Press Release 7 / 2006-2008


IBBY Announces the Winners of the 2008 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, initiated by the International Board on Books for Young People and sponsored by the Japanese newspaper company the Asahi Shimbun, is presented to projects run by groups or institutions that are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people.

Since 2006 the Award is given every two years to two projects and presented to the winners at the biennial IBBY Congress. It was a difficult task for the current jury to choose two winners from the eleven nominees as all the projects were of great merit and complemented IBBY’s Mission Statement. Each nominated project targeted children who live in disadvantageous circumstances with no or little access to books. They were really Reading Promotion Projects!

The projects nominated for the 2008 IBBY-Asahi Award were:

  • SLAV / KwaZulu Natal Support Project, South Africa proposed by IBBY Australia
  • Biblionef, Cape Town, South Africa proposed by IBBY Canada
  • Bedrich Benes Buchlovan Library: The Night with Andersen, the Czech Republic, proposed by Czech IBBY
  • Society for All Round Development (SARD): Village Library Project, New Delhi, India proposed by IBBY India, supported by IBBY Nepal
  • Action with Lao Children Japan / Laos proposed by IBBY Japan
  • Grupo Cerra Largo de Promoción de la Lectura, Uruguay, proposed by IBBY Netherlands
  • Tamer Institute for Community Education: National Reading Campaign Ramallah, Palestine, proposed by IBBY Palestine, supported by IBBY Sweden
  • Fundación Taller de Letras Jordi Sierra i Fabra, Medellín, Colombia proposed by IBBY Spain
  • Editions Bakame, Books for Children in Rwanda proposed by IBBY Switzerland and supported by IBBY Germany and IBBY Netherlands
  • The Akili Trust Reading Development Project, UK / Kenya, proposed by IBBY UK
  • Lubuto Library Project, USA / Zambia, proposed by IBBY USA


After an intensive discussion the jury made its choice from these eleven projects and we are pleased to announce that the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Awards for 2008 go to:

The Reading Promotion Project by Action with Lao Children


Editions Bakame, Books for Children in Rwanda

The Lao civil war and revolution in the late 1970’s forced a large number of refugees to flee the Indochinese Peninsula. Ms Chanthasone Inthavong, from Lao, but then living in Japan, believed that by just accepting the refugees did not solve the basic problems. Thus, in 1982 she established the Association for Sending Picture Books to Lao Children. At first the organization sent Japanese children's books, picture books and stationary to Lao children. Later in 1990 the association started sending goods to support the publishing of Lao books by Lao authors and artists. The activities that had started in Japan spread further in Lao. Now, 25 years later the Association has become a Non Government Organization with the title Action with Lao Children, which promotes literate education and urge rights of children in Lao. Since then, around 620,000 copies of books for children have been published in the Lao language. The project has united the National Library of Lao and the Ministry of Education, which supports the National Reading Promotion Project: one of their national priorities. To accomplish the goals and objectives of the project many reading activities have been developed.

Following the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Agnes Gyr-Ukunda established Editions Bakame in 1995 as an independent, non-profit publishing house for children and young people. Its aim is to give children books in Kinyarwanda, the national language understood by all Rwandans, in order to help them overcome the horrors of the genocide by means of healthy reading based on their culture. It is the first Rwandan publisher to offer children’s and youth literature in Kinyarwanda. Bakame publishes stories, documentaries, novels for young adults, as well as picture books. At the same time it works towards the revival of traditional oral literature and putting it in written form; the promotion of a reading culture in Rwanda; training of authors and illustrators in workshops and giving them the opportunity to be published. Since 1995, Bakame has published 30 titles with total print run exceeding 450,000 copies!

IBBY warmly congratulates these two outstanding projects for their creative and effective approaches to helping children enter the world of books and reading.

The 2008 jury comprised

Elda Nogueira (Brazil) as chair, Hannelore Daubert (Germany), Reina Duarte (Spain), Ann Lazim (UK), Ahmad Redza (Malaysia) and Ira Saxena (India).

The prize money of US$ 10,000 for each winning project will be presented at the 31st IBBY Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, at a special festive occasion on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 at the Copenhagen Town Hall.

Elda Nogueira, Chair of the Jury

Bologna, March 2008