On July 28 Joint Staff of Lithuania Armed Forces organised video conference for representatives of youth organisations in Lithuania and Afghanistan. Video bridge provided the opportunity of communication for representatives of the Council of Lithuanian Youth Organisations (LiJOT) in the Joint Staff Headquarters in Vilnius and members of AYNSO (Afghan Youth National and Social Organisation) gathered in the PRT-9 HQ in Chaghcharan. For over an hour Lithuanians and Afghans discussed ideas regarding the meaning of the youth organisations' activities and education for the process of building democratic civil society, as well as problems youth encounter in both countries. Members of LiJOT spoke in English likewise AYNSO with an exception of just one member who spoke in Dari and was assisted by an interpreter.
„The greatest challenges young people in Afghanistan face are limited access to education and unemployment, therefore our organisation strives to encourage them to seek education and improvement, as well as to play active part in political and cultural life of the country", said the Head of AYNSO Hassamudin Hakimi.
„Our major concern is security and AYNSO endeavours to contribute to strengthening security of Afghanistan, - added another representative of AYNSO, Sham Mohammad. - Authorities elected by democratic methods is one of the factors to guarantee stability in Afghanistan therefore AYNSO encourages the society to appear in the presidential elections and elections of Ghowr provincial councils on August 20. We invite people to cast aside indifference and perform their civil duty in the second democratic election in Afghanistan since the removal of the Taliban regime".
Members of LiJOT stressed education as the fundamental condition incapacitating Afghan youth to effectively participate in the country's administration. Presently the rate of illiteracy in Ghowr reaches 80% of population.
Representatives LiJOT established a positive impression of their Afghan counterparts' competence. „It was our first encounter with representatives of Afghan youth organisations and it is evident that they have perfect idea of how international and youth organisations function", said Rimantė Ribačiauskaitė, Coordinator of LiJOT International Programmes. Lithuanians lent advice for their Afghan counterparts on possible improvements in the operation of their organisation.
The first precedent of video conference and video bridge between Lithuanian and Afghan youth organisation is planned to be repeated in the future.
LiJOT unites 62 major organisations totalling to around 200 thousand members. AYNSO joins about 60 thousand members throughout Afghanistan, 1600 of them in Ghowr.
Before the video conference the gathered youth was greeted by the Head of Joint Staff Brig. Gen. Algis Vaičeliūnas and invited to listen to an introduction about the activity of Staff and the PRT mission Lithuania has been conducting in Ghowr since 2005.
Public Relations Officer of the Joint Staff Kristina Chlynova.
Pictures of K. Chlynova and Capt. Marius Varna.