Fostering Democracy Through Youth In Turkey

Most discussions concerning developing democracy in nations focuses on voting or economic development, but the Young Lives Foundation of Turkey believes it has identified another factor in having a democratic society-helping youth to overcome feelings of discrimination and learn about the lives of other young people. Turkey’s populations already contains diverse populations, especially the Kurds, which has led to continual destructive conflict. One of the Foundation’s projects is to work with youth over an eight week term to assist in being able to communicate with youth from diverse backgrounds. It even explores what constitutes a language of communication that will encourage others to participate in the process of dialogue.

An interesting project is “Writing History From My Street” which encourages young people to write about their own neighborhoods and then exchange their writings with children from other backgrounds.

There might be a lesson in this story for Afghanistan. Perhaps, it is time to begin with small activities rather than national ones.