Sajia Darwish is a junior at Mount Holyoke college, who is committed to improving the library of her elementary school, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Through her self-started initiative, Sajia has managed to move the library from a secluded closet, to an open room, perfect for quiet studying and tutoring. She is particularly concerned with inspiring young Afghan women to read, whose literacy rates are among the lowest in the world.
On her effort: “I don’t want gender to decide what a person can do or not, I want to show that what you get out is how much passion you put in and that should be what defines who you are, not gender.”
So far, she has helped donate 2,500 titles under the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund, to the library she has named ‘Baale Parwaz’, which means ‘wings to fly’. Sajia’s efforts are an important contribution to the restoration of free thought in Afghanistan, which had been previously repressed by the strict theocracy of the Taliban.
Featured image courtesy of mtholyoke