09.10.2012 - Article
New publication «10 stories – 10 years of SDC engagement in Afghanistan»
People are the focus of development cooperation in Afghanistan
First and foremost, development cooperation is about people. So, too, in Afghanistan, a country that is coping with all the problems characteristic of a so-called «fragile» state. The brochure entitled «10 stories» introduces ten Afghans who are connected with the Cooperation Office of the SDC in Kabul: ten people working for their country.
Switzerland has been active in Afghanistan for more than 30 years. Since 2002, the Cooperation Office in Kabul is responsible for the implementation of the Swiss development programme in Afghanistan. At that time, the SDC was in search of qualified personnel, a search which resulted in a cooperation with Shah Mohammed.
During the war, he lost several members of his family and experienced the violent conflict first-hand. At the beginning, Shah Mohammed worked as a night watchman in the Cooperation Office. Today, thanks to his thirst for knowledge, he is the SDC’s IT and personnel manager in Kabul. His is one of the «10 stories» that is told in the brochure.
Advocating for women’s rights
Two women, Soraya Sobhrang and Jamila Afghani, are also portrayed. Soraya Sobhrang is a commissioner of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, the independent human rights organisation whose national human rights programme is supported by the SDC. She continues in her unwavering advocacy of women’s rights even though she has been criticized as being a feminist.
Jamila Afghani works with religious leaders (Imams) to enable girls and women to get an education. Since 2010, she has been working with the SDC within the scope of its work on «Human Rights and Islam». «Sometimes I feel very lonely», Jamila Afghani says. «The conservative elements say, ‘Jamila is introducing a new Islam’, and civil society says I am very Islamist.»
The ten stories provide an insight into the different realities of life in Afghanistan and into the work being carried out by the SDC in this complex environment.
«10 stories» (only in English)