Despite the winter weather, the trainees – 6 National Solidarity Program production staff – have completed preproduction research and story development and are heading to Jalalabad and Kapisa Provinces for production of three stories. Working in teams of two, teams will cover men’s Community Development Council (CDC) stories in in Jalalabad, and women’s CDC and election process stories in Kapisa.
CSFilm director Michael Sheridan is currently in Afghanistan conducting an intensive documentary filmmaking training for staff from the Public Communications Office at the National Solidarity Program (NSP). The training will culminate in the creation of a short documentary that illustrates the successes of this nation-wide, Afghan-led program that has empowered local communities to implement small development projects to respond directly to local needs.
Organized through 22,000 district level councils, NSP initiatives have resulted in over 55,000 development projects across the country – including power and irrigation projects, and the buidling of schools and clinics. These locally-run projects tend to cost a fraction of what is spent by International contractors and the US military, and are noted for their acceptance by locals and for their ability to create jobs for Afghans.
The finished film will be shown as part of a US tour by NSP to encourage Congress to pledge ongoing funding and support. This is a fantastic opportunity to have Afghans tell their own development stories directly to decisionmakers, advocating for Afghan-run social and economic development initiatives.