Kabul, Afghanistan – A blue bus stops on a small street on the outskirts of Afghanistan‘s capital, Kabul.
Soon after its doors open, joyful children crowd the vehicle to pick up their favourite book before retreating into a corner to learn about the adventures of a superhero or the wisdom and kindness of a fairy.
The Charmaghaz (walnut) project, which runs this mobile library, started in February last year and soon became a regular sight around the city.
Each day, the bus visits up to four communities across Kabul, with every stop lasting two hours.
“The main goal of the mobile library is to promote critical thinking, which we believe it is not promoted in our education system or our society,” said Freshta Karim, the 26-year-old founder of the Charmaghaz project.
“When children read stories from around the world and see issues through somebody else’s eyes, they learn to think critically and realise their potential.
“It’s been one year since we started working with children and we realised they are very passionate and they have so much energy and thirst for knowledge.
“They deserve a lot of investment. Education is one of the areas we need to invest because this is how we will change this country,” Karim added.