Shaikha Budoor at a reading session at the Kalimat Group stand at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. Image Credit: Gulf News

Sharjah: Coinciding with World Book Day, Shaikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, launched the Kalimat Foundation for Children’s Empowerment on Friday, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing books and reading material to children in underprivileged areas, as well as global regions affected by crises and conflicts.

Headquartered in Sharjah, Kalimat Foundation strives to ensure the fundamental right of every child to read. It works to promote the idea that improving access to literature and encouraging children to pick up books are the best ways to develop children’s mental and social capacities and ultimately improve society.

Shaikha Bodour announced the launch of the new foundation during a reading session, organised at the Kalimat Group stand at the eighth edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which is being held at the Sharjah Expo Centre and runs until April 30.

During the session, Shaikha Bodour read aloud to a group of children from six titles in the ‘Puppet Book’ series, a collection she has personally authored and published by Kalimat Publishing House.

Shaikha Bodour said the Kalimat Foundation’s launch stems from her strong belief in children’s right to have access to books and obtain knowledge so as to be able to develop themselves. She noted that there are many children living under harsh conditions who are deprived of education, as they have no access to sources of knowledge.

Shaikha Bodour underlined that the foundation’s mission is not limited to “lighting candles that illuminate the way for children”, but is instead a practical initiative that will provide in-need youngsters with books, ensuring that they have access to education and knowledge. It will deliver reading material that contributes to building their capabilities, developing their talents and enhancing their cognitive abilities so they are equipped to overcome their challenges now and in the future.

“We believe in the role of books in raising hope in children who live under difficult conditions. Our foundation will provide them with all forms of support as part of an initiative to empower children with all necessary means that enable them to bring about required positive changes in their personal environments and in the world. We hope that the foundation will contribute to shaping a better present and brighter future for all children across the globe,” Shaikha Bodour said.