Hand in Hand Afghanistan

Hand in Hand Afghanistan (HIHAO) is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization registered with Ministry of Economy of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (License # 890; 21 December 2006). HIHAO works to promote women’s economic empowerment to deliver higher incomes, greater mobility and increased decision-making power for vulnerable Afghan women. Increasingly, since 2020, HIHAO has pivoted to providing humanitarian support to households most at risk of food insecurity. Headquartered in Mazar-e-Sharif, we have helped 50,000 women and men beat the odds and succeed as entrepreneurs since 2007, running profitable enterprises that stand the test of time


  1. Support unemployed, poor and vulnerable women, men and young people to secure entrepreneurial opportunities that enable financial resilience, provide sustainable employment, and increase diversified income
  2. Ensure women, men, young people and children who are affected by conflict, who are IDPs, returnees, or who are from underserved host communities in need of humanitarian assistance have access to food, potable drinking water, sanitation facilities, and have good hygiene awareness, health and education services, so they can create and grow livelihoods that enable income generation.
  3. That local peace mechanisms are in place and actively resolving community conflicts, and that communities are empowered to participate in peace-building processes
  4. The disaster-prone communities can access natural and other disaster risk reduction training.


HIHAO’s vision is an Afghanistan where all citizens have access to good quality and comprehensive services, where their fundamental rights are met without discrimination on the grounds of gender or ethnicity.


HIHAO’s mission is to enable disadvantaged communities to determine their own development and enhance their livelihoods, increase social cohesion, reduce violence and promote peace.  HIHAO provides assistance to victims of humanitarian crisis, to protect their lives and dignity.



HIHAO is committed to good governance and follows recommended best practices.  The HIHAO Board of Directors is the governing body chaired by Mr. Najibullah Samim, with a mission to guide and take strategic decisions for the organization’s long-term future and oversee its financial affairs, while holding its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to account.

No staff members are voting members of the Board though the Board and the CEO work in close partnership. The Board composition covers essential skills, knowledge to complement that of the staff, and it pays particular attention to issues of security, fraud and corruption. Hand in Hand International has an ex officio seat to bring international experience and create a fiduciary link to donors.

Najibullah Samim

Najibullah Samim is currently serving as the Chairperson for Hand in Hand Afghanistan. He was the former CEO of Harakat Afghanistan and Afghanistan Microfinance Association (AMA). Previously he worked as Managing Director of Microfinance Agency for Development and Rehabilitation of Afghan Communities (MADRAC). He has also served as Board member and Chairman of AMA for many years. He has more than 20 years of working experience in the field of Development out of which 12 years is in the field of Microfinance. He is currently working as a freelance consultant.

Mr. Samim obtained his MBA degree from Preston University in 2002 and his B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering in 1997. He has represented the organizations he has worked with in many international conferences and forums.  He has been a board member of the South Asian Micro-entrepreneurs Network (SAMN) since its inception in 2008 and is currently serving as its Vice Chairman.

Email: najib.samim786@gmail.com

Dorothea Arndt
Dorothea joined Hand in Hand International in 2013 as Head of Communications. In 2015, her role expanded to include Corporate Partnerships, and for the year ending February 2018 she was Co-CEO responsible for Hand in Hand International’s UK operations. Before joining Hand in Hand International, she managed sales and communications teams at companies including Shell and PwC, and transitioned to not-for profit at the British Red Cross.
Shekiba Shekib
Mrs. Shekiba Shekib joined Hand in Hand Afghanistan’s Board of Directors in August 2022. She has been active in the NGO sector since 2005 and has served in many international and national organizations and she has been an activist and women’s rights defender since she has started her professional career. Her most recent employment is with International Medical Corps where she worked as protection training officer. She has also been the Chairperson of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Balkh province. Previously she has served as an active member of Balkh Provincial Development Council for five years. Mrs. Shekib has attained her bachelor degree on Teacher Training from Balkh university and has attended a series of workshops and conferences in different countries.
Qamaruddin Maqsoodi
Dr. Qamaruddin Maqsoodi joined Hand in Hand Afghanistan’s Board of Directors in August 2022. He is joining HIHAO with more than 35 years of extensive work experience in the NGO and government sectors. He is currently working as the Sr. Remote Manager for ACBAR’s Twinning Program. He previously worked as a cluster manager for a World Bank-funded project and has long been involved with organizations such as BRAC, Save the Children, and Halo Trust. Dr. Masoodi has obtained his Master’s degree in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid from the Kalu Institute, Humanitarian Aid Studies Center in Spain. He has completed his medical studies at the Tashkent Medical University in Uzbekistan.



