Our Progress 2014

OVER 4 MILLION BOOKS 
DONATED TO CHILDREN IN AFGHANISTAN 
since our program started in 2007!

In November 2014 thanks to everyone’s help, we were able to print and donate another 70,000 books to the Asia Foundation for the Ministry of Education’s Mobile Library Service! These libraries, each furnished with hundreds ofS books, will travel to schools in at least 10 provinces, encouraging the reading and writing skills of all students, and educating them about the importance of reading. Idries Shah’s wonderful children’s stories will help in this and inspire a love of reading, which is so important.

In the summer we created a new Dari-Pashto edition of our ten titles, incorporating feedback from Afghan teachers and parents whose children have used the books. The text of each language is now in a different color, making it much easier for beginning and early readers to identify their own language.

Children at Early Childhood Care and Development Centres and Child Friendly Spaces run by War Child UK
Children at Early Childhood Care and Development Centres and Child Friendly Spaces run by War Child UK

Children at Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Centres and Child Friendly Spaces run by War Child UK in Herat Province hold copies of their very own Hoopoe Books. According to their teacher Jamila, storytelling has become one of the most popular activities amongst children at these centers. “The children are curious and ask many questions about the pictures and the story.” For more photos and details click here.

BBC Farsi Broadcast

This broadcast was aired on 14 March 2014 This broadcast on the BBC Farsi Service makes a very favorable mention and presentation of our Books for Afghanistan program and it notes that it is raising the level of literacy in Afghan homes.

Hoopoe’s Dari-Pashto books and teacher guides included in the Darakht-e Danesh Online Library

Hoopoe’s 10 Dari-Pashto books and teacher guides are included in the Darakht-e Danesh (“knowledge tree”) Online Library for Afghan Educators which will be launched in Kabul on October 28.

This is the first collection of open education materials for under-resourced Afghan teachers, teacher trainers, school administrators, and other education practitioners. A major impediment to quality education in Afghanistan is the lack of local language educational resources for both teachers and students. This online library will be an enormous help for those many schools which do not have libraries and lack teaching resources, particularly in their own languages: Dari and Pashto.

2 Afghan girls
Photo from Afghan Zariza Books on wheels – Mobile Libraries take off in Afghanistan, 19 Feb 2014.

Photo from Afghan Zariza Books on wheels – Mobile Libraries take off in Afghanistan, 19 Feb 2014.

This year we are once again delighted to collaborate with The Asia Foundation (TAF). Many of you will remember that TAF distributed 1.2 million Hoopoe Books as part of our large 21-month project funded by the Department of State in 2011-2012. This time TAF is working with The Afghan Public Library Directorate on an exciting new project: a Mobile Library program for primary school children.

Thanks to your donations, we were able to send 10,000 books, 1,000 of each of our ten titles, in Dari-Pashto editions for the very successful launch of this program in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The Public Library Director hands out Hoopoe Books to students in Jalalabad.
Students in Jalalabad waiting in line for their Hoopoe Books

The Public Library Director hands out Hoopoe Books to students in Jalalabad.

Each Mobile library holds over 9,000 books for students from grades 1 through 6. Hoopoe Books, because they are Afghan stories, authored by an Afghan, available in Dari-Pashto editions and all beautifully illustrated, are particularly appreciated by children, the majority of whom associate reading with having to learn lessons by rote without understanding much at all. The expressions on the faces of the young boys in the photos above certainly don’t suggest that they anticipate a fun experience! (Unfortunately, we don’t yet have pictures of their smiles as they are actually reading the books.)

The Directorate of Public Libraries hopes to expand the program and take these Mobile Libraries to ten more provinces in June 2014: We have been asked to provide another 10,000 copies of each of our Hoopoe titles to include in this effort. WITH YOUR HELP WE WILL BE ABLE TO PRINT 100,000 HOOPOE BOOKS IN TIME FOR THIS EXPANSION.

So many Afghan families have to focus on food, clothes and safety before they can begin to think about education, let alone books for their children. The program’s goals are to improve the reading and writing skills of all students and to educate them about the importance of reading. Our books will help in this and encourage a love of reading, which is so important. The Library staff will work with the school Shura, parents and administrators to raise their awareness on the importance of reading and how to create an environment in schools in which children are encouraged and motivated to read

Students with Hoopoe Books
Students with Hoopoe Books

At the beginning of this year TAF also distributed 55,500 Hoopoe Books in Dari-Pashto bilingual and in English editions to 111 schools in five provinces: Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Nangarhar, and Laghman.

Many thanks to our Canadian friends The Institute for Cross-Cultural Education www.iceeducation.org who have once again helped us by providing funds for books requested by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan www.cw4wafghan.ca: 3,800 books for the Afghanistan Center At Kabul University’s Boxed Library Extension program (ABLE) www.dupreefoundation.org/able.htm and 960 books for the Afghanistan Lowalee!/Afghanistan Reads! Program,www.cw4wafghan.ca/news/afghanistan-reads-lowalee-dari-literacy-classes-underway-bagrami. Thank you everyone!

We are always privileged to be able to help those who are doing so much on the ground to help build Afghanistan’s future, and were happy to have provided books to two more NGOs —

3,200 books to War Child UK www.warchild.org.uk for their work in Herat: these will be distributed to children in 13 Early Childhood Development Centres in Injil and Karokh Districts and in Child Friendly Spaces, which are safe places where street-working children can go for free education, in Firqa, Khadistan and Kamar Kalagh Districts.

3,800 books to Kabultec Roquia Center for Women’s Rights and Education in Afghanistan www.kabultec.org whose founder Nasrine Gross was one of the first people to take Hoopoe Books to Afghanistan in 2002. Kabultec has since regularly received them for adult literacy classes, and included them in a package that is given to each participant attending seminars on democratic processes. They run these in multiple provinces for female candidates to the Parliament and Provincial Councils.

 

 

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