Sharjah IBBY Fund

Sharjah IBBY Fund

IBBY and UAEBBY launch the Sharjah IBBY Fund One million Swiss Francs in support of a reading culture among the region's children   

The United Arab Emirates Board on Books for Young People  (UAEBBY) and the International Board on Book for Young People (IBBY)  Foundation launched the Sharjah government-supported Sharjah IBBY Fund  which aims to promote a love of reading among children so that they  become life-long readers, ensure that children have access to books as  well as support needed training programmes for professionals in this  field.  

The Fund aims primarily to provide support for children whose lives  have been disrupted through war, civil disorder or natural disasters in  the region of Central Asia and North Africa through implementing  reading-related projects.  

The launch of this Fund was announced at a press conference held  during the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival 2012 at Sharjah Expo  Centre in the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al  Qasimi President of the UAEBBY, Mr. Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin  President of IBBY, representatives from various Arab national sections  of IBBY, stakeholders in the field of culture  and children's literature  as well as media representatives.  

The agreement to establish the Fund was signed by the UAEBBY and the  IBBY Foundation prior to the press conference. As part the agreement,  the Sharjah government will contribute one million Swiss Francs  (equivalent to AED4 million) towards the objectives of the Fund over a  period of 10 years.  

As per the agreement, an Advisory Committee will be set up to manage  and supervise the fund. The Advisory Committee will be chaired by HE  Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi and will include as members IBBY  Foundation President and four other members to be appointed by the  UAEBBY and IBBY.   

Speaking on this occasion, HE Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi  said: "The emirate of Sharjah has been at the forefront of many cultural  and humanitarian initiatives in the region, whose effect have been felt  far beyond the borders of our country thanks to the constant support of  His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the  Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. As child development is a top  priority for His Highness, the launch of this Fund comes to highlight  the important role played by Sharjah in the global cultural and  humanitarian sphere".   

HE Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi explained that the Sharjah IBBY Fund,  built on a cooperation between the IBBY and the UAEBBY, will work to  support children's intellectual development through reading, and nurture  children's reading habits, and provide relief from trauma through books  and reading, particularly for children living in situations of conflict  or post-conflict in various parts of this region and who are suffering  from the adverse effects on these conflicts on health, welfare and  educational opportunities.  

"This fund will support the IBBY's activities in Central Asia and  North Africa, help to expand its current network of IBBY through  enabling national sections in these countries to emerge or develop the  work they do to promote children's literature, provide them with needed  books, training courses and guidance as well as supporting long term  projects that would allow them to respond effectively to challenges  faced by children who are victims of wars, crises, poverty and disease",  Her Excellency added.  

HE Sheikha Bodour clarified that the fund will finance a new IBBY-led  training programme that will offer the necessary training to the  national sections in the targeted countries in addition to supporting  long-term children's reading projects in unstable and war torn countries  such as the Gaza Strip, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.  

Her Excellency concluded: "Through this initiative, we seek to convey  a message to the region and the world about the importance of books and  literature for children and the need to give them priority above all  other considerations, in order to produce literate and cultured  generations who are able to proceed with lives with success and  confidence".   

Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin, President of the IBBY, said: "I am  thrilled to join you today on this unique children's literature occasion  and delighted to announce the Sharjah IBBY Fund that will help and  support the children in the region, to develop their love of reading and  provide the right books and environment to do so".  

"In times of trouble and crises that impact children's cultural  development and limit the resources available to develop their love of  reading, we are confident that the Sharjah IBBY Fund will help promote  children's literature in the region and enable children to develop as  life-long readers overcome the difficulties which result from the  health, psychological or financial challenges they face and finally  triumph over the effects of crises that had affected their countries",  he added.  

Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin extended thanks to the Sharjah  Government represented by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al  Qasimi and to HE Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi for their  generous initiative to support IBBY activities all over the world.  

The IBBY Foundation is an independent organization based in  Switzerland, that aims to raise funds and contributions to finance the  IBBY's activities. IBBY is an independent organization, separate from  IBBYF, based in Switzerland that aims to encourage reading and bring  children and books together. UAEBBY is the national section of IBBY in  the UAE.    

For more information, please contact: Yousef Al Tawell
Account Manager
Sahara PR, UAE
Tel: +971 4 3298996
Fax: +971 4 3298995
Mob: +971 55 50 66 111
Web Site:

Liz Page
IBBY Executive Director
Tel: 4161 272 2917
Fax: +4161 272 2757
Web Site: