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Afghan Schools to Gain Local-Language Learning Materials through International Partnership

For immediate release

Dublin, Ireland, & Kabul, Afghanistan, 16 February 2016 - Ireland-based charity The Rosetta Foundation, and the Afghanistan-based Darakht-e Danesh (DD) Library have partnered to expand the learning materials available in languages spoken in Afghanistan for Afghan schools. The partnership mobilises the Foundation's community of 11,000 volunteer translators around the world through its Translation Commons (Trommons) platform, and will make materials accessible in Pashto and Dari through the DD Library's platform in Afghanistan.

"Billions of people around the globe continue to be disenfranchised because they lack access to information in their language," said Hans Fenstermacher, Chairman of The Rosetta Foundation’s Executive Committee. "Our volunteers are helping close that gap every day. Through their work in this partnership, more schoolchildren in Afghanistan will be able to learn and become full-fledged members of society."

"We are convinced that the fastest road to peace in Afghanistan is through the development of human capital in the country," said Jamshid Hashimi, the DD Library's Development Manager, from Kabul. "Our library of localised learning resources aims to meet that goal and working with an international platform like Trommons connects us with a large pool of translation talent, helping grow our collection. We are thrilled to be working together in the shared objective of reducing the divide to accessing knowledge."

The DD Library currently has over 100 resources in need of translation into Dari and over 200 for Pashto, as well as plans to expand to other Afghan languages such as Uzbeki and Turkmeni. The Darakht-e Danesh Library invites linguists and book publishers to join this collaborative project and help expand learning opportunities for all Afghan children and their teachers.

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Media Inquiries

Darakht-e Danesh Library: Lauryn Oates
T: +93 785 311 525 (Afghanistan) / +1604 446 9081 (Canada)

The Rosetta Foundation: Paulina Abzieher
T: +353 86 785 17 49 (Ireland)

logo-dara.jpgAbout Darakht-e Danesh

The Darakht-e Danesh ('knowledge tree') Online Library is a digital collection of open educational resources (OER) for Afghanistan. It was established to enhance teacher subject-area knowledge, access and use of learning materials, and to foster more diverse teaching methodologies in order to improve learning outcomes in Afghan classrooms. The repository uses an interactive, multilingual content management system currently housing OER in 18 subjects, in the three languages taught in the Afghan public school system: Dari, Pashto and English. Users can find everything from biology experiments to social studies lesson plans to full text children’s storybooks. The DD Library harnesses technology to make learning and teaching resources more directly accessible to educators, and anyone who wants to feed their knowledge, through innovative access models reaching teachers in resource-scarce environments.

logo-rosetta.jpgAbout The Rosetta Foundation

Since 2009, The Rosetta Foundation has worked to eradicate the knowledge gap based on linguistic discrimination with the support of friends and colleagues in the translation and localisation industries. They help to connect language volunteers with non-profit organisations that work with under-served communities. Together with these organisations, the Foundation aims to create access to language services that were previously unavailable to linguistically marginalised communities. The work done by The Rosetta Foundation with volunteers and organisations through the Translation Commons (Trommons) allows these communities better access to knowledge and information around justice, education, healthcare, and economic wellbeing.

"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel." ~ Socrates
"If your tree brings the fruit of knowledge / it shall bring the sky down to the earth” - Nasir Khusraw (1004 – 1088 AD)
The great aim of education is not knowledge but action. -- Herbert Spencer
Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. -- Hadith
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. ― William Arthur Ward
Asking good questions is half of learning. -- Sufi saying
Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. ― Aristotle
Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm. -- Idries Shah
We were scared. But school was where we wanted to be. -- Shabana Basij-Rasikh, Afghan education activist
Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim, male and female. -- Hadith
Education is a living treasure for all humankind. ~ Ehsan Ullah, Founder, Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies
I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
A teacher is a candle that burns to enlighten others. ~ Afghan proverb
There is a path to the top of the highest mountain. ~ Afghan proverb
Drop by drop a river is made. ~ Afghan proverb
We should all attempt to acquire as much knowledge as possible in order that we may render our services to society in the manner of the women of early Islam. -- Queen Soraya of Afghanistan, 1926
If you learn even one word more than yesterday, you will be totally a different person.