Sharjah IBBY Fund to add three more projects

SHARJAH: The Sharjah International Board on Books for Young People, IBBY, Fund is to hold its third annual Advisory Committee Meeting on the sidelines of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, on March 26th, to discuss prospective project proposals and to allocate funding for 2014.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, UAEBBY patron, said, “Over the past two years, we have had the pleasure and privilege of seeing a number of truly amazing projects take flight with the support of the Sharjah IBBY Fund. It is our firm belief that children, no matter where they are, deserve the right to have access to books and the opportunities that this access affords them. We are looking forward to adding a new group of deserving projects to the Fund’s portfolio and will continue to strive to make a difference in the lives of those children who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in strife ridden areas.”

At the moment, the Fund supports four ongoing projects in Iran, Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively. The successful ‘Read with Me’ project in Iran, in collaboration with the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran (IRHCLI), gives access to relevant books for children at risk in Iran, and has been extended to reach 500 disadvantaged pre-school children attending 12 pre-schools in the South Khorasan Province. The project includes the training of teachers at various small libraries.

The new project proposals for the allocation of the 2014 Sharjah IBBY Fund are currently in process. Possible candidates include Afghanistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the Mexican Regional Meeting. Three of the four will be chosen for funding during the Bologna Committee Meeting, and 100,000 Swiss Francs will be allocated upon the approval of the projects by the Advisory Committee.

The meeting will be attended by Redza Khairuddin, President of IBBY, Ahmad Al Ameri, Director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the U.A.E. Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), Liz Page, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Secretariat, Hasmig Chahinian, President of the French Board on Books for Young People, Jehan Al Helou President of the Palestinian Board on Books for Young People, Patsy Aldana, President of IBBY, and Shada El Sayed.