Unveiling the Factors Propelling the Establishment of the WISE Organization

In 2011, my wife achieved a significant milestone in her career by obtaining her university degrees. However, she faced numerous rejections in her search for employment due to perceived limitations in her English proficiency and work experience. This issue was not unique to her, as many women and girls in similar circumstances encountered similar obstacles, leading to feelings of discouragement and disillusionment.

Motivated by this prevalent problem, I took the initiative to establish a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to providing opportunities for fresh graduates. After months of dedicated effort, a group of determined women came together, and in May 2012, we successfully founded the Women Integrity for Society Empowerment Organization (WISE). Based in Herat, Afghanistan, WISE became a beacon of hope, focusing on the promotion of women’s rights and empowerment.

WISE received formal recognition from the Ministry of Economy with License number 2641 in May 2012, solidifying its presence and commitment to its vision. Under the exceptional leadership of Mariam Ahmadi, who herself had faced unemployment challenges in the NGO sector, WISE embarked on its inaugural project with the support of WASSA through the counterpart international. WISE’s mandate encompasses job creation for fresh graduates, capacity building, and advocacy for women’s economic development. The organization engages in various fields, including entrepreneurship, human capital development, peace education, youth empowerment, human rights, child protection, health initiatives, gender equality, combatting gender-based violence, policy advocacy, and civic education.

The journey of WISE has been characterized by resilience, determination, and an unwavering commitment to fostering a more inclusive society. Through our tireless efforts, we have contributed to the advancement of women’s rights and the realization of their full potential. As we look ahead to the future, guided by our vision, we aspire to continue our work, creating pathways for countless individuals to thrive and contributing to the transformative power of economic empowerment.

On August 13, 2015, the SIKA West Project concluded, resulting in my unexpected unemployment that lasted for nearly a year. During this period, I faced difficult decisions, particularly regarding job opportunities that required travel to various districts. Concerned for personal safety and security, I made the challenging decision to remain unemployed until securing a more favorable position.

However, on February 17, 2016, fortune smiled upon me when Jamshid Sultanzada, an extraordinary and influential friend, came to my aid. Jamshid exemplifies kindness, passion, and unwavering support. Our friendship dates back to 2005 when we had the privilege of working together at AWCC. Since then, he has consistently been there for me, offering support whenever needed.

In a moment of serendipity, Jamshid offered me an opportunity to join his company, PomTech ICT Solutions. This gesture not only rescued me from unemployment but also symbolized his belief in my capabilities and dedication. From the day I joined PomTech, Jamshid has consistently provided guidance, encouragement, and support, fostering my professional and personal growth.

His unwavering faith in my potential has been an anchor during times of uncertainty, empowering me to navigate the challenges of professional life. Jamshid’s innate kindness and genuine care have created a work environment where I feel valued, motivated, and inspired to reach my full potential.

Throughout the years, Jamshid’s support has remained unwavering. His mentorship has shaped my career trajectory and instilled in me a deep sense of gratitude. I consider myself fortunate to have such an exceptional friend and mentor who consistently believes in me and provides opportunities for growth.

In 2017, I made the conscious decision to invest my time and efforts into our own organization, taking on the role of a Grant Specialist. With determination and perseverance, I actively pursued funding opportunities to support our initiatives. Through this pursuit, I successfully obtained a significant project focused on women in economic development from DAI-Mushariket.

Buoyed by this initial success, I continued applying for funding opportunities, driven by a profound commitment to our organization’s mission. As a result, I secured another project in collaboration with MSI-AMANA Project, generously funded by USAID. This new endeavor presented fresh opportunities for growth and impact, further fueling my dedication to our cause.

The year 2019 marked yet another milestone in our journey. Teaming up with WASSA, we jointly applied for a long-term project through TDH, with funding provided by BMZ German. This ongoing five-year endeavor, which began in 2019, has faced challenges concerning women’s workforce participation. Despite the obstacles, we have not only sustained the project but also maintained a resilient and dedicated team across Herat and Badghis provinces.

The journey has been far from easy, and the challenges faced by women in this field are undeniably demanding. However, our unwavering determination and the collective efforts of our team have allowed us to overcome obstacles and make a lasting impact. Together, we strive to create meaningful change and contribute to the betterment of our communities.

As we continue our work, I am filled with gratitude and pride for the progress we have achieved thus far. The projects secured from DAI-Mushariket, MSI-AMANA Project, and TDH, funded by USAID and BMZ German respectively, serve as testaments to our organization’s resilience and the value we bring to the communities we serve.

