In poor countries, where almost half the children are malnourished, children stay out of school and most end up working alongside their parents. 9/10 children in poor countries cannot read a basic book, while 8/10 children have never owned a book.
– John Smith, Montgomerry school
World-wide, poor children in both the industrialized West and across Asia and Africa are disadvantaged at an early age in having no access to books in their home nor in their immediate community.
In Afghanistan 3.7 million children remain out of school 60 percent of whom are girls 6 in 10 children aged 0-17 years are affected by multidimensional poverty, according to the UNICEF Annual Report 2019. These conditions have only worsened with the Taliban take-over.
Over a quarter of Pakistan’s population comprises children of school-going age. Of these, 22.84 million children are out of school, including 12.6 million girls. Of those children who attend school, 65 percent do not achieve minimum proficiency by the time they leave primary school.
– UNICEF Annual Report 2020
We believe in the power of stories to expand children’s minds, to develop their creativity, and to foster a love of learning and exploration.
Books help kids develop basic language skills and profoundly expand their vocabularies —much more than any other media. Books are interactive; they demand that kids think. Fiction and nonfiction books widen our consciousness. They give us new ways to think and new ideas. They expand our universe beyond time and place and inspire our own original thoughts.
Access to books improves academic achievement regardless of the educational or socio-economic level of the parents. Encouraging family and community engagement in reading provides greater benefit than simply improving teaching pedagogy at school.
A home with books as an integral part of life encourages children to read for pleasure and encourages discussion among family members about what they read, thereby providing children with information, vocabulary, imaginative richness, wide horizons, and skills for discovery and play.
We donated over 1,000 books to youth mentorship programs run by PARSA, an Afghanistan-based NGO.