‘Books for Asia’ programme extended to Sarawak

By Patricia Hului
[email protected]

Herizal (third left) looks on as Adenan strike the gong as a symbolic measure to launched the programme.

For those who have not heard of The Asia Foundation, this non-profit international development organisation dedicated to improving lives across Asia has been in Malaysia since 1954.

According to Herizal Hazri, country representative of The Asia Foundation, Books for Asia (BFA) is one of the foundation’s longest running programmes and has donated over 2.5 million books to hundreds of institutions and schools throughout the country since 1957.

The programme expands opportunities for individuals, communities, and nations by putting brand-new books and digital content in English and local languages into the hands of students and educators in 20 countries throughout Asia.

“We empower future and current Asian leaders with information because we know an educated population is better equipped to fight poverty, injustice, and instability,” Herizal stated during the launching ceremony officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem at the State Legislative Assembly building on Feb 15.

“Today, we’re proud to introduce Books for Asia, The Asia’s Foundation’s most beloved programme to the people of Sarawak.”

According to Herizal, the programme believes in the transformative power of new, crisp, quality books.

“But across Asia, millions go without books, or read dated, damaged texts,” he said. “In our six decades on the ground in Asia, we have witnessed, again and again, the powerful ripple effects of providing students, educators, and leaders with access to up-to-date information from the world’s publishers.”

Herizal pointed out that the programme was successful thanks to the generosity of its donors, which include McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, W.W. Norton, John Wiley & Sons, Island Press, Abrams, LexisNexis, Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt, and Scholastic, and the United States Agency for International Development for its contributions toward shipping costs.

The books are packed and shipped from San Francisco. They have developed well-established operations in 18 countries.

“In Malaysia, we have had the privilege to partner the University of Malaya in Peninsular Malaysia, The PACOS Trust in Sabah and now The Sarawak Foundation in Sarawak,”

“While The Asia Foundation will strive to bring vibrant, entertaining books are crucial to engaging students we hope that this partnership will work toward inspiring, especially children in Sarawak to read.”

Herizal also announced that the first batch of Books for Asia amounting up to 19,000 books will arrive Kuching this Mar 23.

For more information on Books for Asia, log on to http://asiafoundation.org/program/overview/books-for-asia

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