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Opening ceremony of Nai Qala’s photo exhibition

An opening ceremony of Nai Qala’s photo exhibition was held in a packed ACKU room

On November 14, more than 300 people gathered in a packed room of the Afghan Centre of Kabul University (ACKU) to attend the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition on the power of education in remote rural regions of Afghanistan.ACKU director, Mr. Abdul Wahid Wafa, Mrs. Fiona Gall from ACBAR and Mrs. Taiba Rahim, president of the Nai Qala Association made speeches on the importance of education whilst Mrs. Haris Coussidis, photographer and author of the more than 50 photos displayed on the walls of the Centre, shared her message through a recorded message. Mr. Wafa summarized the spirit of the event by declaring that “the exhibition is about the hope of the new generation of Afghanistan and the simple livelihood of the people of the central regions of Afghanistan with a great hope for the future of their children“.

An inspiring and hopeful speech

In the ACKU room, one could spot several young women wearing red headscarves; these were former students of Nai Qala school who, on that day, proudly played the role of hostesses. Ms. Shegufa, who had been a pupil in Nai Qala village and who used to study in the open air until a school was built there, took on the role of chairwoman and embodied the Association’s message of hope and empowerment for girls. Ms. Shegufa herself talked of the inspirational example set by Nai Qala’s president as she “shows through her actions that women can be equal to men in the community”.  Shegufa, pointed out that “the President moved the audience and instilled hope because activities in such remote areas are unprecedented”.

Nai Qala’s President’s speech left its mark on many participants who attended the ceremony, like Nadia: “Mrs. Rahim is truly an inspiration to all young Afghans. Her speech highlighted empowerment, unity, hope and commitment, solidarity to succeed, and never losing hope and always being optimistic about the future. Pursuing her vision is a way to strengthen and respect fundamental human rights in our country and to give a different image of Afghanistan. I am pleased to have been one of the participants at the opening of this inspiring and truly stimulating exhibition.” A young man who spoke in front of the audience made an emotional statement by saying, “I lost my father last year, I thought the world was over… today I feel like it’s a new day with a ray of hope”.

The majority of the audience was made up of young university students who left the ceremony inspired by the talks and with a renewed hope for their country.

The exhibition “Hope, Dignity and Commitment: The Power of Education”, 52 photos by Haris Coussidis for the Nai Qala Association on the role of reconstruction and education in remote districts of Bamyan province, can be viewed at ACKU in Kabul until 31 December, 2018.

Photo exhibition in Kabul

Photo exhibition in Kabul – November 14 to November 30, 2018.

Nai Qala is proud and grateful to be able to present a photography exhibition in partnership with the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU), in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Through this event Nai Qala will present the association’s work in the rural areas of Afghanistan and in particular will have the opportunity to raise awareness within the capital of the challenges and hopes of the rural communities.

Click here to see the full program.

Photographic exhibition

A photographic exhibition shows a positive image of Afghanistan and the changes that are taking place there.

Since 2007 the Nai Qala Association, through education has helped to create hope and opportunities in one of the most isolated areas of Afghanistan. Despite extreme poverty and the remoteness of the communities it is not despair and distress that we found there, but dignity and determination.

In 2017, to mark its 10th anniversary, Nai Qala asked a professional photographer, Haris Coussidis, who visited Afghanistan to take photos of the association’s activities, to make a pictorial record of the projects and their impact on the communities. This photographic report is part of a campaign to show the world that Afghans are committed to education, particularly for girls.

The association’s president presented the work to the city and canton of Geneva, who decided to support the association for an exhibition, which took place at “La Rotonde du Mont Blanc” from the 5th to the 25th March 2018.

This exhibition titled, “Women’s education, a hope for Afghanistan”, took place during the Geneva Equality week and the Human Rights Council, which was aptly symbolic for our work. Through these photographs we wanted to show a different side to Afghanistan, a positive image of men, women and children just like any others in the world – an image of a people with hope, aspiration and in search of opportunities. We wished to share the bravery of the parents in these rural regions, who despite poverty encouraged their girls to go to school to prepare a better future.

With particularly changeable weather, Nai Qala showcased on the Geneva lakeside. The exhibition was inaugurated with a press conference and opened with a debate which was covered by Swiss and international media.

Click here for a snapshot of the pictures that were shown in Geneva, including their captions.

Access the exhibition slide show here.

Nai Qala Association is showcasing in Geneva

The Nai Qala Association presents a photography exhibition on its activities in Afghanistan.

See for yourselves Nai Qala Association’s activities, come and join us in “Rotonde du Mont-Blanc”, in Geneva from March 5th to the 25th.

Admission is free.

For the past 10 years the Nai Qala Association has helped create hope and opportunity through education in one of the most remote regions of Afghanistan. In spite of extreme poverty and isolation, these communities we saw not hopelessness and despair but dignity and determination.

The Nai Qala Association engaged a professional photographer, Ms Haris Coussidis, to make a pictorial record of some of our activities in Afghanistan in 2017. We are very grateful to Haris.

Through these photographs, we wish to show a different image of Afghanistan; a positive image where Afghan men, women and children are the same as anybody else on this planet – an image of people with hope, aspiration and in search of opportunities.

The pictures in this exhibition will be available for sale. The funds will go to support Nai Qala Association projects in Afghanistan. For details please email at info@nai-qala.org

2007-2017: 10 years of changes

Click here to enlarge picture
In 2017, Nai Qala is celebrating a decade of activity in remote areas of the provinces of Bamyan and Ghazni. For the past 10 years, Nai Qala has been contributing to creating hope and opportunity in isolated communities.

To date, Nai Qala has successfully completed 10 projects, including the construction of eight schools for over 8000 students (70% girls and 30% boys) and a health clinic in a population of 50 000 people,.

Over 130 teachers are now teaching in decent conditions and are hired and paid by the State. The Nai Qala’s construction projects created job opportunities for 700 people in villages where there are few opportunities for employment.

These projects succeeded because we built trust with the people, because the people in turn had confidence in our ability to help them realize their aspirations, and because our partners and donors placed their trust in us.

It is amazing to think that the organization has been engaged in these remote regions for 10 years. It is even more remarkable that members of the communities have a more positive outlook on life; they have hopes and ambitions for themselves and they realize that their lives have a value. Their hopes give us motivation and hope for the future of Nai Qala.

Training for staff

Every year Nai Qala supports its staff in their professional development by sending them on training courses relevant to their responsibilities.

In August 2017, Mr. Ali Reza successfully completed a 6-day course on organizational development and leadership in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Congratulations!

After the course, Mr. Ali Reza said: “I am sure it is a good and right investment because human resources are the most important resource in an organization and the organization’s success depends on its human resources“.

In 2016 and 2017 local Nai Qala employees participated in more than 25 courses, offering capacity-building in a wide selection of subjects such as advocacy, human resource management, monitoring and evaluation, human rights, English language skills, hygiene, finance, pedagogy, and training in both Early Childhood Education and Community-Based Education.

In order to strengthen organizational capacity, Nai Qala’s president attended and successfully completed a “Future Leaders Program” course held at Wolfson College, Oxford (England) and got a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Modern Management for Non-Profit Organizations, held at Geneva University (Switzerland).