IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2010 Presentation
IBBY Asahi Laudatio 2010
Dear Mr. Rodriguez from the Xunta de Galicia, dear Mr. Hashimoto from the Asahi Shimbun, dear IBBY President, dear Award-Winners, dear President of IBBY Spain, dear IBBY friends.
It is a great honor for me to present the winners of the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2010. It is also with pleasure that I congratulate the award sponsor, the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper company on the 20th anniversary of the prize that we celebrate tonight.
The original Asahi award was established in 1986 during the 20th IBBY Congress held in Tokyo under the name The Rising Sun Award and was sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper company in Japan. The Asahi Shimbun decided to set up this award to commemorate the 20th IBBY World Congress by honoring those who had contributed to the promotion of children's books and the encouragement of international cooperation. The Asahi Shimbun decided to prolong the award and in 1990 the name was changed to what we know today:
The IBBY Asahi Reading Promotion Award
This important and prestigious award inspires and encourages all those working hard to bring children and books together – often in the most difficult circumstances. It is given to non-governmental grass-root projects that reach disadvantaged young people. The awards are judged by a jury that comprises members of the IBBY Executive Committee and are judged on the following criteria:
Ÿ How well does the project support IBBY’s Mission Statement?
Ÿ Is there existing or possible support for the project from other funding sources?
Ÿ Has the project been in existence for at least two years prior to its nomination? Is the project sustainable? Does it provide a framework for growth?
Ÿ What is the impact of the project? Does it reach its stated target audience?
Ÿ Is the project original and innovative?
Ÿ Can the project provide a model for others? Is it easily replicated? Are any printed materials available and are they of high literary quality?
Ÿ Can the results of the project be evaluated?
IBBY deeply appreciates the support and the vision of the Asahi Shimbun, which has collaborated with IBBY in this program for so long and by doing so help to give children hope for the future. Every child has the right to read and to have access to books.
I would like to warmly thank the Asahi Shimbun for its support und generosity over the last twenty years.
It was a difficult task for the current jury to choose two winners from the twelve nominations as all the projects were of great merit and were in accordance with the Asahi criteria and with IBBY’s Mission Statement. Each nominated project targeted children who live in disadvantaged circumstances with little or no access to books. The nominated projects are established all over the world: in Timor-Leste, Brazil, Ghana, USA, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Slovenia, Cambodia, Kenya and two of them in Colombia.
The Asahi Reading Promotion Awards 2010 goes to the following two projects:
Osu Children's Library Fund, Ghana
Fundación Taller de Letras Jordi Sierra I Fabra, Medellin, Colombia
The Osu Children's Library Fund (OCLF) is a Canada-based registered charity established 1991 to encourage reading and literacy among children and adults in Ghana, West Africa. To accomplish this, the OCLF raised funds to build, furnish and stock five large community libraries in impoverished areas of Ghana's capital Accra, and a community library in the fishing village of Goi. The Osu Fund has also helped to initiate and stock more than 150 smaller libraries in schools and villages across Ghana. With energy, commitment and a unique combination of visionary ideas and practical implementation this organization is encouraging and sustaining a reading culture in West Africa.
This project instills in children, even the smallest, the joy of reading and in doing so enriches their self-esteem and for their future will help to broaden their horizons. Not only children are taught reading and writing skills, but also adults and teens, who have never had this opportunity, are encouraged to join the reading program. Thus giving them confidence and a better chance in the job market and consequently their futures.
The project has many remarkable issues that the jury found to be important:
- It establishes and promotes a local reading culture with local books in West Africa
- It fosters a book culture in local communities
- It helps children and adults to achieve their potential and thus become better placed to succeed in life.
The Fundación Taller de Letras Jordi Sierra i Fabra runs its activities in the four poorest and most vulnerable of the 16 municipalities of Medellín in Colombia, in cooperation with the municipal reading program. In these areas – inhabited by over three million people, including a large number of displaced people - the level of poverty and violence is high. There are thousands of people that do not have enough resources to live with dignity.
The reading program includes various activities that are original and innovative and connected in some way to literature. They are designed to develop creativity in readers and writers by emphasizing the joys of reading.
The reading activities take place in the streets of the neighborhoods and in the parks, as well as in other non-conventional meeting places. There are workshops for promoting reading, literary fairs, literature-related films shown, chats and get-togethers with writers – all bringing reading closer to children and adults who do not have real access to books and culture. The project has not only benefited more than 21.000 people, but has also generated the participation of many community organizations and cultural leaders from the communities involved, creating the foundations for future reading promotion and culture. The project works towards a better quality of life in the communities of Medellín by running training workshops and promoting reading and literary events.
Both projects provide children and their parents with the tools to read and therefore enable the children and their families to improve their chances in life. Both projects have a well-established basis that has the potential to develop further activities and to make excellent and creative use of the prize money and prestige. They provide impressive and encouraging role models that can be transferred to other places where they will benefit children and communities.
On behalf of the members of the jury: Anastasia Arkhipova from Russia, Nikki Gamble from Great Britain, Jehan Helou from Palestine, Ahmad Redza Khairuddin from Malaysia, James Tumusiime from Uganda and myself, I would like to congratulate all those involved in these two outstanding projects. Their creative, effective and encouraging approaches are helping children enter the world of books and reading. It is with great pleasure that I now ask the representatives of the two winning projects, Mrs. Kathy Knowles and Mr. Jordi Sierra i Fabra, to come up to the stage.
I also want to thank the representatives of all nominated projects and again the sponsor of the award for their important contribution to IBBY's mission: to promote international understanding through children's books and to make sure that children everywhere have access to books of high literary and artistic quality.
Santiago de Compostela, September 10, 2010