In 2013, Book Cottage was established as a community library in Kabul, Afghanistan. The initial funding came from Vital Voices. Today, Book Cottage is still based in Kabul, but has grown to include volunteers that span across international borders. We are a grassroots movement of motivated volunteers that seeks to pave the way for social and behavioral change through reading. Since its founding, Book Cottage has held numerous community events, including readings for primary school students and street children, as well as hosting speakers and organizing book drives.
Our Theory of Change
Through reading, Book Cottage connects Afghan children and youth to ways of life that may be different then their own. In today’s interconnected world, among many other crucial elements, knowledge about other cultures, communities, and countries is key to a peaceful coexistence.
Developing Sustainable Leadership:
Book Cottage works with schools that lack non-academic books. By engaging with the children of these partner schools, we slowly begin a tradition of reading which transfers from our literary sessions to their home life, and begins to build lasting systemic change. Book Cottage plans to train student leaders at these partner schools to serve as readers who will continue the work that Book Cottage has started. We will work with these student leaders and encourage them to think critically about issues in their communities and empower them to take their own initiatives towards resolving them.
Research has shown that education levels of students that have access to books outside of school are better than that of those who do not have these resources. Book Cottage aspires to close this gap and ensure that students lacking books outside of school receive the proper resources and know how to increase their education levels and literacy.
Reducing Gender Inequality:
Book Cottage believes that, in order for gender equality to become a reality, it is crucial that children learn from a young age that they have equal rights and understand that no gender is superior. Therefore, Book Cottage brings all genders together via reading, and allows Afghan youth to interact as equal partners and foster their minds equally.