“You have challenged me, that nothing is impossible” Nazanin Alakija

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By: Alison Parker
Nazanin Ajakila with children
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

10 March 2020

As Afghanistan continues to navigate a complex peace process, children continue to pay the price of over four decades of conflict and under development.  UNICEF supporter Nazanin Alakija visits Afghanistan to gain firsthand experience on the situation of children and the strength, tenacity and resilience of the Afghan people.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh
Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Maternal and newborn care is a key priority for UNICEF in Afghanistan, as the first 1000 days are crucial to the survival and wellbeing of any child.  Here Nazanin visits a UNICEF supported newborn ward and intensive care unit at the Attaturk Hospital in Kabul, where she engages with mothers and infants. Prematurity, pneumonia, meningitis and maternal aneamia are some of the drivers of infant mortality in Afghanistan

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

“Meet Nazifa 21- year-old- final semester student of civil engineering at Herat University and captain of the Herat Women’s Cricket Club, Afghanistan. One of the strongest young woman I have ever met” Nazanin

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Roya Mahboob (centre) introducing Nazanin and UNICEF Afghanistan Representative Aboubacar Kampo to the Afghan Girls Robotic Team. Roya is President and board member of the Digital Citizen Fund, which aims to increase women’s technological literacy and provide employment and educational opportunities for girls and children in developing countries like Afghanistan.  Roya sits on the Advisory Board of Forbes School of Business of Ashford University, Resolution Project, and the Global Thinkers Forum organization.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Nazanin with UNICEF Representative Aboubacar Kampo being taken on an incredible journey of science and technology,  through robotics display, developed by 15-17 year old Afghan girls in Herat, western Afghanistan

Shaidaye camp
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

One of the highpoints of the trip was the visit to the Shaidaye camp, in Herat Western Afghanistan, hosting over 12,000 displaced families. Here, UNICEF is providing a package of services including, health, education, protection, nutrition and safe water.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Within the context of cyclical and protracted conflict such as Afghanistan, building in durable solutions into emergency response is proving increasingly effective and efficient, and provides demonstrated action to the humanitarian development nexus narrative. This UNICEF supported solar powered water supply unit provides sustainable water to most vulnerable families.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Nazanin holding discussions with community elders on the situation of families living at the camp and the services being provided by UNICEF and partners.  One of such intervention is a mobile health and nutrition facility that provides services, six days a week through a team of doctors, midwives, vaccinators and nutrition counselors.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

Power handshake with a grandmother who is now taking care of her grandchildren after their parents (her son and his wife) were killed during the conflict in Badghis

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

An amazing moment with a cross section of the 80,000 persons living in the Shaidaye internally displaced camp.  Here Nazanin is surrounded by aspiring teachers, policewomen and doctors.

Nazanin Ajakila
UNICEF Afghanistan/2020/Dejongh

“To the women and girls of Afghanistan.  I am in awe of your strength, resilience, courage and tenacity.  You have fought and continue to fight against all odds; for equality, for justice, and to contribute to the development of your society.  Amidst decades of conflict & hardship, you have challenged me, that nothing is impossible”. Nazanin Alakija