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Picture book donations to Afghanistan


Panda’s Adventures picture book

The Ochanomizu University supports the creation of original picture books and their delivery to public and school libraries, in cooperation with the NGO Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) which is involved in developing school library operations in Afghanistan. This support has been ongoing since 2012.

In 2017, we printed 2,400 copies (1,200 copies each in Dari and Pashto) of the popular children’s book, Panda’s Adventures, and distributed them to 139 public and school libraries, primarily in Kabul and Nangarhar Provinces. The story is about a young panda who ventures into the wood for the first time in search of his favorite fruit. The story tells about his experiences and the many different animals and living things he met along the way.

Children holding picture books

To ensure the picture books are used effectively, the SVA Afghanistan office instructs teachers on how to incorporate library learning into their teaching program and instructs library staff on library management and lending services. These training sessions were attended by a total of 614 people. While we were sometimes not able to attract the numbers of participants we originally planned due to a lack of teachers in local schools, we did achieve a 93% participation rate overall, and the courses were highly praised by the schools involved.

Owing to the conflict in Afghanistan, there are not enough picture books for children. The kids loved these books that they were able to read in the library. Picture books are also extremely useful for teaching children about the important concepts such as family affection and friendship.

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