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Working for an NGO in Kabul

Working for an NGO in Kabul

Photographer:Fotograaf: Stock Exchange

Wanted: a job in a developing country

Mihaela works for an Afghan organisation in Kabul. And indeed, she has woken at times to missile attacks but on the whole she experiences her stay as “fulfilling”. She will talk about her experiences during the UM seminar Career Development in Development Work next Tuesday, an event for students who are looking for jobs in developing countries.

Afghanistan is still a war zone, so Mihaela (27), a student of the School of Governance, cannot give any details. For reasons of safety, she also does not want her last name to be put in the article. Last year, she worked for the Afghan NGO Harakat for three months. This is an independent Afghan organisation whose mission is to make Afghanistan an attractive place to invest and conduct business.

Her tasks included working at the communication department and updating the organisation's database. “There is an intensive work atmosphere, six days a week. But most of all, it is very fulfilling. The people live their lives, make jokes and are very warm-hearted.”

She advises students who want to do development work to draw up a ‘profile’. During her study, she worked for Mundo, organised conferences, took courses on globalisation and inequality, and also took language lessons.

The experiences of students who have worked in developing countries will be discussed at the eighth edition of Career Development in Development Work. The seminar, which also features a speaker’s café and an information market, is meant for students who are looking or preparing for a job in a developing country. “Development co-operation is an opaque labour market”, says Mundo project manager Lou Snijders, who set up the seminar in 2001. “There is no useful list of vacancies, but there is plenty of work in this sector. You just need to make the extra effort. As a student, you could start by doing voluntary work for one of the seventy NGO departments in Maastricht. Or you could adapt your study subjects, learn a language, you name it.”

Only a handful of students attended the seminar in 2001. Today, two hundred students have already registered. The organisation is in the hands of Career Services, Mundo, Aiesec and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Maurice Timmermans

Career Development in Development Work: 16 March, from 17:30-21:00hrs, Minderbroedersberg 4-6



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