KABUL — While violence and political unrest are still present in Afghanistan, recent years are showing the country’s possibilities for a better future. In 2017, India’s embassy informed Kabul that their tourist visas now permit Afghans to stay for three months instead of one, and Afghan traders can stay for up to 180 days. This is one of many examples of good news in Afghanistan.
Afghan Institute of Learning
In 1995, Dr. Sakeena Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. In 2015, Dr. Yacoobi was awarded Afghanistan’s “WISE Prize for Education.” Then, in 2016, Afghanistan’s first lady Rula Ghani announced plans to build the country’s first all-women’s university.
In 2015, Razia Jan, an Afghan native, planned to start an all-girls school in Kabul. Jason Strong, who deployed to the country that same year, made a generous donation to her fundraising campaign and helped her dream become a reality. Jan’s school, Zabuli Education Center, is now a college.
Healthcare and Social Skill Improvements
Dr. Abdul Ghayur realizes that many Afghans cannot afford healthcare services. The average monthly wage in Afghanistan is $35, causing many patients to go untreated if they cannot pay at least $100 or more for procedures. Using the money he earns from wealthy patients, Dr. Ghayur treats low-income patients for discounted prices and sometimes for free.
With more than 300 children living in Kabul’s Internationally Displaced Persons camps (IDP), classes known as winter programs are working to teach them social skills and strength. Winter programs will also provide them the opportunity to live proper childhoods. Bamyan’s winter program provides lessons in unicycling, singing, theater, and other activities. Herat’s winter program gives children lessons in subjects including formal education, assemblies and various physical arts.
Infrastructure to Strengthen Afghanistan
In 2016, President Ashraf Ghani announced plans to strengthen the Afghanistan’s urban governance and ensure adequate housing and fundamental services for the country’s citizens. The plains also aim to harness the country’s infrastructure. President Ghani also inaugurated reconstruction of Dar-ul-Aman Palace. Since the palace was destroyed during the country’s civil war, repairing it would symbolize a positive future for Afghanistan full of new beginnings.
Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib stated that while 2014 was Afghanistan’s toughest year, 2016 was a year of optimistic progress. The country’s government can now deal with problems more effectively. Ambassador Mohib also revealed that China and other neighboring countries are finding great value in Afghan investments.
Good News for Wildlife
Good news in Afghanistan applies to the wildlife as well. In recent decades, rural Afghanistan’s population of snow leopards declined due to hunting and farming practices. With the establishment of a seven-year program and a new national park, the leopards and other species are thriving once more.
While Afghanistan will require time to recover from past events, recent improvements will continue to provide them with promising opportunities. Education for female Afghans is more prevalent, and more countries are beginning to see Afghanistan in a positive light. Through the continuous efforts of various parties and individuals, good news in Afghanistan could continue to prosper.
– Rhondjé Singh Tanwar