Some see an empty terrace - one student saw possibility - and the future site of the Baale Parwaz Library.
(see the beginnings of the transformation below)
AGFAF's mission has always been to support the education of Afghan students so that they can return home and act on their commitment to bring about social change and gender equality. This summer Sajia (right), one of our students at Mount Holyoke, working closely with AGFAF Committee Member Joe Highland, has returned to Kabul determined to build and start operating a children's library. Sajia and Joe have made tremendous progress in this effort. We want to share what has been achieved and what we hope will come next.
Before Sajia left for home, AGFAF equipped her with a suitcase full of supplies - wordless books, paper, crayons, toys, scissors, etc. We also discussed how to work with different age children who would read or be read to and how to allow them to express their thinking and feeling through art projects, play, etc. We envisioned obtaining books in Farsi in Kabul once we knew we had a space for the library.
Within the first week home, Sajia had secured the interest of the principal of the public school she had once attended (the school has no library and serves about 3,500 students) and the approval of the Ministry of Education to enclose space offered by the school to build and operate a school library. It will be called Baale Parwaz (Wings to Fly) Library.
Sajia and Joe have spent the last several weeks developing agreements with the school and a local partner with whom AGFAF will work on this project, getting estimates for the construction to create the library space and determining the costs of built in shelves, tables, chairs, etc. Sajia has made the first purchase of children's books in Farsi and is working on obtaining donated books.
Before Sajia returns to the US, AGFAF's goal is to start working with students as they begin to use the library and to identify and hire a librarian. Sajia will also do "reading hour" with a group of orphans and children of abused and threatened women currently being counseled by Dr. Rohullah Amin, a psychiatrist and our local partner.
We look forward to updating you on the progress of the library as we move forward. Please feel free to contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are interested in helping with or learning more about the Baale Parwaz Libary.