Youth For Afghanistan: Launch Advocacy Call

On 20th August, the global campaign entitled ‘Youth for Afghanistan’ was formally launched through a brief live discussion on Online Circle of Compassion’s Facebook page, featuring Ms. Sohini Jana (Co-Founder, OCC; Director, JKPI and Country Representative, Women Ascension) and Mr. Issah Toha Shamsoo (Executive Director, African Students For Interfaith Tolerance). The discussion was brief but very lively as it addressed the need for such a youth-led campaign for peace as well as the critical issue of how the young people across the world can contribute their voices to the issue and how it matters. Both advocates drew from their areas of expertise to discuss how the horrific instability and violence currently unfolding in Afghanistan should be addressed by the international community and how compassion is the missing link which can play a critical role in that.

Introducing the Campaign

Ms. Jana started the discussion for the evening by stating the purpose of Online Circle of Compassion which is to provide a safe space to any person feeling stressed, depressed or abandoned in these troubled times. While OCC was on a hiatus, the problem of how to apply the spirit of compassionately holding a safe space could be applied in global issues was brooded upon. Simultaneously, the world was witnessing how the events in Afghanistan were leaving sections of the population voiceless and vulnerable. The Youth for Afghanistan campaign is the result of the global application of the spirit of OCC in the face of a crisis of humanity.

Introducing the Partners

African Students For Interfaith Tolerance

ASFIT is a youth-led peace-building organization based in Ghana which addresses the complex issues of interfaith conflicts in African countries and aims at reaching sensible solutions for these sensitive issues in a compassionate manner.

Women Ascension

Women Ascension is an organization located in Pakistan which explores the problems that women face across the world (especially South Asia) and aims to build a gender-sensitive environment through a collaborative approach.

Jammu and Kashmir Policy Institute

JKPI is a youth-led aspirational think tank with its headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir, India which has the vision of looking beyond the usual image of conflict and war associated with the region to look for creative solutions to the problems faced by its people and the role of youth in bringing those creative solutions forth.

Fake News Checker

This Bangladesh-based organization is an online platform that spots fake news and advocates for checking the same before social media is used to cause any harm by spreading the same.

Why the Youth?

In the context of this campaign in particular and any important global situation in general, the natural question is that what role the youth across the world can play in addressing and alleviating crises. Mr. Shamsoo addressed this question by pointing at the power that the united voices of 1.5 billion young people in the world possess and how that power can significantly affect the decisions of international players in times of crisis. He spoke of the need to address the disjuncture between the youth living in relatively peaceful countries and those living in conflict-ridden areas and the need to erase this disjuncture for the power of the youth to really come into play.

How the Campaign works

The ‘Youth for Afghanistan’ campaign is the answer to the question of how to channelize the massive potential of the global youth who want global peace. This campaign is flexible and offers its participants a range of ways to make their voices heard. Online participation forms will be made accessible throughout the month on the social media platforms for young people (between 18 and 35 years of age) interested to participate. The participants can be a part of live sessions taking place throughout the month-long campaign. In case of them being uncomfortable with this, they may also record videos expressing their opinions and those will also be accepted. Those more comfortable with expressing themselves through writing or illustrations will be encouraged to contribute to our blog. On the International Day of Peace (21st September), all these beautiful voices collected will be compiled into a “Charter for Compassionate Intervention in Afghanistan” as a ‘Statement of Appeal’ to world leaders and international organizations which will be brought to the attention of inter-governmental bodies and organizations working to support and provide aid currently in turbulent Afghanistan.

Compassionate Attention to Religious Minorities in Afghanistan

The session was brought to a close by pointing at the need to aid the minority communities in an equal and respectful manner and to give to the people of those communities the agency to state their own needs rather than arbitrarily determining what their needs ought to be before addressing them.

Hence, a compassionate, youth-led campaign, launched by the Online Circle of Compassion in association with the partners will endeavour throughout the month to lend the voices of the youth from across the world to the voiceless to campaign for compassionate interventions and policies for the Afghans, caught in the chaos and instability ravaging the heart of Asia.

Source: Online Circle of Compassion


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Rita

    It is a very laudable approach to sustain peace

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