The overall operation of Hand in Hand Afghanistan is managed by Chief Executive Officer/Country Director in close cooperation with Program Manager, Chief Finance Officer, Branch Offices Coordinator, Sr. Capacity Development Officer and Sr. Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

Seema Ghani (Sr. Strategic Advisor)

Seema Ghani is currently serving as Sr. Strategic Advisor to the Board of Directors from November 2021 onwards. She had previously been chairing Hand in Hand Afghanistan’s Board of Directors (BD)  between 2008 to 2021. She obtained a Master of Science degree in International Business and studied another Master of Science course in Development studies in the UK, where she worked for PriceWaterHouseCoopers as a consultant. Since returning to Afghanistan in 2002, she has served in government as Director General of Budget for the Ministry of Finance and Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. She led the reform of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and served as a member of its board. Later, she set up The Khorasan Charity, which provides care for some of the most vulnerable children in Afghanistan. She is also a member of several civil society boards, including the Khurasan Charity, the Afghan Technical Vocational Institute, The Afghan Family Guidance Association and Open Society Afghanistan. She is also the Founder of People’s Movement Against Corruption in Afghanistan.

Email: seema@ghanis.org  

Abdul Rahim Nasry – CEO/Country Director

Nasry joined Hand in Hand Afghanistan in February 2012, he brings a wealth of experience to Hand in Hand from both government and NGO sectors.

His experience includes extensive work at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, where he was responsible for the implementation of a number of programs including the National Skills Development Program, which is a priority program of the government of Afghanistan. Later as Strategic Advisor to the Deputy Minister, he was responsible for the “Afghanistan Pension Administration/Safety Net Project” funded by the World Bank. Before joining the Ministry, he spent some twenty years working with a number of International NGOs in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He holds an Executive MBA from the Preston Institute of Management Science and Technology in Pakistan. Over the past twenty years, he has also participated in a large number of training courses, seminars, workshops and conferences around the world with an emphasis on skills development and poverty reduction.

Email: arahimnasry@handinhand.org.af

Ahmad Kamran Hekmati – Program Director

Dr. Ahmad Kamran Hekmati joined HiH Af in the capacity of Program Manager in September 2013. He has come to the organization with his 15 year experience of leading and managing community development projects in and outside Afghanistan. Before joining HiH Af, he has worked for the Afghan Red Crescent Society, the Medicines Sans Frontiers, the World Health Organization, the Management Sciences for Health, and the University Research Co. He received the Exceptional Performance Award for Health Care Improvement Project in 2012 from the University Research Co., LLC Bethesda, USA. He graduated from Balkh Medical University in 1998 and in 2011 successfully completed the one year Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program in Accra, Ghana by Institute of Healthcare Improvement, USA.

Email: khekmati@handinhand.org.af  

Sama Sahari – Chief Finance Officer

Sama Sahari joined Hand in Hand in Mid July 2017, she holds a BS degree on Finance from Khana-e-Noor Private University and currently studying diploma program in Banking & Finance (evening shift), She keen to follow her higher education.

Sama has 11 years of working experience as a member of Admin/Finance team with implementing partners of well-known national and international organizations, such as DABs, MEC, IDLG, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Education, in various development projects such as The World Bank, US Embassy, UNDP, DFID, DANIDA, and The Global Fund. She was the honorary treasurer for Afghanistan Family Guidance Association board.

Email: cfo@handinhand.org.af

Mohammad Rafi Azimi – Fundraising Manager

Mr. Azimi started his professional career with Hand in Hand Afghanistan in  February 2008. He has been through different positions during his ten years of employment including MIS officer, Public Relations Officer, Deputy Provincial  Coordinator and is currently working as Deputy Program Manager to assists the  program manager in managing project implementation, planning and reporting. He  has a good knowledge of the organizational history and  led development of  the first Management Information System for Hand in Hand Afghanistan.

Rafi has received his BA in Economics and a Diploma on Information Technology. He has pursued technical studies in one of the Institutes in Mazar-e-Sharif. He has also attended a series of training including ‘Making Market Work for the Poor’ in Stockholm Sweden and Hand in Hand’s Social Entrepreneurship Program in South Africa.

Email: Rafi.azimi@handinhand.org.af


Hand in Hand Afghanistan is a member of the following coordinating bodies:

Agency Coordination Body for Afghan Relief & Development (ACBAR)

Afghanistan Microfinance Association (AMA).