Ilias

Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2016

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Promoting civic responsibility among Afghan youth.

How are you impacting your community?

I am a media advocate and a youth empowerment activist and one of the founding members of Afghanistan New Generation Organization (ANGO). I serve as ANGO’s director and also work as the operations manager for the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.

At ANGO, I initiated the first-ever youth and civic engagement program, Society of Youth, which now nurtures a network of more 150 volunteers in four Afghan provinces. My media advocacy work includes developing campaigns to end violence against journalists, promoting good and balanced journalism in Afghanistan, and helping journalists with the use of new media for their work. I was a recipient of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth, Exchange & Study scholarship for a year of high school in Seattle in 2009-2010. I hold a Bachelors of Arts in Political Sciences and Public Administration from the American University of Afghanistan.

My GATHER project, the Society of Youth Civic Engagement Program, promotes civic responsibility among young Afghans. Since its establishment, the network has gathered and organized over 150 Afghans in different parts of the country. Society of Youth members are engaged in volunteer and civic initiatives in different levels and fields.

Throughout the course of the Fellowship, Society of Youth expanded its network to four new provinces. Society of Youth has stretched its network and has started the recruitment phase in the provinces to organize their programs and events. During the Fellowship cycle, I organized the first training camp on research methodology. We also our first female network in Kabul, providing communication and professional-development workshops for over 100 female university students. We also created a job fair through which we placed more than 30 people into different media stations as interns and fulltime employees.