Through the Self Help Group Approach, staff worked hard to form new children's groups last year in the less-privileged areas of Kabul and its surroundings. As many as 1500 children connected with a group and are now enjoying and using our Rahmat books.
We notice changes in the behaviour of the children when they engage with the books. The following are responses from children in the Children Groups:
Tasal is 12 years old. He laughed as he commented, "The crocodile is so smart. After reading this book I decided to brush my teeth after every eating. I told this story to classmates. Now four of us brush our teeth everyday! The crocodile is smarter than us!" This young Afghan not only reads our books, he teaches other children to read and write and calls them "my students." He adds, "If someone can be a friend to animals, it should be easy to be a friend to other children."
Jabir said, "I like the book about animals. I really enjoyed the story of the pigeon. I want to be far away from war. I want to be free like a pigeon. I used to fight with other kids, but now I've decided to be friends with them. I learned to respect my parents."
Sina said, "I like the story of Uncle Tom. In those days, some people thought that the black are bad, but some of the people were friends with these people and wanted to help them. It is sad when people use other people – as in slavery. I don't like discrimination. We are all humans. God created all of us. Discrimination is very bad and a shame."
In the past eight years over 100,000 books have been published by our Rahmat Publications project. The evidence of their impact is unfolding in the children of Afghanistan.