Shakin’s youth attend a two-day jirga
Nestled against the Pakistani border to the east and the highly-kinetic north Barmal region, Shkin’s youth are particularly vulnerable to messaging and recruitment by anti-government actors. USAID’s Afghanistan Stabilization Initiative (ASI) worked on building Shkin’s youth capacity by connecting them to the Afghan government and community elders. Initially, the youth from various tribes and sub-tribes in the region was invited to a two-day youth jirga also attended by several tribal leaders from Shkin, including the Shkin Shura Chief, the de facto government representative in the area.
On the first day of the jirga, over 80 youth discussed sources of instability in Shkin and their role in helping stabilize the region. Many of the youth said they felt encouraged by GIRoA’s participation in the event, with one youth representative from the Kharoti tribe saying, “Today we are going to share our ideas, problems and express our needs to GIRoA.” Many youth pointed out that they felt GIRoA had failed to provide them with security and quality education, saying that many schools in the area had been closed by government.
On the second day, the jirga broke into groups and outlined problems in the region and ways in which to address them. By the end of the two days, the jirga had established a foundation for a GIRoA-recognized youth shura, which they proposed would coordinate with the SSC and meet regularly to resolve youth-focused issues.
These initiatives led to the creation of a youth association that now works on improving young people’s lives and the lives of their communities. The association is registered with the Ministry of Justice and continues its activities an official capacity.
Shkin Youth Organizes for Community Benefit