The Blue Ribbon visited Kabul Afghanistan to deliver its Peace Ambassadors Workshop to a group of youth at the Ministry of Higher Education Afghanistan. In addition to this, the team also made a visit to the Afghan Peace Volunteers and donated winter clothing in preparation for the season in mid-January.
October 2018, Kabul, Afghanistan – The Blue Ribbon Peace Ambassadors Workshop scheduled for October 2018 in Kabul nearly did not happen. It was supposed to be held in Kabul University, however the elections in Afghanistan were right around the corner, and due to safety concerns, the venue was changed from Kabul University to the office of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). Only then, was the Peace Ambassadors Workshop able to proceed.
20 participants -mostly youths – attended the workshop to learn about peacebuilding and eventually contribute towards the cause in Afghanistan. The opening session on Introduction to Peace and Diversity Education was facilitated by The Blue Ribbon Team, together with Mr. Paul and Ms. Khen whom the latter had attended previous iterations of this workshop in Indonesia.
The Blue Ribbon Team also visited the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV), a group of enthusiasts passionate about peacebuilding in Afghanistan. The inter-ethnic group of young Afghans, dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war, is mentored by Dr. Hakim Young, a medical doctor from Singapore who does humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan.
The Blue Ribbon handed over donations to APV. Fundraised by The Blue Ribbon and friends of Blue Ribbon, the donations included winter coats, shoes, neck scarves and gloves for 117 students of the Borderfree Street Kids School in Kabul’s mid-winterin January 2019. The group that was being mentored by Dr Hakim Young also received a camera among the winter coats that were specially tailored by Mardomi Clothes Production Company, a worker cooperative set up by APV.
Many people contributed to the success of this time in Afghanistan. The Blue Ribbon would like to extend huge thanks to Sultan, Ali and Aziza for assisting the project in Kabul, and also express appreciation to Paul and Khen for being lovely travel companions despite the challenges faced. Finally, special thanks to Dr. Hakim and TBR’s international friends for all the support on this trip. Significant gratitude is extended toward Eastgate Consulting Company and the MoHE of Afghanistan for co-organizing the peace training during this time of turmoil.
Written by Dania Amani Haris
Co-edited by Ms. Sofina Tan & Mr. John Beh.