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Presentation on Afghanistan Children’s Library Activities


On June 2., Global Collaboration Center invited speaker from the Afghanistan Office of Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA), a public interest incorporated association, to present about their activities in Afghanistan. Because the lecturer had to live in a refugee camp in Pakistan during the civil war, and knows the importance of peace as well as anyone.
She began her presentation by introducing a pictorial tapestry she sewed by hand to express her feelings for those who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US and bereaved family members and the Afghan people’s desire for peace. She explained that she donated the tapestry to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum which recently opened in New York, where it is on display.

Tapestry praying for peace which took two years to make

SVA supports the construction of schools, the operation of children’s libraries, and the publication of picture books. SVA’s facilities not only lend books to children but also hold literacy classes for children who cannot attend school and offer story time sessions and crafts classes.

She is presently engaged in mobile library activities mainly in Kabul as a library project staff. Along with monitoring school libraries established with SVA’s support and training teachers, she is also involved in improvements to the children’s room at the Kabul National Library. She says students read enthusiastically and listen carefully to storytelling at the school libraries in Afghanistan.

At the Ochanomizu University Elementary School which she visited prior to her presentation, she spoke directly with children reading books of their own choice at the library corner during their break time. Looking at the children’s sparkling eyes as they listened to a story read at the Ochanomizu University Kindergarten, she said “While the environment is different, there are many points in common with the activities I am implementing in Afghanistan, and this provides a useful reference,” and asked many questions.

The Global Collaboration Center is supporting the publication of original picture books by SVA in Afghanistan once again this year, continuing the support given last year, to contribute to richer education for Afghan children.

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