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Kabul, Afghanistan - “We need to learn from the experiences of people from different generations and different places to promote a better understanding of issues that affect the Afghan youth and help them navigate life’s challenges better.”


Zuhal Latife is an intergenerational dialogue officer in the newly-opened Youth Center at the Ataturk Hospital and she is excited about organizing various sessions on topics concerning young people through dialogues in which they can actively engage.


At the sidelines of a session on HIV and AIDS participated by women and girls, Ms. Latife explains that it is good to equip parents with basic knowledge of HIV so they can start a conversation at home and provide their children with information on how they can stay healthy. Two medical doctors from the Ataturk Hospital served as resource persons for the session.


The series of intergenerational dialogues organized at the Youth Center will cover other health topics relevant to young people such as the dangers of early pregnancy, and promoting healthy lifestyle, including avoiding drug use. The center was established with the support of UNFPA and the Special Trust Fund for Afghanistan (STFA).


For Ms. Latife, experience is still the best teacher in promoting shared understanding on these issues.


“In our intergenerational dialogues, we engage people who can share their experiences and ideas for a richer conversation with young people. We talk about the good and the bad points from their experiences, and ask what was the overall experience and what lessons have they learned?” says Ms. Latife.


By providing the space for conversations with young people, Ms. Latife hopes that the conversations will spread in other spaces where the issues discussed are relevant, such as in schools where teachers, parents and students can dialogue about the challenges faced by young people in education.