During last week’s Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the International Board on Book for Young People (IBBY) launched the Sharjah IBBY Fund, a government-funded program intended to promote reading among children, provide children with access to books, and train professionals who work in reading-related fields.
According to the press release, “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 government of Sharjah agreed to sponsor the Fund with a total of 1 million Swiss Francs ($1.1 million) over a period of 10 years. At the launch, 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.” Sheikha Bodour will serve as chairperson to the Fund’s advisory board.
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.”
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