Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Malahat is passionate about mission-driven and community-oriented organizations which is what initially drew her to Sahar in 2016 as a Fellow and later on as a field monitoring and evaluation consultant in the Balkh province in 2018. Graduating from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University with a dual degree, M.A. in Sustainable International Development and M.Sc. in Global Health Policy and Management in 2020, Malahat chose to apply her breadth of knowledge in international development, women’s empowerment, disability health, fundraising and international management and development in the best way she knew how, by returning to Sahar.
She believes that sustainable development of communities is possible through continued investments in the education systems and removing barriers to accessing education and is a powerful tool that can be used to bring about lasting change. She is eager to carry out Sahar’s mission to close the achievement gap for Afghan girls and envisions a future for Afghan girls where they can access quality education and fully unlock their potential.
A native of Mazar-e-sharif, Afghanistan, Shogofa traveled to Seattle from Massachusetts to begin her fellowship with Sahar in July of 2018. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Regis College in Weston, Mass., graduating with honors in 2016. During her time at Regis, Shogofa was a member the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences, was accorded the Mary C. Bryan Award for an essay on women’s rights in Afghanistan, and was named a “Pillars of the Community” honoree. Shogofa is currently enrolled in the University of Washington Global Health Masters Program.
Shogofa’s childhood education was interrupted in 1996 due to the ascendancy of the Taliban, but she has since dedicated her life to learning and service, with a focus on the rights of girls and women in Afghanistan. She began contributing poetry to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project in 2009 and attended the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA) in 2010 before making her way to the U.S. to further her education. In addition to her studies, Shogofa served as an intern for the Feminist Majority Foundation, contributing to a project aimed at providing more educational programs for women in Afghanistan. She also worked in the office of U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, researching immigration issues.
Shogofa believes that being a woman in Afghanistan is not about being oppressed, weak and afraid, but rather involves learning what is necessary to become strong. Her desire is to promote the education of women, support their rights, and advocate for gender equality. Shogofa is confident that her passions will be supportive of Sahar’s mission to create real, positive change for the girls and women of Afghanistan.