Jamshid Begzad is a 20-year-old originally from Badakhshan in north-eastern Afghanistan, who currently lives in western Kabul. This area, known as Darulaman, is a mixed neighbourhood inhabited by a range of ethnic groups.
According to Jamshid, his father is a laborer and his mother works in an expatriate guesthouse. He seems to be a resilient young man who interacts well with friends and has a positive outlook on life. He explains: “Before engaging in social activities, I was a rather self-centered teenager who found it hard to talk with people I did not know. When I asked to introduce myself, I simply responded “My name is Jamshid.”
He was introduced to social activities through a close friend, who encouraged him to participate in voluntary programs, including dialogues with youngsters from different ethnic groups.
“Previously I spent most of my time playing sport or wandering around with close friends who are part of the same community. I lacked a sense of direction” explains Jamshid, adding “getting involved in social activities has enabled me to gain experience and increase my confidence.”
By working as a social activist, Jamshid has actively contributed to the welfare of his community. He explains “We are 20-25 volunteers who provide food and clothing for the poor in and beyond our community. As well as direct assistance, we’re keen to encourage a culture of kindness between Afghans from different ethnic groups.”
Working together within the community has helped Jamshid and other youngsters to gain skills, learn about teamwork and to better understand the challenges facing communities. This has required them to better understand the differences and values that prevail, while avoiding judgment.
“These activities have helped me to be more responsible and commit to supporting positive change in my and other communities” Jamshid says.
Jamshid now actively participates in activities with a number of social and cultural groups, including Green Smile, Global Oxygen and he represents the interests of members of 15 extended families to whom he is related in his area.
“I am proud to be able to support my communities and have greater ambitions for my life” he concludes.