Addressing Conflict in Afghanistan Through the Power of Play

Serious conflicts have arisen from the continuous battle for peace and freedom in Afghanistan. To help his community in the midst of these conflicts, Shafi Karimi, a Play for Peace trainer in Afghanistan, participated in a five-day training organized by World Vision Afghanistan through an EU funded project by World Vision India. Since he believes in the power of play as a means to create peace, he has introduced Play for Peace methods and goals in order to create positive change in his community. According to Shafi, he will use the knowledge he has gained to integrate peace building projects inspired by Play for Peace into local programs.

“Studies show that peace building, especially social peace, cannot be project based, so it requires a long-term process and new and updated methodologies,” he said. Play for Peace will provide new techniques and methods that can be applied in school-based peace associations, as well as peace promotion task forces. These groups can help to promote a culture of peace in Afghan communities, where people are suffering and experiencing social and political instability, conflict, and disputes from more than three decades of war.

“Play for Peace can positively impact local peace institutions and associations and the sustainability of peace building programs here,” Shafi said. He also commented that Play for Peace’s use of cooperative play is the best approach for bringing happiness and smiles to the faces of Afghan people.       

After intense and indefatigable efforts to introduce Play for Peace in Afghanistan community, in February 2019 Shafi and fellow participants held the first consultation meeting on how to utilize Play for Peace’s methods and practices in Afghanistan.  

“The first session was arranged with local support, and Play for Peace was warmly welcomed by the Afghan community,” Shafi said. “This shows that people here are very eager to promote peace.” Play for Peace’s concepts are integral to the community’s approach to peace, and Shafi hopes that people there, especially youth, will accept and utilize them in their own peace initiatives. Through the efforts of Shafi’s club, we hope Play for Peace can help to address social conflicts in Afghanistan and greatly impact the community.