IBBY-Yamada 2012: Nepal

Developing volunteer-readers in rural areas of Nepal

Nepal has a very low literacy rate and the tradition of reading books aloud by parents to their children is almost nonexistent. To develop the reading habit in the children it is important that parents be educated about the importance of reading and to be shown how to read books to their young children. Children will become lifelong readers if they are brought up in an environment where they enjoy listening and reading and have easy access to the appropriate books.

Programmes that aim to familiarize children (and their parents) with books and cultivate book-reading habits in children are just beginning. Specifically, IBBY Nepal has begun programmes to train volunteer-readers in the remote districts of Nepal. These volunteer-readers will then educate mothers to read books aloud to children and teach reading aloud skills to parents and schoolteachers. A further step would be to produce read-aloud books in Nepali and local languages with the cooperation of local and national publishers.