(Mobility): By Sven Dirks, Wien (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(Communities): By Mark Knobil (Flickr: Kabul Kids) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] - https://www.flickr.com/photos/knobil/64544891

(Soldiers): By The U.S. Army (Afghanistan patrol) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(Mountains): By sealr21 (Flickr: Skiing in the Hindu Kush- in Afghanistan) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] - https://www.flickr.com/photos/kohistan/7321004942
Vision Activity
Teens in JRC
Teens in the JRC.
Foreign soldiers in Afghanistan
Map of Khost, AfghanistanKey for map
Afghanistan is a very old and multiethnic/tribal society. The ethnic groups found in Afghanistan are: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch, Pashai, Nuristani, Gujjar, Arab, Brahui, Pamiri and others.
Rural road in Afghanistan
Due to lack of proper infrastructure, many of Afghanistan's rural roads are difficult to drive on.
Teens in the JRC
Teens doing the vision activity in the JRC.
Drawing of vision
Drawing of a school done by one of the Afghan teens (the ones who couldn't write used drawings to express their visions).
Written vision
Afghan teens drawingDrawing of vision
Military helicopters
Kids in Afghanistan
Soldiers in Afghanistan
Rug fair in Kabul, Afghanistan

Part 3 continued

On the first day, I was worried. These guys had such limited education and exposure, some didn’t know that Afghanistan was a country! But after the first full week of being introduced to new people, places, and ideas, they were ready to begin the vision activity.

With our Afghan GSD partners facilitating, the guys began by discussing the issues that led them to the JRC, including harsh living conditions, lack of available jobs, violence from war, inter-tribal tension, limitations in mobility, isolation, lack of quality education, and extremist influences. While they all faced common struggles, each boy had a unique past—often painful and troubling to share. But surrounded by others who shared their own stories, together they unloaded on sheets of paper, and taped them to the wall.

Once they were able to clearly see the problems, they were ready to create new visions of a better future. They acknowledged how difficult it was to imagine a better life when things were so bleak, but slowly they began visualizing schools filled with qualified teachers, gardens and green spaces, computer labs, school buses, and English classes. They envisioned a healthy economy where everyone had jobs, roads were paved and filled with trucks transporting products to and from town, stores were filled with merchandise, and state of the art hospitals and clinics treated patients in every village.

Instead of skies filled with helicopters and signs of war, they were now clear and sunny. Instead of deserted communities, families now enjoyed picnicking in parks while children played freely.  Instead of soldiers, the only foreigners in Afghanistan were tourists coming to see Afghanistan’s beautiful landscapes, ski on snow covered mountains, and buy beautiful rugs and handicrafts.