April 22, 2013
Flouran Wali, DAI’s business and gender advisor for the DAI-led and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Agricultural Credit Enhancement (ACE) program, was recognized by the Government of Afghanistan for her more than 10 years of work supporting the advancement of women in Afghanistan.
Flouran was presented with a certificate of appreciation signed by the Minister of Women’s Affairs, Dr. Husn Banu Ghazanfar, in a recent ceremony at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Flouran left Afghanistan for the United States at a young age and returned 10 years ago in order to give back to her home country, she says. She went back to Afghanistan as a volunteer with La Jolla Rotary Club of San Diego to build schools.
Flouran spent three years as a volunteer and then as full-time staff for Relief International helping build women’s centers that served as compounds for vocational education in partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
She then joined the DAI-led Alternative Development Program-East (ADP-E)—funded by USAID—to lead the project’s gender activities such as the training of more than 6,800 vulnerable women in business skills and the establishment of 3,000 small women-owned enterprises. The program she led was recognized as one of the most effective U.S government gender initiatives in South Asia.
Flouran later became a Gender Advisor in the USAID Mission in Kabul. During her time there, she developed USAID’s Afghanistan Strategy for Women and Girls, which directly resulted in the integration of an additional 20,000 women and girls as beneficiaries of U.S. government assistance.
In her current role, Flouran continues to advance the cause of women, ensuring that women have access to credit and development opportunities. “I truly enjoy what I do since I can continue supporting Afghan men and women in their struggle to have a better future, while also telling a story of hope about the country I love so much,” she says of her role in the project.
Thanks in part to her efforts, the ACE project has lent more than $1 million to women-owned enterprises. “As a result of her hard work, dedication and commitment to make of Afghanistan a better place, Flouran has helped change the lives of over 30,000 Afghan women and girls—an achievement that very few development practitioners would be able to match,” said Dr. Ghazanfar, in her speech.
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