There are 1.8 billion youth globally and that is the largest number it has ever been, according to the United Nations Population Fund. In the case of Afghanistan, the youth make up nearly 75% of the country’s 36 million population, however, they are one of the marginalized and voiceless groups in the country. Four decades of war and conflict have stripped the youth of their rights to live in peace, both physically and mentally, as well as to prosper socially, economically, and politically in the land they call home. Due to the volatile environment inflicted on Afghan youth by internal and external entities, they have been deprived of opportunities to freely grow and live a life free of conflict. In many instances, the powers-to-be have neglected the youth in many ways – in supporting them to recognize their dreams, in channeling their passion, and connecting them with one another. Hence, majority of Afghan youth neither have direction nor confidence, as their international counterparts. Even though, given the space and opportunity they are great innovators and talented individuals, they lack confidence in forming their own opinions and ideas. The youth do not have an ideal reassurance towards their future, therefore they are not certain of their presence in the country and are demotivated to take initiative as responsible citizens of Afghanistan. We cannot speak about development anymore without including young people. Hence, it is critical to give them a stake in their country’s future, which is fundamental in an effective democratic transition. Due to the absence of this space to share ideas in order to seek direction, voice their opinions, concerns, and to participate in decision-making, frustrations have heightened and young Afghans have started to distance themselves from the country – physically and mentally. Feeling detached, removed, and lacking a sense of belonging has resulted in youth seeking livelihoods elsewhere.
Afghanistan Youth TV (AY TV), also known as Television Jawanan Afghanistan’s, objective is to restore faith and hope in Afghanistan’s youth by educating and motivating them through our shows. The components of our youth initiative are to (1) connect provincial youth with the capital, and with the youth diaspora, to exchange ideas and engage in healthy dialogues, (2) reintroduce and rebrand Afghanistan from a positive lens for the youth in the country, and the world, through positive local youth stories, (3) motivate and inspire youth to become visionaries in creating their own future and to confidently participate in building a stable future for themselves and for future generations, (4) lead the country towards a democratic future and lifting the nation to prosperity by changing mindsets and ideologies, and (5) have the right tools to find solutions for challenges that present themselves through time.
Through our various programs we will challenge youth’s outlooks and prepare them to be solution-driven. The TV is a means for the youth in providing a space to communicate discontentment, wishes, and dreams, while reaching for positive and common solutions. It is our responsibility as global citizens to help the youth prosper and collaborate so every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Since media is the main source of information, knowledge, and a common base for ideas worldwide, we believe such a platform is overdue for the youth in Afghanistan. A platform to exchange viewpoints, connect internationally with counterparts, and have a hub to perform and excel through. Our goal is to education and encourage the youth to take responsibility towards their futures, and to empower them to take positive and solution oriented initiatives, instead of complaining, joining harmful groups or waiting for others to pave their future for them.
As a non-profit and nonpolitical initiative, Afghanistan Youth TV (AY TV) is committed to being a trusted provider of information and analysis on the topics related to youth in Afghanistan. Through an inclusive media platform we will serve as a source of reliable and engaging information that supports the empowerment of these youngsters. AY TV is a space that will connect those who do not have a voice in traditional media with experienced professionals, allowing for active and productive youth engagement within society. It aims to promote critical and independent thinking, positive change, dynamic leadership, and active involvement in the development of Afghanistan with a solution-driven attitude. AY TV stands for unity, tolerance, and progress and serves as a bridge to connect Afghan youth with the world.
To provide a media platform for positive and constructive discussions of issues that concern the youth of Afghanistan.
We have already invested in the TV channel by purchasing our own studio, have created multiple sets for our unique innovative shows, and run the daily operations synchronized with our vision. Since this initiative was launched to support and inspire the youth, girls and boys, we are continuously inviting youth groups, young civil society members and influential youth leaders to collaborate with us. Most have reached out to us on their own with ideas on cooperation and programming to address the gaps in the society.