Traditionally, art and sports have been two major factors bringing different ethnic groups together in Afghanistan. Inspired by the idea of giving art a practical application, AYEPO conducted an art competition under the theme “Paint for Peace” in several schools of Kabul City. The program encouraged the students to make paintings and drawings that not only conveyed their ideas and notions of peace, but also promoted social-harmony, and networking among students and their respective schools.
This program began in May, 2019 and ended late July as we held the “Paint for Peace” Final Event to highlight the artwork of 40 students who participated in the competition. The panel selected six winners of the competition from two categories: intermediate students (7th, 8th, and 9th grade) and senior students (10th, 11th, and 12th grade).
AYEPO was honored to award the students with prizes in the presence of honorable guests, teachers, students, parents, artists and people from many walks of life who were in the audience. We announced the winners, presented certificates of participation with prizes, and heard from the students as they described the meaning and message of peace behind their paintings.
It is exciting to say that the art competition was conducted by a young, all-female team. They not only achieved all expectations, but also eclipsed them. Sohaila Rezaee, who coordinated the training, talked about the art competition process and its impact.
AYEPO founder and director Ahmad Shah Karimi spoke about the organization’s vision and mission, highlighting AYEPO’s programs and aspirations. He thanked the AYEPO team and United Religions Initiative for its support and for the wonderful gifts they sent for the students. He also talked about the future plans of the organization to expand and spread the peace-building activities in other provinces of Afghanistan.