The good news is that the Youth Camp held in Khorog for young Tajik and Afghan entrepreneurs was such a success that it is hoped that it can be repeated in the near future. The stories that came from the event are heart warming, not least the fact that 10 Afghanistan young women not only participated but gained confidence and new horizons from the event. The students were extremely diligent and the opportunity to participate was greatly appreciated particularly by the Afghan students who have less opportunities for further education than their Tajik counterparts. Joint Tajik and Afghan business partnerships were formed and the hope is that this will strengthen the cross boarder co-operation for the next generation. Training also took place in Dushanbe this week, when I spent time working through strategic development and building a communications plan with the organisation that supported the Youth Camp.
Perhaps now we need a layer of lettuce and mayonnaise to make the next paragraph more palatable.
The bad news is that VSO have decided that the operating environment is too difficult in Khorog and is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future, as a consequence they have withdrawn the volunteer element to the project there and I will be flying home via Kazakhstan on Monday.
The second good news is that I have a plan C … a short term volunteer placement in Laos to develop a volunteer programme and hope to be there by the 1 October to return on my original date in December.