Our Stories

  • Women Learn Small Business Skills, Look To Future with Hope
    May 26, 2016

    Aliabad, Mazar-e-Sharif: Five days in a week, Laila, a single mom of five children including an 18-year-old daughter, walks to the Food Processing Center in Aliabad village just outside Mazar city, learning the finer aspects of basic business development.

  • Clean Water for 400 Households in Badghis
    May 26, 2016

    In a remote part of western Badghis province where underground water is mostly salty, people in Dahane Abshar-e-Rigi village of Maqur district responded to their drinking water need by building rainwater reservoirs with US$ 125,000 funding from the National Area-Based Development Programme of UNDP and the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

  • Green Energy and Clean Water Improves Lives in a Village
    May 26, 2016

    Sang-e-Nawishta, Nov 2015 – Sang-e-Nawishta is only a short drive from the centre of Kabul, but until a few months ago the villagers who live here had no running water or electricity.

  • Preserving a pristine landscape in Bamyan
    May 26, 2016

    Jawzari lies in pristine foothills of central Afghanistan’s Baba Mountains, about 15 kilometres south of Bamyan City. It’s an area of great beauty and environmental significance that needs to be preserved – but in a way that protects the livelihoods of Jawzari’s several isolated farming communities who depend on local rangeland for food, fire, water and shelter.

  • Female Rangers, Female Role Models
    May 26, 2016

    Jahanbin is not a man who is easily frightened or thwarted. As a ranger in one of Afghanistan’s two national parks, he’s been out alone in the vast empty spaces of the northern plateau and he’s faced gangs of poachers and crowds of belligerent tourists who don’t want to follow the rules. Unarmed and with the nearest police station several miles away, he’s held his own and talked his way out of trouble until help can arrive.

  • Cleaning up the Streets in Bamyan
    May 26, 2016

    Due to an upsurge in urban migration, new townships are appearing all across Afghanistan. But how do the new residents in these towns dispose of their waste? In Bamiyan’s Zargaran Township, the Green Afghanistan Association (GAA), a local NGO, with support from UNDP and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme, has put rubbish bins on the streets of this town.

  • Band-e-Amir: Afghanistan’s Hidden Wonderland
    May 26, 2016

    The evidence was out there weeks before anyone even knew. On July 07, 2014, a small box hidden way out on the northern plateau – an open area of inhospitable hills and valleys in the Afghanistan’s central Bamyan province – clicked into life and snapped a photo of a Persian leopard – a species of wild cat long thought to be extinct in this area.

  • Forest Preservation at a Remote Area in Badakhshan Province Generates Rural Livelihoods
    May 26, 2016

    A forest that blankets a mountain along the Kishim River in Tagab district of northeastern Badakhshan province and where wild animals, rare plants and a variety of natural fruit trees inhabit has been preserved. Behind this success is Rural Green Environment Organization (RGEO), which, as a result, has been able to generate livelihood opportunities for rural communities dwelling near the forest. This organization has been engaged in protecting the natural resources in the area since 2002.

  • Lighting up the Homes and Lives of Thousands
    May 26, 2016

    Eleven-year-old Mohamed Nasim, who is in sixth grade, wakes up at 5:30 every morning to take computer lessons in a makeshift classroom here in Borghaso village, Bamyan Province, northwest of Kabul. He draws a house in Microsoft Paint, colors it, and types his name in the corner as his young teacher watches over his shoulders.

  • Ushering in a ‘Green’ Bags Culture, Saying No to Plastic Glut in Afghanistan
    May 26, 2016

    Eleven-year-old Mohamed Nasim, who is in sixth grade, wakes up at 5:30 every morning to take computer lessons in a makeshift classroom here in Borghaso village, Bamyan Province, northwest of Kabul. He draws a house in Microsoft Paint, colors it, and types his name in the corner as his young teacher watches over his shoulders.

  • Daikundi Governor Shows Women Can Lead in Afghanistan
    May 21, 2017

    Masooma Muradi is Afghanistan’s only female governor. In her two years as Governor of Daikundi, one of the poorest and most marginalized provinces in Afghanistan, she hasn’t had it easy. From the very beginning, she met a public backlash against her appointment as an Afghan woman to the top government position in their province. “A woman governor will not be able to bring prosperity to our province,” Hazratullah, a male shopkeeper in the town of Nili, told a UNDP delegation visiting the province just last year.

