Afghanistan: The Pashto youth radio project
In 2010, EAI spearheaded a program to reinvigorate the youth of post-war Afghanistan, encouraging them to stay in school and ultimately use their education to rebuild the country. 2010
A Project of —
Violence is something which can grow over time. If you compare it to a tree and we cut only one branch of it, it will grow other branches and leaves. We should not water it and not let it grow. We should try to dry it from the roots.”
– Listening Group member
With support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, in 2010 EAI spearheaded a program to reinvigorate the youth of post-war Afghanistan, encouraging them to stay in school and ultimately use their education to rebuild the country.
The EAI Afghanistan team produced and broadcast 20 Pashto language youth-oriented radio programs in 2010. These radio episodes were comprised of drama programs and interviews from the field that contextualize programming for local listeners. The Youth Today: Our Country, Our Future project targeted young men in the southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan, complementing the UK’s countering violent extremism strategy.
Support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) enabled the extension and expansion of this vital programming, designed to reach vulnerable Pashto youth between the ages of 15 and 30, the age group at highest risk of recruitment. The Pashto Youth Radio Project provided life skills programming combined with participatory discussion groups and on-air dialogue on issues relevant youth and modeled storylines to enable listeners to see themselves as the future leaders of Afghanistan.
This program effectively reached at-risk youth throughout the southern region of Afghanistan with practical and empowering programming. The radio program’s combined offerings of a life skills curriculum, practical day-to-day advice, and integrated drama elements enable Pashtun youth to overcome life challenges and inspire confident engagement in the development of their communities. When the radio programs are combined with follow-up interviews, listening circles, and discussion groups, as they were with this project, the positive outcomes are multiplied.
“Problems that come from violence should be solved through knowledge.” - Pashtun Listening Circle Member
Impact & Reach of this Project
Afghan provinces reached with radio programs
audience of "Youth Today: Our Country, Our Future" radio programs
original Pashto language youth-oriented radio programs
Regretfully, not many endeavors are made toward our youth. They are the future of a country, so why are there not more programs for them? Radio Program Caller
Parwan Province, Afghanistan