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A Documentary of Former Taliban Combatants

We will interview former Taliban combatants as part of our Lessons Learned Project as a way to convey valuable lessons to children, youth and those vulnerable from falling into extremism. These lessons will ultimately prevent them from embracing any extremist narratives.

As Afghanistan is on the journey towards peace, we believe that these voices will be influential in encouraging fighters to join the reintegration process and work for peace. One voice can change a mind! Any amount — even $1 — will make a difference.

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What’s the Interview Project?

Rise to Peace seeks to fulfill its mission with a series of educational efforts. The foundation of these efforts is the “Interview Project,” in which we personally interview young people who formerly embraced extremist ideology and became misguided foot soldiers for groups such as the Taliban, al-Shabaab and ISIS – we travel around the globe to conduct these interviews and understand how these youngsters were recruited by these groups and what eventually enabled them to break the chains of extremism. In places like Afghanistan, children and youth face violence and extremism on a regular basis. For some, it is a fact of daily life. Rise to Peace understands —and promotes — the belief that local people create positive changes in their communities and the involvement of younger generations is vital to the pathway towards peace. Our program links vulnerable youth with the right tools and resources so that they turn away from extremism and toward a prosperous future full of opportunity.

Why was Rise to Peace founded?

Living through conflict and the experience of war taught President and Founder Ahmad Shah Mohibi many important lessons in how to communicate with people who endure similar situations, especially youth. He learned that kindness and support mean so much to those in need, especially as he and his family once sought the same things with open eyes and hands asking for help, during a period of repressive regimes and poverty in the 1990s Afghanistan. Rather than turn towards violence and extremism, Mohibi aided the U.S. Army and helped efforts to rebuild a strong Afghan National Army (ANA). He is now a voice in Washington D.C. shaping sound policies and connecting diverse people dedicated to positive change. This journey motivated by the need to combat terrorism and empower people led Ahmad to create Rise to Peace so that he could help others once like him in Afghanistan as well as gather an international community in support of such goals. Further, he expresses his understanding of terrorism to investigate why others are radicalized and turn towards violence. What help or resources could have prevented such a turn? This background makes our Interview Project unique as Rise to Peace provides an exceptional understanding of issues and actionable solutions to reach those children in need.

Description of Products and Services

The completion and broadcasting of The Interview Project will present Rise to Peace with the opportunity to reach a larger, more engaged audience, grow internally, monetize the organization’s efforts, and allow people to learn through the eyes and words of a young man who lived through the cruelness and deception of terrorism. Our executive board members, Research Fellows, volunteers and interns have already begun reaching out to various media and news companies, universities, and other non-profit organizations to secure sponsors who will help broadcast The Interview Project. This is extremely exciting for our organization because it will provide us the opportunity to market and spread an informative, yet the extremely sensitive narrative of a young man who was radicalized by a terrorist organization but fought for his freedom and lived to see another day.

Where do we spend your contribution?

In order for Rise to Peace to secure the appropriate sponsors, we need to produce a product that is at the highest levels of professionalism. Therefore, the recommendation is to purchase, or simply rent, the equipment and technology needed to complete The Interview Project to the best of our ability. It should be noted that our ability to obtain better equipment and technology would benefit Rise to Peace not only for The Interview Project, but for all of our educational projects and events.

Why Rise to Peace?

The Interview Project is unique and original to Rise to Peace because of our organization’s network of connections around the globe, in addition to a deep and personal understanding of the cultures, religion, languages, and values of the countries most affected by terrorist groups. By providing the public with an opportunity to hear firsthand from a youth member that was radicalized by a terrorist group, we will provide people with the information needed to understand the root cause of terrorism and how terrorist groups can be defeated to create peace. Rise to Peace plans to broadcast The Interview Project on as many news channels, media platforms and university radios as possible. This will allow Rise to Peace to have a reach far greater than if we simply broadcasted The Interview Project on the Rise to Peace social media platforms and website.

Measuring Social Impact

Measuring our effect on communities around the world is not as simple as compiling a report consisting of data and values. That being said, Rise to Peace has cultivated a Community Youth Mentoring project that we believe will be extremely effective. As mentioned previously, Rise to Peace has volunteers and interns in countries all over the world and our organization has already begun implementing Community Youth Mentoring groups in these various countries. After we produce and broadcast The Interview Project to the public, we expect to see an increase in participation of youths in our mentoring programs. Our Community Youth Mentoring groups will offer children at risk of being recruited by terrorist organizations a place to feel safe, to feel inspired, and to grow and learn. Our Interview Project will provide more detailed information on the youth mentoring groups and how families and children can get involved. The more participation of local youth in these youth mentoring groups; the more impact we believe we are making on communities around the world.

Any amount — even $1 — will make a difference

Thank you

Rise to Peace

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