Jul 29, 2016

Dushanbe, Friday 29 July. UNDP Tajikistan’s borders projects successfully completed their 17th Border Management Awareness (BMA) Course for Afghan and Tajik beneficiaries, held at the OSCE’s Border Management Staff College (BMSC) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. The course brought together 22 Afghan Border Police Officers, including two women, and four Tajik Border Force Officers, also including two women. This was the first BMA course to deliver training to male and female Officers together, and worked extremely well.

International experts from Moldova and America delivered some training but most experts were from Tajikistan itself, reflecting our belief that wherever possible Afghan and Tajik beneficiaries should be trained by experts from their own countries. The training covered a wide range of subjects including First Aid, Human Trafficking and Human Rights, Interviewing Techniques, Integrity and Anti-corruption, and International Drug Trafficking and Tajik-Afghan Counternarcotic Cooperation. The course concluded with a highly interactive two-day seminar on Leadership and Management delivered by Mr Patrick Comey and Mrs Bozorgul Habibulloeva, National Training Officer with the BMSC.

As Mr William Lawrence, Project Manager of the BOMNAF and BMP Projects, explained, “This course has proved how Border Officers from both sides of a border benefit greatly from meeting and training together. They have been able to share their experiences and get a better understanding of the challenges faced by their counterparts. This was especially the case with the four female border officers, who greatly enjoyed the opportunity to compare the cultural and professional barriers they both encounter.” Mrs Habibulloeva says that for both the Afghan and Tajik Officers, there is a “great need” for the kind of training provided by the course.

Mrs Nori Latifa, a participant from Kunduz, has worked in the Afghan Border Police for seven years. Nori said that in the Border Police, “there are far more men than women,” and that can be hard for her as a woman officer. Statistics indicate that women form about 1% of the Afghan Border Police.

Nori and Bibi Gul Khaja, her fellow female Afghan Border Officer at the training, both said that they benefited from the training. Mrs Khaja, along with several other participants said that the practical First Aid Training course was among their favourite aspects of the programme.

Mrs Rukmina Sharifova of the Tajik Border Force said she enjoyed speaking with the Afghan Border Police women officers, noting that “in respect to women, we are freer here [in Tajikistan].”

According to Mrs Habibulloeva, it is most often the women participants who, after the program ends, continue to foster the personal relationships formed during the course.

“The women get each other’s phone numbers, they get email addresses, home addresses, and after they meet here they talk with each other by telephone, they send emails, they ask each other how they are.”

She notes that the concept of connection to your neighbours’ well-being is important in both countries, and contributes to the importance of programmes that serve to further connect officers from both countries.

 “These programmes bring about cooperation, and this is very useful. They share their experiences with each other,” she said, adding, “In Tajikistan, if my neighbour is full, I’m full. If they’re hungry, I’m also hungry. In Afghanistan it is the same.”

Contact information

William LAWRENCE, Project Manager, EU Border Management Northern Afghanistan (EU-BOMNAF)

Tajikistan +992 93 99 99 333    Afghanistan +93 795 593 138  UK +44 (0) 7986 04 37 32 Skype wlawrence141

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