Throughout the course of our journey, the unwavering dedication of Women Integrity for Society Empowerment Organization (WISE) to the cause of job creation has borne remarkable fruit. Since its establishment in 2012 until the year 2021, WISE has proudly facilitated the creation of a total of 53 employment opportunities. Of these, 36 positions were extended to exceptionally talented and deserving females, while 17 positions were filled by equally capable male individuals.

This accomplishment stands as a testament to the effectiveness and impact of our organization’s initiatives in fostering gender equality and promoting women’s economic empowerment. By actively working to overcome the barriers that hindered the employment prospects of women and girls, WISE has succeeded in providing them with opportunities to unleash their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the workforce.

Each job created by WISE represents not only a source of income and financial stability but also an avenue for personal growth, professional development, and the realization of individual aspirations. By empowering women through employment, we have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of economic independence and the profound impact it has on their lives, families, and communities.

Moreover, the 53 job opportunities generated by WISE are not merely isolated instances but rather milestones in an ongoing effort to drive sustainable change. We continue to collaborate with partners, engage in advocacy, and implement programs aimed at expanding employment opportunities and enhancing women’s economic participation.

By consistently striving to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers, we are actively contributing to the creation of a more inclusive and equitable society. We recognize that a diverse and empowered workforce is essential for social progress, economic development, and the realization of sustainable development goals.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to our mission of creating pathways to employment for countless individuals. We will continue to leverage our partnerships, mobilize resources, and engage in targeted interventions that address the specific needs and challenges faced by women in the workforce.

WISE firmly believes that by expanding job opportunities, empowering women, and promoting gender equality, we are not only transforming individual lives but also fostering a more prosperous and harmonious society. Through our tireless dedication and collaborative efforts, we are determined to make an enduring impact and contribute to the ongoing progress of our communities.

During this demanding journey, I was fortunate to have the unwavering support of two exceptional individuals: Sultan Ahmad Aria and Mohammad Tariq Aziz. These friends stood by my side, extending their helping hands and working tirelessly alongside me. Together, we tackled challenges, overcame obstacles, and contributed to the growth and success of the organization.

Their dedication and commitment played an invaluable role in propelling the organization toward self-actualization. Their unwavering support and collaboration served as a source of motivation, inspiring me to push forward during the most challenging moments. Together, we navigated the intricacies of policy development, streamlined our structures, devised effective strategies, and crafted compelling proposals.

The combined efforts of our dedicated team, with Sultan Ahmad Aria and Mohammad Tariq Aziz playing integral roles, yielded remarkable results. We witnessed the organization gradually evolve and thrive, inching closer to its vision and goals. The realization of our shared vision, built upon a solid foundation of hard work and collaboration, stands as a testament to the power of teamwork and determination.

I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge the immense support and generosity extended by my dear friend, Jamshid Sultanzada. His selfless actions and unwavering belief in our cause have left an indelible mark on our journey. Jamshid’s support and dedication have been instrumental in our organization’s growth and success. His belief in our mission has provided us with the motivation and inspiration to persevere through challenges and push boundaries. He has consistently offered guidance, wisdom, and resources to ensure our efforts thrive.

Jamshid graciously provided his office space and all necessary company properties, alleviating financial burdens and providing us with a dedicated space to work and collaborate. The office became a hub of creativity and productivity, fueling our collective efforts to drive the organization forward.

Jamshid’s support went beyond physical space. He offered financial assistance and allocated resources from his own ventures to support our team’s endeavors. His belief in our mission and willingness to share his expertise and resources were invaluable assets that propelled us further along the path to success.

I am eternally grateful for Jamshid Sultanzada’s generosity, kindness, and unwavering support. His contributions played a vital role in empowering the organization and facilitating our outstanding work. Without his assistance, the strides we made and the impact we achieved would not have been possible.

The memory of Jamshid’s selflessness and the impact of his support will forever remain ingrained in my heart and mind. It serves as a reminder of the power of compassion and how a single act of kindness can uplift an entire organization. The legacy of his support will continue to inspire and motivate us as we strive for further growth and excellence.

Through the challenges and triumphs, we forged a bond rooted in mutual support and a shared commitment to our organization’s success. It is thanks to the dedication and contributions of individuals like Sultan Ahmad Aria and Mohammad Tariq Aziz that we were able to navigate the intricate landscape of organizational development and bring our collective vision to life.

As I reflect on this transformative journey, I am filled with deep gratitude for the unwavering support and camaraderie of these three friends. Their assistance and collaboration were instrumental in shaping the organization’s trajectory and propelling it toward its aspirations. The lessons learned and the memories created during this shared endeavor will forever remain an indelible part of our collective story.

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