Our Stories

  • Fear and Cajoling in Kabul: Bringing HIV Services to High Risk Groups
    Dec 1, 2016

    1 December 2016, Kabul – Edris is a young man living in Kabul. Last year, he broke his nose trying to break up a fight, but when he went to hospital, doctors found out he had HIV and refused to treat him. “It really disappointed me,” he says. “Not just the bad treatment, but because I know that other people with HIV also run into the same kind of discrimination.” Edris knows this because he’s seen it. Just four months before, one of his friends died of appendicitis because doctors weren’t willing to operate.

  • UNDP Joins Fight Against Tuberculosis in Afghanistan
    Dec 1, 2016

    Fifty-year-old Musa Khan Panahi wears a smile of hope because he’s reclaiming a life he nearly lost. Meanwhile, Muhammad Rustam, an emaciated bedridden teenager, struggles with his health at a hospital on the western outskirts of Kabul.

  • After Half a Life of Working in UNDP, Farida has Seen a lot, Learned a lot and Helped a lot of People
    Nov 8, 2016

    24 February 2016, Kabul — Farida Alam is UNDP Afghanistan’s longest-serving member of staff. She’s been with us for 25 years – a period in which Afghanistan and UNDP have seen astonishing changes.

  • Come On, Bovine, Light My Fire: UNDP Biogas Systems Turn Manure into Cheap, Clean Power
    Oct 23, 2016

    21 September 2016, Dara Noor, Jalalabad – For most rural Afghans, having a cup of tea, or a bath, or a warm house means you have to cut down some trees. With mains power covering only 35% of the countryside, wood remains the primary source of heat and fuel.

  • From the Spent and Unconsidered Earth – a Forest!
    Oct 23, 2016

    15 August 2016, Jalalabad – The Gamberi Desert, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is home to 1,000 families. It’s a land of extremes: harsh, dry, sandy, and hot, making life a struggle for the people who live there. Many years ago, it was different. The Gamberi Desert was a forest of indigenous bushes that held the soil together and allowed life to grow. But decades of conflict and poverty forced communities to cut down the bushes and use the wood cooking and heating. Deforestation led to desertification, sand storms and the erosion of agricultural fields.

  • Solar Powered Education: Nangahar University Blazes a Trail
    Oct 23, 2016

    Nangarhar University, on the outskirts of Jalalabad, is the second largest University in Afghanistan. Covering a whopping 40 hectares of land and serving 15,000 students, its tree-lined avenues stretch on for miles. But at night, they are pitch black, leaving both students and professors feeling unsafe in the dark. Public spaces are empty and no one spends much time outside.

  • Afghanistan’s first-ever Environmental Short Film Contest
    Aug 29, 2016

    5 June 2016, Kabul – Today is World Environment Day and here in Afghanistan we celebrated with the country’s first-ever Environmental Short Film Contest.

  • Once Were Hunters – Now Conservationists
    Aug 29, 2016

    17 March 2016, Kabul – Daud killed his first ibex when he was only 12 years old. His father would wake him up in the middle of the night to go hunting, and they’d set out together in the dark, Daud so afraid that his hands would shake. Later on, he’d learn to kill with calm efficiency.

  • Equator Prize Winner from Afghanistan Brings Back Pride and Hope
    Aug 29, 2016

    Badakhshan, 20 January 2016 – Ahmad Seyar woke up early one morning in late September, performed his prayers and went back to bed. Then he picked up his phone, scrolled through his emails and read “Congrats on winning the Equator Prize” – a message from Helen Clark, the head of UNDP.

  • From Refugee to Politician: Afghanistan’s First Female Provincial Council Chair Fights for Rights
    Aug 10, 2016

    Tayeba Khawary is an Afghan, but she was born as a refugee in Iran after her family fled Afghanistan’s violent conflict in the 1980s. Hoping for better times one day, her father worked as a laborer to support her university studies until the family could return to their home in Afghanistan’s central province of Bamyan.

  • Malalai: Learning to Save Lives
    Feb 1, 2018

    Malalai Noori, 19, lives in Paktia province in east Afghanistan, a conservative area where many families do not allow their girls to go to school.

  • Pilawary Farm: Helping Women Grow out of Poverty
    Dec 26, 2017

    Gul Pari, a 37-year old mother of five, arrived in Kabul eight years ago.

  • RUKHSHANA – How an Abused Young Afghan Woman Found Access to Justice
    Dec 23, 2017

    Rukshana (name changed) is a young woman who lives in Herat province, Afghanistan. When she was 12 years old, she was forced to marry a 50-year-old man. She was then forbidden to visit her parents, and she suffered domestic abuse at the hands of her in-laws.

  • Toryalai: A Migrant’s Story
    Dec 11, 2017

    On March 12, representatives from UNDP, the Australian Government and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) visited AliceGhan township, located 30 kilometers north of Kabul, where, with the help of Australian funding, UNDP has built latrines, kitchens, boundary walls and storage rooms in 300 houses of internally displaced people. One of the residents, Ahmad, says, “We needed a boundary wall to keep our children safe from strangers and wild animals.” The construction work provided over 55,000 labor days over five months.

  • Energy Experts of the Future
    Oct 29, 2017

    Hasan Mahdi, 22, in his last year studying at the engineering faculty at the University of Kabul, has just learned some new scientific skills.

  • Windows of Happiness
    Oct 15, 2017

    Nafisa is a 42-year-old woman from Zinda Jan district in Herat, Afghanistan, married, with five daughters and two sons.

  • Environment Friendly Farming Improves Gender and Economic Equality for Women
    Oct 15, 2017

    Ghuncha Gul is a woman farmer fondly known as ‘honey’ by her villagers as she keeps bees to make honey. She also manages a greenhouse.

  • Peace: the Distant, Hopeful Dream of Every Afghan
    Sep 20, 2017

    One Autumn day in 1998, seven-year old Zarghona Darya was doing her homework on the floor of the family house in Bamyan province, when her father rushed in, shouting “Taliban! Taliban!”

  • Bridge over Troubled Water
    Aug 29, 2017

    Sofi Mohammed Alim, a 67-year old man from Yangi Qala district, Takhar Province, has seen a lot. He remembers the time, not long ago, when the bridge across the River Kildish was so dilapidated that villagers were afraid to cross. “It was a thin wooden structure 30 meters long, and it touched the surface of the water. Yet it was the only way to connect with the rest of the district,” says Sofi. “Walking on that bridge was like being a high-wire walker in the circus. I remember at least two women who lost their babies, because they were unable to cross the bridge to get help.”

  • Muqadasa: Fighting for Peace and Women’s Rights in Afghanistan
    Aug 13, 2017

    Sharp, outspoken and confident: twenty-four-year-old Muqadasa Ahmadzai wears a veil, but it cannot hide these qualities. She was born in the early 90s to a traditional Afghan family in Jalalabad city, Afghanistan. As the ninth girl in a culture which often gives preference to boys, she had to fight for her position from her first breath. Her family adhered to the traditional belief that girls should remain at home after they reach the age of puberty.

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