Zulfia Abawe is from Kabul studying for her Masters at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt, Germany. Her interest is in human rights and gender issues, especially issues relating to women and children affected by the war in her homeland. As part of her degree she recently did an internship with the Foundation – here she writes about her time with us.
I started my odyssey of being an intern in a completely different environment and place on 11 February. The Linda Norgrove Foundation’s goal attracted me to be an intern with them since I also have a similar objective in life to dedicate my time and commit myself to helping women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan.
I travelled miles away to gain experience which would be a vast contribution not merely for my career, but as well for the majority of people who are in need in Afghanistan. I believe Linda also had the same vision which made her travel miles away and help people.
My first week passed by with a thorough review of the projects that the Foundation is funding in Afghanistan. I have further been directed towards the transparency of the process that makes the projects eligible to be funded by the Foundation. The projects so far funded reveal a positive impact on the lives of those people who could have hugely suffered from severe dilemmas, otherwise.
The predominant role of each project was to expand and reinforce literacy, to raise female literacy rates, to increase women’s awareness of healthy practices in hygiene and nutrition, to provide access to necessary surgical care for the most vulnerable and underprivileged children from the rural areas of Afghanistan, to support women and girls who cannot safely go home because of the threat of violence against women to achieve rehabilitation, economic security and social reintegration.
With the help of Linda Norgrove Foundation, most of the projects have better succeeded in implementing their goals and objectives.
Working with John and Lorna Norgrove and the Foundation’s development officer Rachel Wade was a remarkable experience. They have always been very cordial when it came to assigning any task which always maintained a friendly working atmosphere.
I also got a chance to cook traditional Afghan food for a gathering of more than 30 people in Uig, which was an amazing experience. Mine and Rachel’s speech about Afghanistan and the projects that Linda Norgrove Foundation funds, summed up the whole event with appreciation and gratitude.
It is also worth mentioning that the beautiful landscapes, beaches, and the Callanish standing stones of the beautiful Scotland added added to my experience. I found people very hospitable, kind and caring in Scotland which made me feel I am in Afghanistan because I sensed that commonness of behaviour in Scotland which is also a tradition among Afghans. I hope I will get a chance to meet them again in life. The moments I lived and worked here were unforgettable.