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Learner spotlight: Meet Azhar

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a Pakistani national, currently residing in the capital city of Islamabad. I’m from the mountainous range of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province. In 1997 I left my beautiful hometown to settle in the capital city for a job and to find a shining future!

Currently I am working with Mercy Corps Inc. as the Head of Emergency Operations in Pakistan and responding to flood emergencies in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

How did you first get involved in humanitarian work?

I joined the social sector in 2003 as an Operations Manager at a national NGO (The Citizens Foundation) and moved on to several others like Merlin, Red Cross, Save the Children, Creative Associates Inc, Office of Transition Initiative and now Mercy Corps Inc.

I responded to various complex emergencies which included the earthquake of 2005 and floods in 2010 and 2022. I also worked on development projects with USAID and other donors.

How did you first hear about Kaya and HPass and what made you start your learning journey with us?

Since I worked with Save the Children – and the Kaya platform is also operated by them – I found out about Kaya through my circle of friends. So I benefited from this most loving organisation!

In addition to this I was also referred by UK Med for several trainings on the Kaya platform because I am the registered member for emergency response with them.

As far as HPass is concerned, I was referred by Kaya after the completion of some courses as the certificate was replaced by the Badge concept which was a new approach for me. I love innovation so I adopted it immediately!

What are your top three courses on Kaya?

I have completed many courses on Kaya but my favourite are FIELD, Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) and the security training.

You were awarded your HPass Learner of the Year badge – congrats! What inspired or motivated you with your learning?

I love new courses from different platforms and found Kaya the most beneficial and user friendly. The contents and the training modules are superb therefore I decided to complete everything available.

Initially this was very challenging because of my job and family commitments – but I worked out a schedule and dedicated some time to professional development. If you are committed, nothing can stop you to arrive at the destination.

Has your learning changed your outlook or approach to your humanitarian work?

Yes! Every course builds your capacity to some extent – and the same happened to me. I learned several new techniques and implemented them in the field for the benefit of the programme participants. There are a bunch of examples after the completion of the courses but I want to share one about safety and security.

On my recent visit to Sindh with the donor representatives from Belgium, I was pretty much confident because of the recent courses from Kaya platform. I focused on the safety and security during the journey which was highly appreciated by the mission. The new techniques learned were applied and the benefit was superb. We secured another huge grant for the flood affected areas.

I recommend all my colleagues and friends to take courses on Kaya as these courses are free but precious! I attended several trainings in my 24-year career but the pathways on Kaya have a worth. The team have worked out quality modules which will benefit the learners. I request my humanitarian learner friends to keep capacity strengthening as the top priority please!
Azhar Shah


Asia capacity strengthening Hpass Kaya

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