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Picture Book Donation to Afghanistan: The Peacock’s Feather


The Peacock’s Feather picture book

According to a press release from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in 2015, the number of civilian casualties caused by ground fighting or terror attacks related to the conflict exceeded the record levels of 2014 by 4 percent to climb to 11,002 casualties (3,545 killed, 7,457 injured). One in ten casualties was a woman and one in four a child.*1 In the period between January and September 2015, 210 schools were forced to get closed due to attacks by anti-governmental elements. As a result, more than 20,000 girls lost access to education. It is estimated that at least 17,000 girls have stopped attending school because of direct threats.*2.

The Global Collaboration Center has supported the production of an original picture book in cooperation with Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA), an NGO developing school library projects in Afghanistan where the security situation is severe.

Children holding the picture books

In fiscal 2015, 1,200 copies of both the Dari and Pashto language versions of The Peacock’s Feather, an original picture book written by a local author for children aged 11 to 14, were printed and distributed to schools and libraries in Kabul and Nangarhar provinces. The book tells the story of a peacock so proud of his own beauty that he looks down on the other animals, but he finds out about the importance of friendship when he becomes painfully tangled in a briar bush and the rabbits help to free him and a spider mends his damaged feathers. Since picture books for children are extremely rare in Afghanistan, the books distributed to the libraries are very popular with the children.

※1 UNAMA Press Release 14 February 2016
※2 Khaama Press November 25, 2015 “20,500 Afghan girls out of school due to conflict in 2015”

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