More than 7 million Afghans have no access to reading books in school and are learning to read from textbooks only. The Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) purchases and publishes books for libraries for the 28,000 students (19,000 female) in AIL Learning Centers and the schools that it supports and supplies books to a public library in Herat. Students who have a variety of reading material expand their minds through reading diverse subject matter.
AIL has responded to the crisis in education by providing education to poor urban and rural Afghans, especially women and children. AIL reaches these people through its community based Learning Centers and through schools but access to written learning materials is limited. Most available texts are from foreign sources and do not address the educational needs of Afghans, while other relevant books are not being produced in sufficient quantities.
The project goal is to have small lending libraries in all of AIL's Learning Centers and in schools and to expand the collection in the public library. AIL also plans to open lending libraries in each of its offices to provide better access to books for staff and local communities. To achieve this goal, AIL will need to both publish and purchase books. All of these libraries will be available to students of the Learning Centers and schools and will be shared with the communities they serve
The value of books to expand the mind and learning is clear. Reading helps people gain knowledge, understand other people's perspectives and cultures, to write and think better and to see a world outside of the one in which they live. At least 28,000 women and children at centers each year will benefit from reading these books.