Eighteen-year-old Najia Amani* from Herat graduated from high school last year. Her goal was to help her country by working in a business. “I understand that the economy is one of the most important keys to a country’s improvement,” she said.

The First Step Forward on My Career PathHowever, like many girls and women in Afghanistan, Najia faces challenges. “Girls in Afghanistan have many problems within their families and society, but the biggest challenges are poverty and low economic status,” Najia points out. Fortunately for Najia, her family supported her in her goal of learning English and completing high school. Najia credits the challenges she faced along the way, particularly economic challenges, as being the triggers that pushed her forward.

One day, while searching for scholarships on the USAID website, Najia saw information about the Women in the Economy program. She completed the internship and training program application and secured an interview at Ariana Business Center along with six other girls. Najia was accepted for a position at the center.

“I like working here as an administrative assistant because I learn a lot of new things about management of this center and how it serves Herat citizens,” she said.

She also credits the job with increasing her self-confidence. “Now I know that there is hope for me to enter the world of business,” she said. “WIE has helped me trust in the companies and in myself. I believe hard work is the key to success!” 

*Name changed for security reasons