December 16th, 2016
Afghanistan’s modern history has been shaped by inner conflicts, menaces like oppression of children and women and lack of education. With a population of around 35 million, this country depends on foreign aids to thrive. The mountainous geography and barren lands make education inaccessible for kids. With less number of schools and many other educational institutions destroyed in violence, children long for education. The access to education is obstructed for them. But one man has brought a significant change in communities that want to avail the opportunity to access a world of knowledge.
Saber Hosseini, a school teacher from Bamiyan, the capital of Bamyan Province, central Afghanistan, rides his bicycle loaded with boxes of books to isolated villages. His project of distributing books, called “Kids Foundation” has earned him the love of a lot of children, and they cannot wait to welcome their teacher every weekend, as reported by The Global Citizen.
The idea of bicycle library triggered Saber when he was in conversation with his friends in the literary circles. His friends donated money for books and few of his foreign friends also contributed to it. He started with 200 story books for kids and started riding to remote villages throughout the Bamyan Province. Now, they are a group of 20 people and have a collection of about 6,000 books, as reported by The Observer France 24.
They ride bicycles as they have no funds for a car and secondly they have to travel to remote areas which are inaccessible by cars. The most important reason for them to use cycle is bit symbolic. They say that Taliban have used a bicycle in bomb attacks many times so they want to convey that the violence can be replaced with culture.
They bring a lot of news books for kids and take back the old ones to distribute to children in other villages. Even the adults now borrow books from them. These books are mainly imported from Iran as there are no publishers in Afghanistan.
Apart from distributing books, they talk to children on various topics and preach the importance of peace and explain the danger of drugs.
The literacy rate has risen again, and the number of children participating is increasing every week, as reported by The Global Citizen.
For this heartwarming gesture by Saber, he receives a lot of threats on the phone. The Taliban men tell them to only hand out Islamic books to children, or else they would face serious consequences but despite these difficulties they go on, as reported by The Observer France 24.
They plan to deliver joy and a sense of calm to the lives of children through books amidst stressful conditions they live in.
The power of education is something everyone should hold on to just like Saber Hosseini.