"Leaving is not a solution. We must stay and work hard to provide a better future for the next generation," says Zurmati, an aid worker from Afghanistan

Published: Aug 7, 2023 Reading time: 3 minutes
ESNFI, non-food item - CASH Distribution in Ghazni,
© Foto: Jallaluddin Adipoor

Zurmati is an Afghan aid worker. For more than 5 years, he has worked for various NGOs in Afghanistan. He works to support his family, serve his people, contribute to his country's recovery and provide a better future for Afghan children.

"Two years ago, Afghanistan witnessed a huge political change, which brought a socioeconomic crisis. Many people lost their jobs, and it is estimated that more than 1.6 million Afghans have fled the country since 2021, including many talented young people. I could have left as well but didn't, despite all the shortages and financial hardship I had," says Zurmati.

Zurmati is the only breadwinner in his family; therefore, he must work and find a way to solve his financial problems. 

"I was so upset; I didn't know what to do or how to manage our family's economic expenses. In a situation where everyone was thinking of fleeing the country, I was searching for a job to help my people, as almost all the aid workers are doing; leaving is not a solution. We must stay and work hard to provide a better future for the next generation," says Zurmati.

Zurmati stayed, joined People in Need (PIN), and became a member of the aid worker community, assisting the Afghan people. "Afghanistan is a poor country; people suffer from hunger, and many families have lost their breadwinners. Women, disabled people, and children are the most affected and vulnerable people. They deserve more assistance, and we, the youth of this country, are responsible for helping them," says Zurmati.

The educated generation is responsible for change and improvement

Zurmati himself was among those affected by the situation in Afghanistan. After the regime change, he lost everything, he had no income, and his daughters could no longer go to school, but he did not give up. Now Zurmati has the job he wanted and is helping his people overcome their economic and livelihood hardships. 

"It was not easy for my generation in Afghanistan to get an education. I have been through many challenges and breaks in my educational life; it was a long journey till this point. This has made me stronger, and I have learned many lessons; now, the younger generation faces many of the same problems, but we are not giving up," says Zurmati.

He believes that the educated generation is responsible for change and improvements for the next generation, not achievable by fleeing the country. For this reason, he decided to stay and work for his community, providing services for his compatriots. 

"I belong to a Pashtu tribe and to a family where only a handful are educated. After my father, I am the second person in my family privileged with an education. And I should be the one who paves the way for the generation to follow," says Zurmati.

Zurmati is managing one of our humanitarian projects focussed on supporting the most vulnerable people in Ghazni province. The project provides people with cash-based assistance to cover their basic non-food needs. The project is funded by Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund (AHF).

"It is a pleasure for me to serve the poor and needy people during these difficult, critical times. I believe this is one of the main purposes of my life. I have served my people and country; this is the least I could have done for them. This gives me strength and encourages me to continue on my chosen path," says Zurmati. 

Autor: Jallaluddin Adipoor, PIN Afghanistan Communication Officer

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