Geographical Location: Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh Province, Afghanistan
Age-group: Preschool and Elementary School
Number of Children: 400
Number of Teachers: 2
Start Date: Autumn 2016
In the academic year of 2016/17, the Read with Me project has started its activities in Afghanistan by the cooperation of Future for Afghanistan Children Organization. This project covers almost 400 children studying in the first and second grade of Elementary School in Mazar-e-Sharif and nearby villages.
In September 2016, the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization authorities and a number of tutors from Mazar-e-Sharif traveled to Iran and participated in the RWM workshops. The tutors also participated in a one-day meeting in the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature.
In the first round of the project, after sending books from Fund for Education & Empowerment of Working Children (affiliated with IRHCL), Reading Aloud sessions were held for children covered by this organization in December 2016.
From the summer of 2016, Future for Afghanistan Children Organization showed an interest in implementing the Read with Me project in Mazar-e-Sharif. Therefore, IRHCL decided to send quality books to the children of this region and to hold the RWM workshops for tutors, benefactors, and volunteers for free.
In September 2016, the authorities of this organization along with two tutors traveled from Mazar-e-Sharif to Iran and participated in the RWM workshops. Other participants included Afghan and Iranian tutors from the Supportive Education Center of MahmoudAbad and the MahmoudAbad House of Children (Pouyesh) who mostly work with Afghan children.
The workshops included: “Children’s Literature and Quality Books”, “Story Elements”, “Reading Aloud”, “Role Playing”, “Facial and Body Expressions”, “Basic Literacy”, “Learning Sounds”, “Learning Alphabet”, “Dictionary of Riddles” and “Learning Math”.
On the next week, another set of RWM workshops was held for these tutors including: “Supplementary Read with Me Workshops”, “Basic Literacy”, “The Globe of Peace”, “Living Values” and “How to Make Masks”. They also discussed methods of implementing the project and how to adjust the project to the needs of Afghan children.
Back in Afghanistan, these trained tutors not only hold Reading Aloud sessions in 5 centers in Mazar-e-Sharif but also train other tutors and volunteers.
In the first round of the project, more than 500 quality books, 50 Learning Sounds and Learning Alphabet Packages and 80 educational books for tutors and teachers along with activity sheets and guides and handbooks were sent to this region by the Fund for Education & Empowerment of Working Children (affiliated with IRHCL). Also, from December 2016, Reading Aloud sessions have been held for children covered by the Future for Afghanistan Children Organization.
Currently, two centers in Mazar-e-Sharif are holding these Reading Aloud sessions. Through these sessions, the tutors are hoping to improve the basic literacy of these children, teach them different skills, develop their living values and empower them to overcome difficulties and to build a society free from violence.
School holidays in Afghanistan are during winter and the academic year starts from April. Read with Me and Future for Afghanistan Children Organization hope to continue working together through supervision and frequent visits and help the children covered by this project experience a new approach and atmosphere in the next academic year.