ICFJ Cameras Make "Big Difference" in Western Afghanistan

Jun 252013
  • Radio Television Afghanistan's Nazir Ahmad Haidary uses one of ICFJ’s cameras to conduct an interview with a passenger on Farah’s first commercial airline flight. (Photo by Lieutenant (j.g.) Matthew Stroup)

On June 20, 2013, the first commercial airline flight ever came to Farah, Afghanistan - a huge event for the city. Naval Public Affairs Officer Matthew Stroup attended the landing, where he greeted a local TV reporter. Then, Stroup noticed that the man was holding something familiar— a Sony camera from ICFJ.

The cameras had come to Afghanistan through Stroup, who works for a joint civil-military team in the province of Farah building capacity among local leaders and journalists. He cold called ICFJ looking for training materials in March of 2013 - and ended up with over $5,000 worth of video cameras and still cameras that the organization was looking to donate before a big office move.

Returning to Afghanistan, he gave the cameras to the Directorate of Information and Culture in Farah to distribute to local TV and radio reporters.

On the day of the first commercial flight to Farah, “it was an awesome feeling to see it come full circle,” Stroup said. “It felt good knowing that we made some progress here.”

The cameras “made a big difference here in Farah,” Stroup wrote in an email.

Stroup wrote about his work with journalists in Farah province - and ICFJ's donation - in an article for TIME Magazine. Read it here.