News & Stories Latest News Finding the hope behind the headlines Afghans have not given up hope for their country, just like Afghanaid has not given up hope. On 10th October, we hosted 'Afghanistan: Hope Behind The Headlines' at The Royal Geographical Society. A huge thank you to everyone who came and donated – the evening was a great success and we were reminded once again of what fantastic, passionate, and loyal supporters Afghanaid is fortunate have! We were also delighted to see so many new faces and hope that anyone previously unfamiliar with Afghanaid’s work came away feeling inspired about what was being achieved by rural communities, despite the many challenges they face. There is a world behind the headlines... of lives lived, of daily triumphs. Lyse Doucet kicked off the discussion between a fantastic panel of speakers; Saad Mohseni, Najieh Ghulami and Ahmed Rashid; who really did inspire us to find hope behind the headlines. Saad discussed Afghanistan's young population, who are aspirational and ambitious for themselves and their country. With an average age of 18, the Afghans are embracing technology and using it to drive positive social change. We're seeing a lot of young people very engaged. We're seeing real grassroots activity, it's very different to 5/10 years ago. Najieh inspired us all with an uplifting and deeply personal view of the importance of art and the imagination in healing and humanising conflict affected individuals and communities. Afghans don't want to see themselves as victims, they want to rebuild the image of their country every day. Ahmed brought the talks to a close with an authoritative view of the political context and discussed why the work of development organistations such as Afghanaid is vital to strengthening leadership and local governance institutions at the grassroots level. A huge thank you to everyone who donated items for our auction, which included a beautiful array of items including Istalif ceramics, lapis lazuli jewellery and Herati hand-blown glass. And, of course, a big thank you to all who bid! Earlier in the evening, Saad said "positive social change is happening" and, having raised close to a whopping £23,000 to fund the work we do to support vulnerable Afghans, the evening left us feeling hopeful and inspired for the future of Afghanaid's work and, indeed, the future of Afghanistan.