This fall was a cold one, full of violence and disorder for Afghanistan. But, in the midst of bullets and tears, you could also hear children laughing. A laugh reminiscent of books and literacy. The place bringing such joy to children is Parande Library in Panjshir, Afghanistan.

Parande library opened in 1 December 2020 and officially started its activities. Part of its activities are going to be allocated to the Read with Me program. The “Read with Me Fan Club” provides financial support in library resources, training librarians and promoters so as to enrich the cultural atmosphere of children through quality books and creative education methods.

Lots of children and teenagers participated in the opening ceremony. From the very beginning, with great enthusiasm, they went straight to the books and games.

The Story of Parande Library

Parande Library has been established with the endeavors of Mahdi Housaini, a volunteer of Mahboba’s Promise. This young man from Afghanistan has returned after years apart, to serve the children of his home country. Children’s excitement and interest in books motivated him to establish a library for children in Panjshir. There were no such libraries in that region beforehand.

Building the library started in 2019 and was very well-received by the locals from the beginning. It was finished within a year. In October 2020, the books were put into bookshelves with local cooperation.

Now, Parande Library has more than 3000 books within its 284 m2 main hall and 4 rooms. Mahboba’s Promise has been the main financial supporter of the library and several institutes such as Read with Me have cooperated in providing books, equipment and facilities. Read with Me has sent 1100 books and library resources with support from Read with Me Fan Club.

Read with Me Plans

Reaching out to other Persian-speaking countries and sharing experiences with active promotion programs has been a dream for the Read with Me program. Establishing Parande Library is a significant stepping stone towards fulfilling this dream. In September 2019, a Read with Me expert travelled to Kabul, Afghanistan to hold workshops on child-centered libraries, children’s literature and read-aloud techniques. These workshops built the foundation for further cooperation with Afghanistan enthusiasts.

Soon, the librarians and promoters of Parande Library will participate in Read with Me Online Courses to be able to share quality books with children and make them interested in reading.

Reading can equip children with problem-solving tools. Especially for those living in countries engaged in war and violence. This is the path Parande Library embarks upon, hoping for peace in a brighter future.

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