Sharjah: UAE-based Kalimat Foundation has signed an agreement with UK-based charity Book Aid International (BAI) to support learning resources for refugees and forcibly displaced children in Africa and the Middle East.
The agreement was signed recently on the sidelines of the ongoing London Book Fair 2021.
1,500 books for libraries
Under the joint project, Kalimat Foundation will deliver 15 libraries, each containing 100 Arabic language books. The project will be mobilised by Kalimat Foundation’s ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative that aims to provide libraries to refugees and forcibly displaced children. BAI will contribute English language books to support their library partners in Africa and the Middle East, where there is a growing need for a resource of multilingual collection of children’s books.
Amna Al Mazmi, manager of Kalimat Foundation, said: “The foundation is committed to ensuring the basic right of every child to read and have access to books. Especially so in conflict areas, where there the need to provide vulnerable children with adequate reading material is far more pressing, and is a crucial way to empower them with knowledge, and boost their literacy.”
Focus on Middle East and Africa
Alison Tweed, CEO, Book Aid International, said: “BAI will connect Kalimat Foundation with dynamic African organisations in communities where Arabic is spoken, such as Unique Foundation in The Gambia which works with at-risk children, and Windle International, an NGO working with refugees in the East Africa region.
"Similarly, Kalimat Foundation will connect BAI to communities in the Middle East where there is a need for children’s books in English. We are responding to this need with the wonderful donations of brand-new children’s books in English that we receive from UK publishers.”
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About the foundation
Established in 2016, the Kalimat Foundation aims to fulfil the basic right of every child to read, have access to books, and to cater to the literacy and developmental needs of children, especially in trauma-affected regions. Since 2017, the Pledge a Library initiative has delivered 112 libraries and distributed over 11,000 books to more than 60 refugee camps, community centres, schools and universities, institutes, public libraries, hospitals and NGOs worldwide.