Afghans for Progressive Thinking (APT) was founded in 2010 by a young college graduate who had the vision of a peaceful, tolerant, open and progressive Afghan society, a vision which is shared by hundreds of thousands of other Afghan youths. Prior to founding APT, He had begun the journey toward his vision by organizing intercultural dialogues between Afghans and internationals in Lucknow, India, where he was working to earn his bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
APT is the largest youth-led national organization that works to promote peace and critical thinking among youth and children in Afghanistan. APT uses two social theories of change, namely contact theory of change and critical thinking theory of change, to reach its vision. The ability to think critically builds an individual’s capacity to potentially challenge existing social, political, economic and cultural systems in constructive and transformative ways. In addition, contact theory stipulates that an increased contact with ‘the other’ opens channels of communication, creates shared spaces and experiences, builds the understanding of the challenges and realities of the other’s contexts, which, in turn challenges misconceptions, reduces prejudices and fosters respect towards diversity.
Since its inception in 2010, APT has impacted over 20,000 students across seven provinces of Afghanistan. The provinces are as follows: Nangarhar, Herat, Kabul, Balkh, Faizabad, Samangan and Kandahar. APT is partnering with over 35 public and private universities on a national, regional and international level to further advance its mission and commitment to its vision.
APT’s primary focus falls into three categories:
1. Capacity building through debate and leadership development programs;
2. Research and advocacy through publications, conferences, and media talk shows;
3. Networking through exposure trips within Afghanistan and abroad, and APT Alumni Community events.
Furthermore, since 2018 APT has been running an elementary school for internally displaced children in Mazar, a city in Northern Afghanistan, and it has also initiated the annual Afghan Youth Representative to the UN program in the same year.
Our goal is to take APT’s message to all 34 provinces within Afghanistan by 2030.