MasterPeace Afghanistan: Past, present, future
MasterPeace Afghanistan is a special group of young people that strives for peace building, youth development, the empowerment of women, climate justice and more. In 2001, the armies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and the Northern Alliance started to attack the Taliban. And ever since, Afghanistan’s citizens are plagued by a complex war, a lot of conflict and economic difficulties. How did MasterPeace Afghanistan stand its ground within these difficult times? We asked it to the chairman of MasterPeace Afghanistan: Mansoor Raufi. Hereby a club portrait of the past, present and future of MasterPeace Afghanistan.
MasterPeace Afghanistan was initiated on the first of April 2012. Over time, more and more people came in contact with their message and their movement got bigger and bigger. To the point that they had 35 very active volunteers. But social activist formed a target of extremists. Social activists have not been targeted individually but when they group through meetings and conventions. In 2015 MasterPeace Afghanistan was directly confronted with this injustice and they had a huge setback. One of their members was killed during an attack because of his social activities. MasterPeace Afghanistan went through a period of mourning and insecurity and continued with a smaller group of members. The brother of Mansoor Raufi was the chairman and had to stop with his position because of his studies. At that moment, Mansoor Raufi was inspired by his brothers work and already was an active member for a while. When his brother left, Mansoor Raufi took over his brothers’ role and became the chairman of MasterPeace Afghanistan.
Currently, the club consists of nine voluntarily members who spread their message passionately. The activities of MasterPeace Afghanistan are divers. Last year, they did a survey to investigate if there are children that need support for their education. Although education is free in Afghanistan, many parents are unable to provide their children with the school supplies they need. They found twenty children who were very motivated to go to school but who were unable to get school supplies. And MasterPeace Afghanistan supported them. MasterPeace Afghanistan also gave workshops on human rights with the help of the local university. And they join the international peace celebration every year. They also organized a big campaign called #GreenForPeace, and planted trees with the community. The danger of being a target is still there. And Mansoor Raufi is very aware of the risks. But he also states that “you have to accept the risks of life, otherwise you cannot live”.
Although the past has been difficult, Mansoor Raufi is positive about the future. He is not naive about the influences of war. He himself was born in a basement and his family had to seek refuge in Pakistan. From an early age, he has been confronted with war and its consequences. He notices that change is coming. He describes that previously, women were not allowed to go to school, and that they now have a few women in high level positions. There are still a number of regions where women are not allowed to leave the home. But for him, it’s small changes like these which motivate him to create a better future.