  • Female Nurses in Demand: UNDP Trains 200+ Young Women to Save Lives in Rural Areas
    May 8, 2017

    23 October 2016, Jalalabad City, Nangarhar – In a very ordinary hostel in Jalalabad, something extraordinary is going on. A young woman is sitting on her hostel bed, bent over a textbook. This is Abida and she is training to be a nurse in a country where most women haven’t even finished primary school. Abida has just finished a long day of classwork and on-the-job training. She’s exhausted, but determined to carry on because nurses are hard to find in her home village, more than 100 kilometres away in Nuristan. In this isolated province, woman commonly die because basic healthcare is unavailable – either because there are no doctors or because women are not allowed to be treated by a man. Thinking about this situation keeps Abida going when her eyes are heavy and her brain numb.

  • Out of Exile: Women Return to Afghanistan to Start New Lives and Businesses with Help from UNDP
    May 8, 2017

    4 January 2017, Mazar-e-Sharif — Gulsoom Kohistani was born in Iran and in her early teens when her family decided to return to Afghanistan after two decades of exile. Along with hundreds of other families, Gulsoom’s family settled in Aliabad – a township 20 kilometers northeast of Balkh’s Mazar-e-Sharif. For most of them, the ongoing insurgency meant it was too dangerous to return to their original homes. They had to start new lives from scratch. For the first few years, Gulsoom and her neighbors wove carpets. But the work was hard and the income small. So UNDP provided equipment and training for 47 of the women to set up a small business producing pickles, spices, jams and spaghetti.

  • No Lingering! UNDP and Religious Leaders Promote Women in Sport and Education
    May 8, 2017

    Bamyan, 9 October 2016 – Bamyan, in central Afghanistan, is a province of snow-capped mountains and difficult travel. But it’s not just the rugged terrain that keeps girls from going to school and taking part in sports. The mind also has mountains that girls need to climb if they want to get equal treatment.

  • Video Update: Religious Leaders Promote Women in Sport and Education
    May 8, 2017

    Masooma and her friends in Bamyan started skiing in 2012. But village gossip made it hard for them to continue. Then local mullah, Abdul Rahman Redwani, started preaching on women’s rights, changing people’s minds and getting the girls back on the slopes.

  • Gender and Women's Studies at Kabul University: A Step Towards Addressing the Gender Gap
    May 8, 2017

    Kabul, 10 July 2016 – Afghanistan is one of the most challenging countries in the world to be a woman – and for a woman to get a decent education. According to World Bank data, net enrollment at the end of the Taliban regime in 2001 was 43% for boys but a miserable 3% for girls. Since 2002, school enrollment has skyrocketed, boosting the number of girls in secondary education from 3% to 36%, but access to higher education remains a challenge, especially in remote areas.

  • One Village One Product: How a Japanese Idea is Changing Lives and Helping Rural Communities
    May 7, 2017

    In March this year, representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), together with officials from the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), and UNDP specialists from Afghanistan and Tajikistan, visited Kyrgyzstan and Japan to see One Village One Product (OVOP) projects in action, and to meet with beneficiaries.

  • Playing to Win: Volleyball Champion Muzhgan Encourages Young Women to Fight for Their Dreams
    Mar 22, 2017

    Muzhgan Sadaat, 23, is a soft-spoken young woman who comes across as happy-go-lucky. But when it comes to following her passion, she won’t surrender to anybody. Muzhgan was ten when she started to play volleyball, but as she grew older, her father thought it wasn’t appropriate for her to continue. “He said our relatives didn’t like it,” recalls Muzhgan. “They believed it was shameful for a girl to play sports.”

  • A Day in Mazar with the Korean Ambassador
    Mar 22, 2017

    25 July 2016, Mazar-e-Sharif – Last week, we were in Mazar-e-Sharif, where, thanks to generous support from the Republic of Korea, UNDP has helped to improve local governance and support local women as they build successful businesses.

  • Bearing Fruit: Japan and UNDP Boost Output for Northern Farmers
    Mar 19, 2017

    Uruzgan, Oct 2015 – The village of Qadam Shahli is split right down the middle by a river. For years, the only way people from one side could visit family members living on the other was via a little wooden bridge.

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