50 Female University Graduates Complete Internship Programme in Kunduz

350 Families Gain Access to Potable Water in Balkh
The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for the promotion of good governance in Afghanistan (RCD) has recently supported a variety of projects in the provinces Balkh and Kunduz that benefit many residents. One example: 50 female university graduates were supported to participate in internship programmes to gain work experience, improving their employability and female participation in public institutions. Additionally, seven semi-deep wells now provide potable water to 350 families in Balkh. The German government financed both activities at a total cost of about AFN 3 million (3,000,000).

The Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) implemented the internship programme for female university graduates, supported by RCD. The internship lasted six months. During the first three months, the 50 female participants received theoretical training, covering topics such as civil service law and principles of office management. The internship’s second half focused on practical work at various civil service offices in Kunduz. This provided the interns with valuable work experience and allowed them to apply their newly acquired knowledge.

Four interns have already secured a job for themselves, two at government schools and two at private companies. One participant, Ms Nafisa, expressed her gratitude for the programme and said, “By attending the theoretical training and working for the Department of Finance I acquired the competences and skills to work for the government and other organisations. I am very thankful for this opportunity.” Another intern, Ms Nazifa, added, “I am thankful that the Afghan-German Cooperation organised this programme. Hopefully, such projects will continue to support women and girls in Kunduz.”  

RCD has been organising internship programmes in the six Afghan provinces Badakhshan, Balkh, Kunduz, Samangan, and Takhar since August 2014. In total, 480 female graduates have benefitted from these activities so far.

The District Development Assembly (DDA) managed the seven newly built wells’ construction in Balkh under the supervision of the Department of Rural & Rehabilitation Development (DRRD) and RCD.  Before, the local population had to travel long distances to access safe drinking water. This situation has changed now. One beneficiary, Mr Noor Mohammad, highlighted, “Having access to drinking water close to my house is making our life easier and healthier. During past summers, we had to drink contaminated water from streams nearby – that made us sick.  From now on, we will not face this problem anymore. I thank all people and organisations that have been involved in this project.”

In addition, RCD has financed the revision of the Provincial Strategic Plan for the province Balkh at a total cost of about AFN 1.2 million (1,200,000). Staff from provincial departments, civil society organisations, private sector and the Provincial Council jointly revised the plan. Balkh’s Deputy Governor, Mr Mohammad Bashir Tawhidi, admired the good teamwork and said, “The updated Provincial Strategic Plan paves the way for better coordination and need-oriented development measures for our province.” The revised plan will further facilitate the province’s economic and social development and contribute to realising the Sustainable Development Goals Afghanistan is aiming for. It will be published in the coming weeks.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit implements the Regional Capacity Development (RCD) programme since 2010. RCD aims at enabling Afghan provincial and district administrations to carry out administrative tasks independently and to provide public services adequately. Thus, so far, RCD has organised more than 730 professional or job-specific training courses for almost 39,000 public servants, government employees and provincial council members. To increase the population’s trust in local administration bodies, the project has also organised 345 public awareness events on local government activities that benefitted an approximate 50,000 citizens.