On December 17, 32 male and female Afghan students became the first graduates to complete a three-year course at the Turquoise Mountain’s Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. The non-profit, non-governmental institute is partly funded by USAID and is Afghanistan’s only City & Guilds-accredited vocational institution. The students from the Schools of Woodwork, Ceramics, and Calligraphy & Painting graduated with internationally recognized certificates, which provide them with respected credentials as they seek careers as designers, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs.
Turquoise Mountain has a comprehensive Graduate Opportunities Program to provide wide-ranging assistance to the graduates as they secure employment and/or further study in Afghanistan and abroad. For example, two students are applying for woodwork apprenticeships in the royal castles of London and Windsor, and many others have already found positions in Afghanistan. Opportunities such as these, which enable Afghans to gain skills and protect their cultural heritage, will contribute to the country’s future economic development and artistic tradition.