Books for Pakistan

Kids in Pakistan with Hoopoe books

Since 2010 our Books for Pakistan program has provided more than 70,000 bilingual English-Urdu and Urdu-Pashto editions of Idries Shah’s retelling for children of traditional tales from the region. These ten titles are now also available in Urdu-Sindhi and Urdu-Baluchi editions.

Our partners the Alif Laila Book Bus Society (ALBBS) was established in 1978. They were 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.”

We have a request from HOPE – this time for their schools in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in northwestern Pakistan. They would like to provide our Urdu-Pashto books to their 90 community schools with a 55:45 boy/girl ratio.  The schools have a maximum of 80 students each. 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. HOPE’s Executive Director, Fahad Hassan Afridi, says it would be wonderful if we could give a set of 10 books to each school’s library and, in addition, give each child at least one book to take home. With your help we will do this soon.

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The Alif Laila Book Bus Society’s StoryWalk Project fascinates children, and adults!

August 14, 2015 in celebration of Independence Day, the Alif Laila Book Bus Society in collaboration with the PHA Foundation and Hoopoe Books launched the StoryWalk Project in six of Lahore’s parks. A total of fifteen children’s books published by Hoopoe Books and Alif Laila were displayed on large flexes in these parks for children and their families to read and enjoy. More images are available here.

Woman in Pakistan with book rickshaw

At the end of January five rickshaws headed to five different schools in Lahore loaded with Urdu-English Hoopoe Books for the children.

Woman in Pakistan with Hoopoe puppet characters

Teachers read the stories while manipulating puppets, which the children and teachers made up (see our projects page). We are told that children and teachers spent “Hours of happy storytelling, role playing and making/manipulating puppets.”

Puppets made with book characters
Kids in a Pakistan classroom with Hoopoe books
Hoopoe paper bag puppets in Pakistan
Kids in a Pakistan classroom with Hoopoe books

International Book Giving Day

Hoopoe book covers in Urdu-Pashto

New Urdu-Pashto Editions of Hoopoe titles by Idries Shah

In Celebration of INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY on February 14th, Alif Laila launched the distribution of our new bilingual Urdu-Pashto Hoopoe books by Idries Shah. 5,000 copies (500 of each of 10 titles) were distributed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK):

BRAC distributed 2,000 books and “Make your own Puppets” kits to 200 schools in Swabi, Charsadda and Haripur districts, and an additional 3,000 books were distributed to children in Peshawar, thanks to help from HOPE, Progrowth and Khwendo Kor.

These organizations do amazing work in the area, and we hope to provide them with many more books for the children in their care, just as soon as we can.

If anyone wonders whether providing these wonderful stories to children makes a difference in their lives, these photos will surely give you the answer…

Happy school girls with Hoopoe books in Pakistan
School boys with their Hoopoe books
collage of book giving day photos of kids from Pakistan

17 Homes for Abandoned Children Receive Hoopoe Books

Boys in Pakistan with Hoopoe books
Girls in Pakistan with Hoopoe books

In November 2014 three sets of our 10 Hoopoe titles in Urdu-English editions were donated to each of the 17 homes for abandoned children run by the Edhi Foundation. The homes are in Multan, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Founded by Abdul Sattar Edhi in 1949, this amazing foundation has, among other things, rescued over 20,000 abandoned infants, rehabilitated over 50,000 orphans and runs over three hundred and thirty welfare centers in rural and urban Pakistan which operate as food kitchens, rehabilitation homes, shelters for abandoned women and children and clinics for the mentally handicapped. For more information:

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