Six-year-old to raise money for Afghan refugees with readathon

Shanaya Saggar readathon

Shanaya Saggar is set to read 10 books in five days for charity. - Credit: Anshu Saggar

A six-year-old from Brookmans Park is set to raise money for Afghan refugees living in Herts with a readathon. 

Shanaya Saggar has challenged herself to read 10 books in five days during October half-term.

She wants to raise funds to help Hertfordshire Community Foundation and refugees who fled the crisis in Afghanistan and who are now living in the county. 

During August and September this year, more than 120,000 people were airlifted out of Afghanistan by US forces after the Taliban seized control of the country, with many of those refugees taken in by the UK. 

Shanaya wanted to help those who have settled in Hertfordshire after hearing her mum and dad talking about the crisis. 

“I learnt about the problems in Afghanistan when I overheard my mum and dad talking about the news,” she said. 

“It made me think about what it must be like for someone coming to live in England, having to leave everyone they love behind. It made me sad, and I wanted to help them. 

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“I can imagine that leaving Afghanistan and arriving in Hertfordshire must be scary and lonely too. Maybe my readathon will help raise awareness and help them feel less lonely. I love that with a book you are never alone.” 

With Halloween just around the corner, Shanaya’s readathon will have a spooky theme. 

“As my sponsored readathon will fall on Halloween week, I have chosen to read magical fiction books by Harriet Muncaster called Isadora Moon and Mirabelle whose characters are part witch, fairy and vampire. I am really looking forward to reading them.” 

HCF’s director Helen Gray was keen to praise Shanaya’s fundraising efforts, saying: “We were delighted to hear about Shanaya’s plans, what a wonderful way to turn a passion into doing good.  

“We wish Shanaya all the best with her continuous reading plans and hope that she inspires people to donate to this cause.  

“All funds raised will support local groups and organisations providing vital assistance and help to local Afghans as they adapt to their new circumstances now and in the longer term.”