Literacy - The Afghan Reading Project

You may be struggling to spell in English or to teach others to spell, but spare a thought for those who cannot read or write at all, and who have no books to help them. I am sure there are many places in the world where this is the case, but I read recently that in Afghanistan 90% of women and 80% of men are illiterate. I'm so shocked that I'm going to write that again in bold:

In Afghanistan 90% of women and 80% of men cannot read or write.

Just think for a minute what the consequences of such widespread illiteracy means for the people of Afghanistan and for the rest of the world.

Thinking about this led me to an organisation which looks like it does fantastic work:

The Afghan Reading Project

From their website:
The Afghan Reading Project is a registered charity that aims to put books in the hands of Afghan children to inspire reading and learning. We also fund books for older students and practical resources for teachers.

ARP has funded the publication of 40,000 books, all produced by Afghan writers, illustrators and printers. The books were distributed to schools in Afghanistan and refugee schools along the Afghan-Pakistan border, meaning that thousands of children can now enjoy a range of educational and fictional texts.

Please consider supporting The Afghan Reading Project.

If you need to be persuaded of the importance of this type of education I strongly recommend reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


  1. That is shocking and awful Johanna, thank you for sharing it.

  2. Hi Johanna,

    I am the editor of an ELT newsletter (

    I would love to post your content in my newsletter it has subscriber base of 850 teachers in more than 35 countries.

    Tarun (tarunjpatel AT

  3. Hi Tarun,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I would be delighted to see The Spelling Blog postings on (as long as it is attributed and links back to here of course). ELTweekly looks like a really useful initiative. Best of luck with it.