Third Goal Award

posted Sep 17, 2011, 2:04 AM by Terry Dougherty   [ updated Feb 25, 2015, 2:58 PM ]

Friends of Afghanistan

Third Goal Award to

Louise M. Pascale, Ph.D

The Peace Corps Third Goal is to "strengthen Americans' understanding about the world and its peoples."   
— President John F. Kennedy

Louise Pascale probably never imagined that her songbook project would receive new life decades later on the heels of the American invasion of Afghanistan. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Kabul, Louise began the book in 1966 and Kabul Press published it in 1968 

In 2003, Louise found her tattered and faded copy of the songbook in a bookcase and guessed that it was probably the only one still in print. She resolved to republish and repatriate its vanished cultural treasures as a gift to the Afghan people—especially for the children and grandchildren of the students she had taught 35 years earlier. Thus began the Afghan Children's Songbook Project.

Dr. Pascale recorded and preserved Many traditional children’s songs and nursery rhymes from various regions and tribal groups throughout Afghanistan. A number of these cultural gems had been lost in the turmoil of war, starting with the Soviet invasion, continuing through the Civil War, and culminating under the infamous Taliban. The Taliban’s benighted rule banned virtually all traditional Afghan songs, and replaced them with religious dirges.

After enormous effort researching, arranging, rehearsing, recording, and working with talented musicians in the U.S. and Canada, Dr. Pascale published a new edition—five years after that fortuitous discovery, and forty years after its first publication. The expanded Children’s Songs from Afghanistan: Qu Qu Qu Barg-e-Chinaar is available in English and Dari. The purchase of every songbook in the U.S. funds the free distribution of four books in Afghanistan. Books may be ordered from

The Alphabet Song video from the Small Heaven orphanage in Kabul.... is the real thing!  These kids were fabulous and note they are reading along. This is what inspired me to write a teacher's guide. Despite no encouragement, they are teaching themselves to read! I love it.                                                    

— Louise Pascale, Lesley University, Creative Arts in Learning

For her work publishing QU QU QU BARG-E-CHINAAR Children's Songbook: Dr. Louise Pascale will receive our 2011 Third Goal Award. All income from US sales goes to publish a Farsi version of the book for free distribution in Afghan elementary schools. 30,000 of these books have already been distributed in Afghanistan. Louise was the first RPCV ESL teacher for SOLA students while on sabbatical in the Fall of 2009 from her teaching duties at Lesley University.

To date, there are 30,000 songbooks distributed to children in schools and orphanages across Afghanistan.T
here is also now available a newly created Teacher's Guide that accompanies the songbook. The Teacher's Guides include 6-8 creative ideas to implement that reinforce not only the wonderful traditional Afghan music but enhance reading and writing skills.  To help in this effort, the last 5000 songbook packages that were just distributed also included, in addition to a CD and cassette, a small notebook and 2 pencils. With these simple resources, the children can practice basic literacy skills.
We are currently working on producing a 2nd songbook and Teacher's Guide.
Louise M. Pascale, Ph.D
Lesley University Creative Arts in Learning Division