Kapisa youth stepping in to fill leadership roles
MAHMUD RAQI - Young people in Kapisa are shaping their province and working together regardless of their different backgrounds, say local residents.
The role of youth in decision making and their meaningful participation in various aspects of public life were recurring themes at several UNAMA-backed radio programmes throughout 2018.
Participants, including civil society, provincial authorities and elders spoke on local radio Sada-e-Nijrab, of how youth had been contributing to some of the country’s priorities such as peace and reconciliation, good governance and women’s rights.
“Youth are forming strong networks and they are getting involved in community affairs,” said Mohammad Mashoq Safi, head of Integrity Watch Afghanistan, “They work together regardless of their ethnic, linguistic, regional and other differences. We are very proud that about half of the civil servants in the province are young people,” Safi said.
In Nijrab district, the head of Taj High School, Shafiq said he has used social media to inspire his students and young people in the district. “I have changed my Facebook account from a personal message board to somehow more public channel; I post messages and engage with young people on political and national developments relevant to the province,” said Shafiq in an interview with radio Nijrab.
For another listener, Farhard Behroz, a civil society activist, youth embody hope for change. In his feedback to the radio station, he proudly spoke about the fact that for the first time, Kapisa had a very promising young candidate in the Wolesi Jirga elections [later confirmed as one of the selected representatives].
Afghanistan has one of the largest youth populations in the world. According to some estimates, three-quarters of the country’s population is below the age of 30, making young people a vital demographic. In spite of the recognition of youth as an invaluable resource in advancing development and shaping Afghanistan’s future, a large number marginalised and are grappling with illiteracy, unemployment and poverty and are susceptible to insurgency recruitment.
UNAMA’s central regional office in partnership with local media Sada-e-Nijrab aired a series of programmes on peace and democracy which were broadcast to an estimated audience of 200,000 around Mahmud-e-Raqi, and nearby districts in neighbouring Kabul, Parwan and Panjshir provinces.
In accordance with its mandate as a political mission, UNAMA supports the Afghan people and government to achieve peace and stability. UNAMA backs conflict prevention and resolution, promoting inclusion and social cohesion, as well as strengthening regional cooperation. The Mission supports effective governance, promoting national ownership and accountable institutions that are built on respect for human rights.
UNAMA provides 'good offices' and other key services, including diplomatic steps that draw on the organization’s independence, impartiality and integrity to prevent disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. The Mission coordinates international support for Afghan development and humanitarian priorities.