Our mission is to give Hoopoe Books to as many Afghan school-age children, libraries and adult literacy classes as we can; as well as audio versions of the stories and step-by-step Teacher Lesson Plans and Teacher Training. We also have six downloadable radio programs of the stories for local Afghan radio.
For more than three decades, Afghanistan has been decimated by a continuous state of war, which began with the 1979 Soviet invasion and persists today with the Taliban insurgency. The literacy needs of Afghan children are crucial to the stability and progress of the country, yet Afghanistan’s ability to educate its children through these turbulent years is severely impeded.
- We are several years past the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), yet the literacy rate for Afghans over 15 years old is only 29%.
- Afghanistan has the highest proportion of school-age (ages 7-12) children in the world.
- Almost 50% (5 million) of them have no access to education.
The future for an Afghan child who can’t read is grim: crushing poverty, vulnerability to extremist beliefs, violence and low life expectancy.
We are helping to change this!
“The biggest enemy of Afghanistan is illiteracy!”
—Mohammad Khan Kharoti, Green Village Schools.
Our Focus This Year …
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2015–2030 recognize that access to education is a human right and vital for the sustainability of all development and peace.
They call upon us all to do what we can to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. This includes a relevant curriculum that can be taught and learned in a local language and builds upon the knowledge and experience of the teachers and learners; and a clear definition and accurate assessment of learning outcomes, including knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.
WITH YOUR SUPPORT HOOPOE BOOKS WILL TAKE UP THIS CHALLENGE IN 2017
Afghanistan is a multiethnic society where over 40 minority languages are spoken and about 200 different dialects. This presents a major challenge to the Afghan Ministry of Education, and particularly regarding the education of women and girls who are often confined to home.
According to UNESCO: 85% of Afghan women have no formal education and are illiterate: that is over 13.7 million individuals. Only 40% of Afghan girls attend elementary school, and only one in 20 girls attend school beyond the sixth grade.
We take it as axiomatic…that the best medium for teaching is the mother tongue of the pupil (UNESCO, 1953, p. 6).
Studies show that children who learn to read in the language they speak at home develop literacy skills more easily and are able to transfer these essential skills and a love of reading to other languages. Anyone who remembers how difficult it was to learn to read will empathize with children and adults who have to do so in a language that is not the most familiar to them, not the one they have heard since birth.
This year we will start to expand our program, translating and producing Hoopoe traditional Afghan Teaching-Stories in minority Afghan languages such as Turkmen, Uzbek, Sawji, Pashai, and Nuristani. These will be in bilingual editions, enabling children to begin reading in their own language and, using the same storybook, transfer their reading skills to the main language – Dari or Pashto – that they will need to further their education.
We will expand our current Teacher Guides to provide a Hoopoe Literacy Curriculum for Afghan Primary Schools, Grades 1–6. So that teachers can use our books to teach beginning and early literacy. Starting with Dari and Pashto editions, these will be translated into minority languages as we have the funds to do so.
With your support we will give many more thousands of children and their families the chance to learn to read in the language of their mother tongue; and their teachers the opportunity to teach basic literacy skills in the local languages, transferring these skills as they transition into their national languages – Dari and Pashto.
Visit: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002462/246278E.pdf to learn more about the value of Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education (MTB MLE).
IN 2006 THE AFGHAN MINISTRY OF EDUCATION ENDORSED HOOPOE BOOKS
In 2006 HoopoeBooks obtained permission from the Afghan Ministry of Education in Kabul to “repatriate” traditional tales from the region, retold especially for children by the Afghan author and educator Idries Shah.
Called Teaching-Stories by Western educators, the values and experiences preserved in these ancient tales means that they not only serve as building blocks to literacy, but help to provide positive internal narratives for children who have seen nothing but war, violence and loss.
These stories help create a bridge that makes education more acceptable to conservative elders who recognize these tales from their own childhood.
In 2009 we formed a partnership with Khatiz Organization for Rehabilitation (KOR) in Kabul and together:
WE HAVE PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED OVER 4 MILLION DARI-PASHTO AND ENGLISH HOOPOE BOOKS THROUGHOUT AFGHANISTAN, AND TRAINED 550+ TEACHERS (teacher trainings are currently curtailed through lack of funds.) Read the results of a US Government independent evaluation of our program.
The Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030 recognize that access to education is a human right and vital for the sustainability of all development and peace. Yet, according to UNESCO:
85% of women have no formal education and are illiterate: that is over 13.7 million individuals. Only 40% of Afghan girls attend elementary school, and only one in 20 girls attend school beyond the sixth grade.
Give a young girl a book of her own, and she will find someone to help her read it.
PLEASE DONATE NOW!