Shanti International Volunteer Association
20 years since the Afghanistan office opened
With your support, we have been working on emergency humanitarian assistance and educational and cultural support.The event will be held on Sunday, December 10, 2023.
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Afghanistan office of the Shanti International Volunteer Association (located in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo/Chairman: Yasuhide Wakabayashi/hereinafter referred to as Shanti).
Shanti’s activities in Afghanistan began in 2001 when, after the air strikes in Afghanistan following the September 11 terrorist attacks, we carried out emergency relief efforts centered on food distribution. We opened our Afghanistan office in 2003 and have been working on various projects for the past 20 years. Many people in Afghanistan are still suffering from the long-standing civil war and conflict, and we are working on educational and cultural support and emergency humanitarian assistance in parallel. To date, we have continued to work closely with the people of Afghanistan and provide support, with the support and cooperation of many supporters and volunteers. We will continue to monitor the security situation in Afghanistan and continue to carry out activities to protect the lives and education of children.
[Image 1: https://prtimes.jp/i/5053/98/resize/d5053-98-9dcb5ae63c8f75c8956f-0.jpg&s3=5053-98-96ca4f34c4140a4ef62d02c9773fcdd2-1280×960.jpg] ■Secretary General and Afghanistan Office Director Eri Yamamoto 20 years ago, I put some of the picture books I had managed to collect into wooden book boxes and went around schools that had reopened as open-air classrooms, reading aloud to them. It was the beginning. It has been about two years since the political upheaval in August 2021, which occurred just as we were beginning to feel recovery little by little. Children’s libraries continue to remain open despite ups and downs. The number of children visiting the center is increasing, especially girls who are prohibited from attending school. Amid various concerns, not only the staff but also local residents are working hard to ensure the survival of the library, which is the only place where children can find hope. For girls who have lost the opportunity to receive an education, the library becomes a place of learning. We believe in the potential of libraries and will overcome the crisis facing Afghanistan. Thank you for your continued support. ■Event Announcement On the anniversary of the establishment of Shanti on December 10, 2023, we will hold an event with the theme of 20 years of efforts in Afghanistan and the current situation of Afghanistan. Details will be announced on the Shanti official website from time to time. Date and time: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 14:00-17:00 Location: Britt Memorial Hall, Building 4, University of the Sacred Heart Participation fee: Free – Activities in Afghanistan – Emergency humanitarian assistance After the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 After the airstrike in Afghanistan, we carried out emergency relief efforts centered on food distribution. Recently, we have been carrying out emergency humanitarian assistance projects in a variety of ways, including COVID-19 prevention awareness, protection of women and children, education in emergencies, and water and sanitation support such as well construction. Infrastructure development project to popularize libraries for children In order to popularize library activities in elementary schools in Afghanistan, we are creating library management guidelines, establishing model school libraries, teacher training, librarian training, and mobile library activities. . We also operate a “Children’s Library” to provide children’s services outside of school that are available to children who cannot attend school. In addition to library activities such as free reading and lending, the children’s library also carries out cultural activities such as drawing and reciting traditional poetry.
Furthermore, we publish picture books and picture-story shows in two local languages and distribute them to school libraries and public libraries. We aim to improve the quality of education through library activities for children. ◎Library construction/installation: 159 libraries (until 2022) ◎Children’s library users: 600,000 (total number of people until 2022) ◎Picture book and picture-story show publishing: 241 titles (until 2022)
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School construction project (completed) We are constructing school buildings so that children who are forced to study outdoors can study with peace of mind. A library was also attached, where picture books were distributed and teacher training was held. After completion, we provided desks, chairs, and other equipment for teachers and children, and held a completion ceremony inviting teachers, children, Ministry of Education officials, and local residents. At the completed school building, we conducted school building maintenance and management training for teachers. ◎Number of school buildings constructed: 43 (until 2022)
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