A charity launched in memory of a Western Isles aid worker killed in Afghanistan is helping keep ancient folk tales alive in the troubled country.
A book of traditional folk tales from Afghanistan is being distributed to schools to help improve children’s reading and writing skills, thanks to funding support from the Linda Norgrove Foundation.
The charity was established in memory of the aid worker who was kidnapped while working in Afghanistan and who died in a failed rescue attempt in October 2010.
Her parents, John and Lorna, wanted Linda to be remembered for her contribution to life rather than her tragic death and established the foundation to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan
The latest funding will see 5,000 copies of an illustrated children’s book distributed to schools and orphanages across the country.
The project follows the success of a similar programme which used folk songs to improve literacy skills among children, particularly in the less well served areas outside the cities.
Now with the help of the funding boost, copies of Bood Nabood – Once Upon a Time – is being spread across ten provinces in Afghanistan.
The foundation has distributed well over a million pounds since it was established in 2010 and has funded more than 80 grass roots projects.
John and Lorna explained their reasons for supporting the project, saying: “It often feels like we only ever hear negative things about Afghanistan.
“Yet, as we know from our visits there, the country has a rich cultural heritage and we are pleased to be playing a part in helping to preserve that.
Education is key to improving the fortunes of the Afghan people – the children of today are the potential leaders of tomorrow and we are happy to support a project which is improving the learning experience for children, particularly those in the more outlying areas.”