghan women and girls to access career services and get hands-on work experiences through internships or apprenticeships, and necessary assistance in securing employment. Since the program started in July 2015, more than a thousand women have been placed in various internships and apprenticeship positions while almost 25 women received full-time regular employment opportunities. In Herat, over a 150 women from ages 18-30 are currently working as interns in the private sector, health facilities, etc. and gaining valuable work experience, facilitated by Promote-WIE.

[1] Name changed to protect the identity of the individual

[2] University name has not been changed