The importance of youth development cannot be stressed enough as the very development of a country rests on the shoulders of its youth. According to Afghanistan National Youth Policy document, among the world’s fastest growing populations, Afghanistan ranks among the top thirty of them with an annual growth rate of 2.03% (CSO, 2014). According to Central Statistics Organization (CSO), 63% of the Afghan population is comprised of people falling in the 15-24 age bracket. This means that for Afghanistan, the biggest asset it has is in the form of youth population provided it is capitalized upon.
Notwithstanding the progress that has been made in the recent years in Afghanistan in terms of addressing the needs of the Afghan youth and providing them adequate opportunities for growth, development and participation, there still exists a wide-spread discontent and a sense of alienation among the Afghan youth due to lack of access to adequate opportunities for contribution to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan in accordance with their aspirations. The prevalence of a culture of nepotism, favoritism, patronage, and wide-spread corruption in the system further exacerbate this situation resulting in the marginalization of the talented and creative youth.
To address these challenges facing the youth of Afghanistan, further policy options needs to be explored for ensuring due participation of youth and their access to opportunities. Also, closer synergies are needed among all stakeholders for developing programs for the development of the Afghan youth.
For APWDO, this remains a high-priority area and we seek partnership opportunities with the national and international stakeholders for developing innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing Afghan youth in terms of their development, engagement, and due participation in the scheme of things.
Over the years, APWDO has been active in the area of Youth Development, having undertaken numerous projects towards youth education, development, and trainings and awareness sessions etc. Following is a snapshot of some of the projects implemented by APWDO both independently and with the support of the donor agencies:
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