Since 2010 our Books for Pakistan program has provided more than 99,000 copies of Idries Shah’s retelling for children of traditional tales from the region. These are now available in three bilingual editions: Urdu-English, Urdu-Pashto, and Urdu-Sindhi.
Our partner, the Alif Laila Book Bus Society (ALBBS), was established in 1978. It was one of the first groups in Pakistan to focus primarily on empowerment of civil society and social reform, mainly through education. ALBBS has served over one million disadvantaged children through its schools and mobile libraries, and is working with us to distribute Hoopoe Books to these children throughout Pakistan.
Alif Laila uses girls’ education to fight poverty and gender inequality, believing that “by educating girls, we are not only eradicating the secondary place of women in our society, and bringing them up to par with men, but also ensuring the advancement and modernization of our total society. An educated mother has it in her power to change the very culture of the most basic social unit – the family.”
This year we hope to be able to print and distribute at least 10,000 copies of each of our new Urdu-Sindhi and Urdu-Balochi bilingual editions. Too many children in these regions are without any books at all. By providing these beautifully illustrated teaching stories to children in their own mother tongue we will not only enable them to learn to read more easily, but also develop in them a love of reading, thinking, learning and imagining.
Please Help if You Can.
You will remember that, thanks to everyone’s generosity in 2016 and to our partners Alif Laila Book Bus Society, we were able to donate a set of 10 Hoopoe Books by Idries Shah and puppets of the main characters to each of the 3,809 BECS schools in Balochistan, Sindh, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Southern Punjab.
These BECS programs for out-of-school children are an innovative initiative taken by the Government of Pakistan. Their goal is to strengthen non-formal approaches to supplement formal education for the eradication of illiteracy and the achievement of Universal Primary Education (UPE). 80% of BECS teachers/staff and 60% of students are female.
2017 began with excellent news from an unsolicited letter from Muhammad Suhail, the Assistant Director of the FATA Ministry of Federal Education in Pakistan.
Since the Hoopoe books arrived in the FATA BECS schools, attendance increased from 60–70% up to 100% because all the children wanted to read them and play with the puppets.
Its my immense pleasure being a representative of federal Govt. institution and in charge of FATA cell of Basic Education community schools non formal education approach for all those deprived and neglected community of FATA where there is no chance of primary education….. we are struggling to improve literacy ratio and reduced illiteracy….. in this effort your organization provided story books and puppet kits for enhancement of reading skills in these kids.
I would like to share that in my recent monitoring activity in one of the Agency of FATA, I noticed some extraordinary and remarkable positive change in overall environment of schools. I asked from concerned teacher regarding 100 percent attendance – as the attendance of the school remained 60 to 70 percent as average – but inquiry from students they replied that due to Alif Laila [Hoopoe] books and puppet kits we regularly come to school for reading and playing.
I asked a female student of grade 4 regarding her punctuality as I checked her previous attendance, and she remained absent from school, she replied that I avoid absentee and never ever attend events in our community just because of the story and reading books.
Assistant Director FATA
Ministry of Federal Education
Highlights from 2016
Lakki Marwat district, KPK
Malakand district, KPK
By the end of this year, 3,809 Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) schools will each have a set of ten Hoopoe titles by Idries Shah. These non-formal BECS serve children in rural parts of the country, whose families are too poor to be able to send their children to school, especially in less-developed areas of Balochistan, Sindh, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Southern Punjab.
According to our partners over there, “Everyone is very keen to receive Hoopoe Books for their students because none of them have story books.”
The Government continues to expand this worthwhile program, with plans to establish 50,000 BECS schools throughout the country. With your help we will provide a set of Hoopoe books for thousands more.
We have just started printing 2,000 copies of our new Sindhi-Urdu editions of the ten Hoopoe stories by Idries Shah. A set of each will be covered by our friends at Alif Laila and be sent to all 1,674 BECS schools in Sindh.
Urdu-English Hoopoe books by Idries Shah are being covered now so that all 2,135 BECS schools in Balochistan, AJK, and Gilgil Baltistan will receive a set of 10 teaching-stories for all their students to read.
This month we received photos and feedback from three programs we began earlier this year.
Girls and boys in the one-room schools run by HOPE in FATA now have books of their own.
In January we donated 5,050 Hoopoe books and 630 posters to HOPE for their one-room schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Each of their 90 schools have now received a set of ten titles for their on-going use, and every school also received a set of 7 posters of our books to brighten up their bare mud walls. You can see these in the two photos below.
Hoopoe is helping to add a little color to these children’s lives.
This year we set out to distribute a set of our 10 Urdu-Pashto bilingual books for the libraries in 1,389 Non-Formal Basic Education Community Schools (BECS) schools in 23 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Now photos of the distribution are beginning to come in. The BECS program reaches young people who have missed, dropped out, or been deprived of a primary education, providing non-formal, free, flexible modern basic education, leading to the possibility of later graduation and admission to grade six formal schools. 80% of BECS teachers/staff and 60% of students are female. The chance to learn to read using our beautiful books will help these young girls develop a love of reading and learning which will make such a huge difference to their lives.
Students from Malakand District, KPK with their Hoopoe Books.
In addition, thanks to our partners the Alif Laila Book Bus Society and Human Resource Development Organization (HRDO), Hoopoe Books are now in the hands of more children in the troubled area of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The photos above are from a June distribution in Dera Ismail Khan District.
Our progress earlier this year…
All 13,890 books have been safely delivered to Mr. Karim Shah, Director of BECS KPK/FATA, in Peshawar and will be in the hands of children soon.
With the help of our partner, Alif Laila Book Bus Society, plastic covers now protect the books for multiple use.
These BECS programs for out-of-school children are an innovative initiative taken by the Government of Pakistan. The main objective of the BECS Project is to strengthen non-formal approaches to supplement formal education, for eradication of illiteracy and achievement of Universal Primary Education (UPE).
- Free education in Basic Education Community Schools
- Schools which are based on non-formal basic education system having a single teacher, single home-based room for school (Classes KG to V)
- The premises which are provided free of cost by the community
- BECS teachers, preferably local female teachers, who teach students in the mother tongue of the students and the community
- In each BECS school, 25-30 learners of age group 4-12 years are mandatory; a single teacher is responsible for all the classes of the school by adopting multi-grade teaching methods; based on formal school curriculum
Classroom Walls in FATA Will be Brighter Now
Hoopoe Books and posters readied for distribution
New posters ready for the classroom walls below
We started the New Year with the news that a total of 5,050 Urdu-Pashto Hoopoe Books and 630 posters have been sent to HOPE for their non-formal schools in FATA. Each of their 90 schools will get a set of ten titles for their on-going use, and every school will also get a set of 7 posters of Hoopoe Books to brighten up their currently bare walls.
In addition, the 4,150 children currently attending these schools will be given one book each to take home.
This is an area of the world where children have suffered greatly not only at the hands of Taliban insurgents, but just recently from the devastating magnitude 7.5 earthquake that hit Afghanistan and Pakistan and was felt even as far as India.