USAID's RAMP UP
Zahra, a 6th grade student at Alikhel girls’ school in Kapisa Province, proudly displays her award-winning drawing.
“I have made this drawing to say I want my city to be like this,” said Zahra, a 6th grade student at Alikhel girls’ school in Mahmud Raqi, the capital of Kapisa Province in eastern Afghanistan, as she proudly displayed her award-winning artwork.
Zahra is one of 595 students who participated in a special art exhibition entitled, “Let’s Take Care of Our Ancient City.” The exhibition, a part of community outreach efforts under USAID’s Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations (RAMP UP), cultivated a sense of pride and community ownership in local youth. Students were asked to create original drawings reflecting the theme of keeping their community safe and clean.
Over 700 community members, including students, parents, teachers, and representatives from the Department of Education, attended the art exhibition, which was held at the Governor’s compound in Kapisa. The Mayor of Mahmud Raqi and the Deputy Governor also attended. During the course of the day, judges chose 30 outstanding drawings and awarded each of the winners with a new backpack containing school and art supplies to encourage continued creativity.
“I see this event as a very effective way of encouraging citizens to take part in cleaning the city. I am a baker and I have closed my shop today to be here,” said Abdul Samad, father of a 9th grade student.
Throughout Afghanistan, USAID is working to increase citizens’ involvement in municipal governance and community improvement. Events such as the drawing exhibition demonstrate the importance of involving children and youth in community outreach. As the future leaders of Afghanistan, it is important that these young people learn to care for and advocate on behalf of their communities.
Snapshot Afghan Youth Paint A Brighter Future