Name: Farhana Faruqi-Stocker
Country: UK and Afghanistan
What she does: Managing Director of Afghanaid
Impact: Improved access for NGOs in Afghanistan
Nominated by: Nick Hutchings, Reuben Ambicha, Amanda Curley and Kimberley Green, Afghanaid
Social anthropologist Farhana Faruqi-Stocker has worked for more than 20 years with poor and conflict-hit countries in fromSri LankatoSomaliaand nowAfghanistan. In her career she has operated primarily in challenging sociopolitical and security environments. In her varied roles working for organisations spanning from the UN to the World Bank and Oxfam, she has played a key part in developing funding strategies, mobilizing and managing resources. In just two years Farhana doubled Afghanaid’s income from 3 to 6 million.
The phrase “lead by example” does little to fully encapsulate the dedication and self-sacrifice that Farhana Faruqi-Stocker demonstrates as Managing Director of Afghanaid. Afghanaid is a small NGO working in the most underserved parts ofAfghanistan. Afghanaid’s has a staff of nearly 450, 98% of whom are Afghan.
Farhana provides support and direction to all departments, leaving all those that she manages feeling that not only can they rely on her wealth of experience and guidance but more importantly, feeling inspired to invest both personally and professionally into ensuring Afghanaid’s success in helping poor rural afghans.
Farhana has consciously decided to apply her expertise and leadership in a small NGO like Afghanaid, because she appreciates that this is where she can make most difference. Farhana has turned the organization around and with her vivacity and drive to broaden Afghanaid’s reach and the quality of the programmes provided in one of the most complex environments in the world.
Afghanaid can confidently say that its rapid growth; the way it has nurtured and developed the capacity of the Afghan-national staff; and the established reputation the organization has for empowering poor rural afghans to claim their political, economic and social rights – is down to the Farhana’s leadership in an organization and country that she obviously holds dear.
Farhana sits on Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief’s (ACBAR) as Elected Vice Chair of the Steering Committee – and has worked on improving access for NGOs (this means working on improving the public perceptions of NGOs so that all parties to the conflict have a better understanding of the principles which NGOs operate under and with this better understanding are more willing to allow them to have access to those communities most in need; it also means improving NGOs understanding of these principles so that they operate within them, thus not jeopardizing access for the community as a whole); pushing forward humanitarian reform in Afghanistan calling for the necessary resources for effective and coordinated humanitarian response – which translates to saving the lives of millions of Afghans who are affected by armed conflict and natural disaster
The average Afghan would see that Farhana is someone who has a fantastic understanding of Afghan culture and is sensitive to their customs. She truly values their opinion and trusts in their capacity to help themselves out of poverty and this is why Afghanaid operates in partnership with Afghans and helps to empower them.