Saturday, April 27, 2013

They show it better than me...

I'm not very nice about asking other people to guest blog for me, because that requires telling other people that I blog, and it requires sharing, which I'm not very good at. But there are so many others sharing the amazing things going on in this country, and I wanted to pass them on to you.

My coworker, Josh, writes a blog purely about debate in Afghanistan. His articles are much more informative than mine, since he sticks to the facts and I take advantage of a blog's ability to let you rant. He's a good writer, though, and his site does really good work to spread the knowledge of what we do here. I encourage you to check it out here.

Pax Populi is another organization dedicated to peacebuilding. We partner with them to give our students chances to have a native English speaker as a tutor through classes over Skype. They do a lot more than that, though, and their work is really impressive. I especially like their interview with our Executive Director- found here.

If you couldn't tell, I really like the organization I work for and truly believe in what they are doing. But there are a lot more groups doing great work here. One organization that really impresses me is Morning Star Development, which puts on leadership classes, among other things. They also provide medical services through clinics and traveling doctors. Check out their site here.

I've done some work with the Kabul Dance Studio while I've been here, and although I plan to write a whole post about it later, let me just say that this is a labor of love I never expected to find in Kabul. In a place where girls have so few outlets, dance gives them a place to express themselves. It's really beautiful to watch. They have a blog here. We are preparing for a recital in about a month, so I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this group!

There are a few other nonprofits I like a lot. PAD offers classes and other tools to support education. When I was here in 2011, I got to visit one of the schools they run (used to run? I'm not sure), which was a really neat experience. Omega International is another organization that works with education, with a focus on training teachers- a service that is very needed here. There are groups opening soy factories to help introduce more protein into the carb-heavy diets here, groups offering badly needed services for the deaf and for the disabled, groups working with street kids to teach both trade skills (sewing, etc) and academic skills, groups working to lower unemployment rates by donating the tools that young men need to become apprentices and then to open their own shops- carpentry, welding, etc. So many fascinating projects!

Colgate University and Linfield University both competed in our Debate Without Borders Skype Tournament, and they posted really nice articles about it. 

The organization I work for, APT, participated in a radio program designed to introduce various members of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders to the world. We created a radio program that introduces APT and shares our vision for Afghanistan's future. You can listen to it here- it's pretty cool.

I don't want to make it look like the only ones creating change in this country are foreigners, because there are lot of really cool articles about Afghanistan and its people and the incredible things they are doing. From the women's soccer team to the bowling alley that an Afghan woman opened to the first female Afghan rapper- there are so many things here that I just love hearing about. I hope that they fill you with hope just as they've done for me!

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