Growing up, what was your favorite book? You may remember a story that transported you to an unknown place or took you on a wild adventure. Or maybe you remember a book that opened your eyes to an entirely new way of seeing the world. Whatever the case may be, you probably know that indescribable feeling of getting lost in a book.
Would you like to give this invaluable literary experience to other children?
Promoting reading culture among Afghan children via community based-reading engagements and connecting them to other cultures in order to build a more respectful understanding of their own communities and the rest of the world.
In 2013, Book Cottage was established as a community library. The initial funding came from Vital Voices. Book Cottage is a grassroots movement of motivated individuals that seek to pave the way for social and behavioral change through reading. Since its founding, Book Cottage has held numerous community events, including readings for primary school students and street children, as well as hosting speakers and organizing book drives both in the United States and in Kabul. Book Cottage is based in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Why We do this Work:
It is no secret that Afghanistan has been going through war and conflict for more than four decades now. The trauma of war has done much damage to Afghanistan and its people, including stealing the childhood of Afghan children. The literacy rate among Afghan adults is 32%, and one might ask: how can reading be promoted with such low literacy rate? But this in fact is the very reason why we initiated Book Cottage.
We want to systematically change the way Afghan society views and engages with literature. Our goal is to spark and foster an interest for reading among Afghan children and youth who are literate but unfortunately do not have the resources and opportunities to read outside of school. When these children engage with literature, they bring this knowledge home to their families and spread this knowledge throughout their communities. Thus encouraging a deeper culture of reading. Our goal is to strengthen critical thinking among Afghan children and youth by connecting them to platforms and ways of life that may be unfamiliar to them.
Additionally, we work with high school and college students who serve as inspiring leaders and role models.These student leaders volunteer their time to read to younger school children and assist with a number of other Book Cottage activities across various communities.
Our Guiding Principles:
- Connect Cultures
- Develop Sustainable Leadership
- Increase Literacy
- Reduce Gender Inequality
You can also check out Book Cottage mentioned in the news:
With Your Help, Book Cottage Will be able to...
- Partner with three local schools and provide them with "mini libraries" consisting of bookshelves and books
- Hire a permanent staff member on the ground in Afghanistan
- Pay for a permanent location to hold our literary events.
This next year will be an exciting year for us. Reaching our goal of $5,000 will keep our doors open and help us expand our programs in Afghanistan. While we keep Book Cottage running, we will also be using this next year to plan our next steps for taking Book Cottage to the next level. We are thinking hard and brainstorming the best ways to incorporate ourselves as a sustainable model.
A Very Special Thank You in Advance to our Donors:
As an organization that is still in the early start-up stage we can not thank you enough for putting your trust and support into Book Cottage. Your contribution, no matter the amount, is critical in helping us achieve our goals and expand our mission of promoting reading culture among the youth of Afghanistan. Your contribution is an important step in healing and mending the traumas of war and conflict by providing a brighter future- one of peace and mutual understanding.