Around a year ago, I embarked on my journey with Students For Liberty. Since then, I have gained so many insights on both liberty and leadership. Without a doubt, acting as a Local Coordinator for South Asian Students For Liberty has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. As part of an educated youth from a less developed country (Afghanistan), Students For Liberty provided me with a space to learn and exchange thoughts with other educated and highly motivated youth from across South Asia and beyond. In this piece, I would like to discuss some facts about my country, the importance of liberty among Afghanistan’s youth, and the impact of Students For Liberty.
Afghanistan: a young population ready for change?
The country in which I was raised and educated has experienced near-constant conflict over the past 40 years. Unfortunately, this sustained conflict has deprived Afghanistan’s young population of many opportunities. According to a UNFPA report, 63.7% of Afghanistan’s population is under 25 years of age, meaning that the country has one of the youngest populations in the world.
For the past couple of decades, the United States has invested heavily in ensuring democracy for Afghanistan. However, despite some positive changes, a low literacy rate and lack of political awareness can be seen as significant obstacles to democracy and liberty in Afghanistan.
Young people in Afghanistan have experienced the grim days of Taliban rule. The Taliban did not believe in liberty or democracy. The Afghan people were left longing for human rights and freedom. The country’s youth did not have much opportunity to participate in society. Women could not gain an education or work. Even for men, access to higher education was very limited. There was no place for liberal or democratic thought in schools or universities.
New opportunities for activism
Thankfully, since the fall of the Taliban regime, there have been new opportunities to engage with ideas of liberty. In Afghanistan’s post-Taliban era, many young people became interested in promoting a message of liberty and democracy in every corner of the country. I was one of them. I sought to expand my understanding of concepts relating to liberty so that I could then share my knowledge with others.
At present, a large number of young Afghans, both male and female, are working hard to ensure that people in the country’s districts and villages have knowledge of the ideas of liberty. Since security has been always a challenge in Afghanistan, this progress has been slow. However, there are many reasons to be hopeful for a brighter future.
Students For Liberty: Empowering leaders to effect change
It has now been about a year since I became a member of Students For Liberty. For me, this has been an incredible journey. Through my involvement, I have learned so much and encountered many new perspectives on liberty.
I am currently studying in Indonesia for my master’s degree, and have been able to take part in many programs and events as a member of Students For Liberty, both within Indonesia and further afield. I believe that the organization has an important role to play in developing leaders who will lead more people to join the movement and promote the benefits of liberty to others on campus.
On this note, I would like to express my gratitude to all my colleagues for their amazing contributions. These leaders are tirelessly doing everything they can to attract more young people to the ideas of liberty. Undoubtedly, Students For Liberty will always present me with more learning opportunities. I sincerely hope that this great journey continues, and that together, we can help lay solid foundations to be built upon by future generations of leaders for liberty.
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This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.