New skills

In Iran, Afghan refugee women build electronic inventions from home

In Iran, 23-year-old Nour Mohammad Mohammadi has made a name for himself as an inventor after fleeing his native Afghanistan in 1996. With financial help from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2012, the bright refugee began building starter systems and safety mechanisms for vehicles that he was able to patent, like speed monitors to slow down a moving vehicle when its seatbelts are not fastened. In 2014, after winning many awards and contracts, Mohammadi paired with the UNHCR and its partner, the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrant’s Affairs (BAFIA), to help female refugees join the workforce and take charge in their own communities. His staff of 13 – most of whom are Afghan refugees – includes five women who work to assemble ten different inventions.

Mohammadi’s female employees work from home so as to avoid cultural barriers, regulating their own hours and profiting financially from their hard work. “Since I started to work at home I became more confident and I am able to help my family to cover their expenses,” Maryam, an employee said. The pride the women take in their work boosts their confidence, and Mohammadi has requested that even more women join his team.

“In one case, I gave some work to a 20-year-old lady who had never attended school,” he said. “She was supposed to return the finished work in one week, but she came back in two days with all the work perfectly done. I first suspected she got outside help, but then I saw that she had done it all by herself. She even taught me how to do the task more efficiently.”

Read the full story at UNCHR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *