UNESCO honours “Books for rural areas of Vietnam” programme
(VNF) - The Centre for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development (CKACD) has been awarded the 2016 UNESCO Literacy Prize for its programme “Books for rural areas of Vietnam.”
Initiated by young Vietnamese man Nguyen Quang Thach, the programme aims to bring books to the most rural areas of Vietnam, develop a reading culture there, and encourage rural children to read to improve public intellectual standards.
Nguyen Quang Thach (R) with his programme brought books to the most rural areas of Vietnam. (Photo: unesco.org)
Mr. Thach, who spent 19 years studying library design and applying library models, started his work in 2007 with three libraries and expanded with the help of funding to build 28 libraries in 9 provinces.
In 2010, he founded the Centre for Knowledge Assistance and Community Development and began the first trans-national tour to mobilize for the programme which has to date engaged more than 100,000 people. Most of them are farmers who help to finance it through crowd-funding.
The prize win means Mr. Thach will be able to extend his idea to other countries.
“Before I even heard that the programme had won I had sent a letter to many Indian organizations explaining the benefits of the idea. I want other countries that have large poor populations with little access to books to apply my library system too. I want to walk in India to call Indian people to build libraries for all children” he said.
To date, the civil library system has made books accessible to more than 400,000 readers in rural areas and built more than 9,000 libraries in 26 provinces. With the support of the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and engagement of million people of middle class, rural people and Vietnamese oversea, the programme will be replicated nationwide to cover all 63 provinces reaching around 20,000,000 rural people by 2020.
UNESCO started awarding its Literacy Prize in 1989. This year, the prize worth 20,000 USD will be presented at a ceremony in Paris on September 8th./.
( According to unesco.org )