Asia Culture House in association with Afghanistan Youth Cultural and Art Organization implemented the 7th Afghan Youth Voice Festival in Panjsher city, from March to August 2017. It was a social media festival and the objective was to empower the youths.
Afghan Youth Voice Festival is a social media festival which is being implemented every year from 2010 . The project is being funded by USAID’s Afghan Civic Engagement Program (ACEP), and is principally managed and implemented by Afghanistan Youth Cultural and Art Organization. Other partners of the project are Counterpart International and Internews.
ACH started the festival activities via Social Media workshops that lasted for 12 days and included social media, photography, videography and advocacy. These workshops were implemented from 6_ 18 May 2017 in Bazarak, Provincial Center of Panjsher Province. The workshops targeted more than 100 trainees who were predominantly students.
The workshops aimed at transferring media-relevant knowledge and skills and essentials of advocacy to the youth. Participants used these skills to advocate for positive change in their community and highlight issues such as drug abuse, immigration and unemployment.
Asia Culture House also hosted 5 cultural programs and events with a variety of topics such as painting exhibition, young women’s discourse for change, seminar on educational opportunities for girls, summer poetry night, and final festival with photo exhibitions, lectures and entertainment programs. Photos of the exhibition at the festival were taken by beneficiaries of the workshops from all around the province.
While, more than 100 youth from both genders benefited from the training, over 500 more participated in painting exhibition, debates, poetry nights, seminars, art and photo exhibitions, and book clubs.
Shaiesta, one beneficiary of the festival says, “I enjoy participating in the Afghan Youth Voices Festival activities. I found the academic seminar very useful, as this is the first opportunity for us girls to hear about the scholarships available to us. I was empowered by this talk to convince my parents to allow me to apply for the scholarship, perhaps study abroad and then return to effect a positive change on my community.”
As an aside to the project, Asia Culture House team also organized an online book collecting campaign for Panjsher University and successfully collected 100+ different types of books for the Library of Panjsher University during the Festival activities.
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