With a network of around 775+ Fellows from 96 countries specializing in a diverse array of professional fields, many Atlas Corps Alumni and current Fellows are making inspiring progress with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network and share advice on how we can all do our part to protect and support each other.
Today we want to talk with our Alumna Huma Imdad (Class 30, Pakistan) who is combatting the high unemployment rates in Pakistan with her current organization, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. Huma’s work is especially important because Pakistan had a youth unemployment rate of 8.9% in 2019. Engaging the youth in meaningful employment today will ensure economic growth for the country for generations to come.
Thank you, Huma, for everything that you do to create a better future and ensure decent work for people in your home country. We wish you all the best with this impactful work!
Name: Huma Imdad
Home Country: Pakistan
Current organization: Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Role at current organization: Technical Advisor
Social Issues that you have worked with: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Tell us about your current organization?
In September 2019, I joined Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation for their Market and Employment for Peace and Stability (ME4PS) project operational in the Newly Merged Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in consortium with ACTED.
I am responsible for assessing the project interventions; identifying systemic theory of change, learnings and studies to derive project impacts; mainstreaming policy input; and improving public-private partnerships through new strategies, interventions, innovative approaches and technical support to build and sustain effective close working partnerships with government counterparts, national, provincial and district level stakeholders as well as allies, donors and academia.
My job also includes promoting critical thinking, innovative approaches and contributing to the development of policies and procedures which ensure optimum efficiency and efficacy of sustainable development.
Tell us more about projects you participated in?
During my work at Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation I introduced and managed an apprenticeship model named Taroon for unemployed, educated youth resulting in job placement and improved decent work agenda.
I successfully developed partnerships with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board, National Incubation Center, IT Association of KP, and Marble Association. Currently, I’m developing a successful App for Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to strengthen linkages with different stakeholders and improve market reach.
Why is it important for you to work with these social issues?
Unemployment is a huge issue in Pakistan, and especially in my province (KP). During the current pandemic, a lot of people who were previously employed have lost their jobs and are now adding to the unemployed bulge. It is very important for me to make efforts in creating new avenues to learn skills and knowledge that would result in job creation for my community.
I have always believed in offering people a hand-up instead of a hand-out which is why I do that work that I do. There’s so much talent that is going to waste because of the lack of available jobs in KP, and I believe that it is my duty to provide people with the resources and connections to put their skills to good use and take themselves and their families out of poverty.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional/ personal accomplishments?
While I was still doing my fellowship I was selected for the international organisation. This prestigious organisation waited 5 months for me to return because they know that my fellowship added value to my professional and personal experience. Atlas Corps helped me develop an amazing network of global leaders and allowed all of us, upon return home, to land jobs much better than were available to us prior to our Fellowship.
What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of supporting Atlas Corps?
Any one who hears about Atlas Corps should definitely contribute in every way possible, I have been sending applicants their way and I will continue to do so because I know what a huge impact it creates on one’s social and professional life.
Atlas Corps Fellows continue to serve in the U.S. and remote, and we reaffirm our commitment to building a network of global leaders, even- and especially- in these times. We need your help to overcome the operational challenges that Atlas Corps faces so we can continue our critical work of training the social change leaders that this world urgently needs. As a special initiative of Bonus Day on July 15th, donations of $100+ will be matched! Will you support our Fellows?