Kabul, 06th June 2018. Massoda Mahmoodi and Lema Jaheed are two female engineering students from Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) who participated in the first batch of the UN-Habitat’s Professional Practice Programme (PPP). The PPP is a three to six month programme which brings students from university classrooms to UN-Habitat offices in different provinces providing them with a professional experience in sustainable urban development.For Massoda and Lema, the PPP was their first professional opportunity but also their first exposure to an international environment.

“We were afraid of working in offices especially with foreigners, but working with UN-Habitat changed our minds. This is the best working place where females are respected and given equal opportunity to enhance their working capabilities and develop more” said Massoda and Lema.

They worked as Project Assistant in the Afghanistan Urban Peacebuilding Programme (AUPP) funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development, a programme which aims at strengthening the delivery of services related to urban safety and security, building partnerships between government, communities and security providers.

During their tenure, Massoda Mahmoodi and Lema Jaheed worked in the different stages of a subproject proposal, which crystallized in the construction of a road for an Afghan community. They told us with great enthusiasm how important this experience was for them and how they were able to participate in a range of activities which included the drafting of the subproject proposal, community mobilization, procurement activities among others.

The AUPP team sent a heartfelt gratitude to their contributions and complimented their professional attitudes for growing themselves in a challenging environment.

The PPP is a valuable opportunity for the students to apply their academic knowledge and gain expertise from the field, interacting with key actors at national and local levels, including the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDH), the Deputy Ministry of Municipalities (DMM), municipalities and district offices.

Congratulations and thanks to Lema and Massoda!