Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kabul Celebrates International Youth Day

Photo courtesy of Youth In Action Association

By Edrees Kakar
Senior Reporter
KABUL, Afghanistan – Dozens of young activists gathered last week in Kabul to mark International Youth Day.
The event – organized jointly by the Youth in Action Association, Afghanistan's Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund – attracted representatives of Kabul’s many youth organizations that working on projects surrounding health, the environment, women’s rights and education.
Photo courtesy of Youth In Action Association
Kabul marked International Youth Day on Thursday at the Afghan Cultural House, just a day before the official United Nations holiday.
Event participants named volunteerism as the focus for Afghan youth in the coming year.
Speaking to the gathering at the Afghan cultural house where the event was held, Youth in Action Association President Sayed Ikram Afzali stressed the importance of volunteerism among the youth in Afghanistan, encouraging the nation’s youth to give back to their country by volunteering.
Afghan youth – estimates say they make up more than 60 percent of the population – are facing serious challenges of security, access to tertiary education, unemployment and more.
Though in the last 10 years of international involvement in Afghanistan there are explicit achievements in different sectors of life, massive efforts are still needed to build up the platform for Afghan youth so they can take charge as the future leaders of their country.
Photo courtesy of Youth In Action Association
Temor Shah Ishaqzai, the deputy minister for youth affairs, urged Afghan youth toward sensible consumption of their time.
“It is much better to work for some practical projects in celebrating youth’s day rather than organizing concerts for youth,” Ishaqzai said, adding that reinforcement of unity among the youth is fundamental to the future of the country.
The celebration drew participation from an eye-catching number of expats from Kabul-based international organizations.
It included workshops on youth advocacy and youth behavioral change in Afghanistan, booths for youth activist foundations, arts exhibition and discussions where participants shared knowledge.
Photo courtesy of Youth In Action Association
“Investing in youth, their reproductive health and gender equality can help put countries on a path to accelerated economic growth and equitable development,” said Arie Hoekman, the United Nation’s Population Fund representative to Afghanistan.
Hoekman also announced a program of small grants of up to $4,000 USD for volunteer initiatives in Afghanistan for civil society youth foundations.
Later in the event, the participants were entertained by an exciting circus show from the Afghan children’s circus.

1 comment:

peace03 said...

Thanks for the story about Afghan youth, Edrees!