USAID Central Asia Exposure Features: “From Intern to Full-Time Employee”
The USAID Agribusiness Competitiveness Activity in Tajikistan (ACAT), which fosters a competitive, inclusive and resilient approach to stimulating economic growth, was featured in a USAID Central Asia Exposure piece on Dec. 23, 2021. “From Intern to Full-Time Employee” highlights the success of a young woman who gained education and employment through an internship provided by USAID.
Madina Davlatzoda, a 20-year-old from a rural village in southern Tajikistan, was struggling to pay for higher education even with financial support from her father. Tuition cost her father the equivalent of seven monthly paychecks annually. With few job opportunities available in Madina’s city, she set her sights on migrating to Russia, post-graduation.
In 2021, Madina’s mother learned about the USAID ACAT activity’s recruitment of interns to work in the private sector. Madina applied, and successfully obtained a two-month paid internship with a micro-lending institution that partners with ACAT.
“When I was told that this was a paid internship, I was scared because I thought that I would have to pay, but when the USAID Agribusiness Competitiveness Activity staff explained that they would pay me, I was shocked!” Madina said. “I would be getting paid while learning new skills. When I told my friends about this, everyone was surprised.”
When her internship ended, Madina became one of five interns who received full-time employment offers at host organizations, enabling her to cover her daily expenses and tuition.
“When I brought the receipt from the university home, my father shed tears. He was proud of me because I can already pay not only my daily expenses, but I can pay for my education,” Madina said. “This internship opened up new opportunities for me. If not for the USAID internship program, I would probably be in Russia and stay away from my family.”