19 October 2016

A year to remember and… to repeat!

With pride and satisfaction our 13 students at The Qessa Academy  received their diploma in storytelling after finishing the course of studies began in May 2016.

They will be now be engaged in two months internship working for Foundations and radio programs. Some of them have already been promised jobs once finished the internship in the same place.

They started the course with enthusiasm, but what really distinguished them was the determination to pursue their efforts and carry them out. They demonstrated all their determination in September when they faced suicide bombers, bayonet assaults, and weapons of any kind to achieve their dream.

With enormous courage in fact they decided to perform their first play with an exceptional audience of three hundred children from the street to give them a smile.

As our Selene Biffi wrote after attending the play: “My students have cured everything from directing the presentation, from the games to the stories […] I can only say to be proud as a few other times in my life.”

And this is the aim of The Qessa Academy, a project by Plain Ink, which started three years ago, to give the opportunity to young unemployed people between 18 and 25 years to learn the art of storytelling to preserve and transmit the local popular culture but also to spread basic knowledge on hygiene and the importance of boiling water before cooking.

In one of the lessons during the course, our students recited the story of Rostam and Sorabh, a classic Persian poem where father and son face off in battle, without knowing each other’s identity.

As Selene Biffi writes in a message: “In a moment so hard for this country and elsewhere, here we turn to written verses over thousand years ago to talk about war and dramatic situations so frequent nowadays, in the hope that it will soon come a time of collective catharsis, in real life as in the poem”.

Proud and with smiling faces our students received their diplomas at the end of the academic year in September giving hope to everyone there at the ceremony – families, friends, ministries and military forces.

And it’s from those eyes we can see the future of Afghanistan made of sacrifice and determination, enthusiasm and commitment, the unique ingredients to dream and hope for a better country of stability and peace.

This is the Afghanistan we work on everyday.

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