(1/4) Hello, I’m Anita and I’m a UNICEF Education Specialist in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Today I’m taking over UNICEF’s Instagram to mark World Humanitarian Day. Over the next few posts, I’ll explain what it’s like to be a female humanitarian worker - and how I got to do the job I love.
This is me, under a hut made of mud and sticks, with my family when we were refugees in Pakistan. It’s one of the few photos which survived all the moves we made to escape the war in Afghanistan. My father, who is holding me used to work for Save The Children - and was always a strong supporter of girls’ education. Unlike other fathers, he never differentiated between son and daughter. My mother, who is holding my baby sister, is illiterate - but was determined her daughters wouldn’t be the same. In between collecting wood and water to help my parents, I loved to learn and pass on my knowledge to others. At age 16, I opened a home-based teaching class for girls and women. It brought me great happiness to see young girls learn to write their name for the first time. When you feel that every moment of your life is learning, your life becomes more purposeful. Even from a very young age, I knew my purpose in life was to help children learn, no matter who they are or where they come from.