English | 日本語
Youth Festivals Launched
The Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Education sponsored no less than three youth festivals and conferences across Afghanistan during the first two weeks of August.
The National Youth Conference was held in Kabul between the 7th and 9th of August. The three-day conference aims to spark a robust discussion about issues facing Afghan youth and progress towards having a national youth policy. The event focused on practical interventions to support youth development from the national to the district level.
Afghanistan's first Youth Voices Festival was launched in 16 provinces of the country around the same time. Led by Internews and Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan, the Youth Voices Festival is part of an ongoing internet-based project with an emphasis on skill development and working with young people and news media. The festival was designed as an opportunity for young people to express themselves, according to the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Finally, International Youth Day was celebrated on August 12, and many of its activities were held in conjuction with the Youth Voices Festival.
A common theme through all of these events was an emphasis on multimedia and communication technologies.
Under the Youth Voices Festival campaign, Mujeeb Khalvatgar, Nai director, said 1,300 young Afghans were being trained on blogging, video, photography and digital storytelling.
Taimoorshah Eshaqzai, deputy minister of youth affairs, hoped the multimedia training would help youths interact with their counterparts in other countries.
"Multimedia is a powerful and sustainable way to give voice to young Afghans and enhance their role in reconstruction," said Charmaine Anderson, country director of Internews. "This festival works closely with the Afghan government to provide a forum for young people to play an active role in the nation's development."
Radio Production Unit Salam Watandar was produced almost entirely by festival participants for the week August 4 to 10. They inaugurated a grant program to support the development of Afghan multimedia talent to create a 'factory' or centre for the development of outstanding youth-produced multimedia content.
More than 50 young Afghans media artists, who were trained as filmmakers, radio producers, photographers and on-line editors, were given the opportunity to compete in this area. The eight winners of the competition will be provided internship at partner media outlets -- Tolo TV, Salam Watandar, Pajhwok Afghan News and 8AM Daily Newspaper.
A film written and directed by a young Afghan filmmaker were presented at the end of August, and two programs from the Festival were aired on Tolo TV.
One other unique part of the festival was a program called the Multimedia Bus. Journalists travel to provinces and talk to youth about their problems and brainstorm solutions. Many of their opinions were gathered and posted onto the Festival's website.
To learn more about the Afghanistan Youth Festival: