The Asia Foundation and OOCL Partner to Distribute 400,000 Books Across Asia

Twenty-five OOCL containers to transport much-needed books to Asian schools, universities, and libraries

San Francisco and Hong Kong, February 6, 2012 — The Asia Foundation today announced a new partnership with Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), a leading integrated international container transportation and logistics company, to support the Foundation’s Books for Asia program. Recognized by publishers as one of the world’s most effective book donation programs, Books for Asia provides textbooks and educational materials to students in need in 18 developing countries throughout Asia. Through the OOCL partnership, Books for Asia will ship an estimated 402,000 books valued at $18.4 million.

Students at a community learning center in Jakarta pore over a brand-new textbook provided by Books for Asia

Students at a community learning center in Jakarta pore over a brand-new textbook provided by Books for Asia. Photo by Anne Luntungan.

OOCL’s valuable support will help underwrite Books for Asia’s transportation costs to the following countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam in 2012. OOCL’s contribution will allow the program to distribute a significant number of English-language books – often unavailable or prohibitively expensive – to deserving students, educators, and future leaders in Asia.

“We are thrilled to partner with Books for Asia and advance our social responsibility values,” said Andy Tung, OOCL Chief Operating Officer. “OOCL has a long tradition of commitment to education, beginning with our founder, the late Mr. C.Y. Tung, who liked to say that ships can be used for carrying ideas as well as cargo. We honor and respect his legacy, and are proud today to support a well-established, transformative program like Books for Asia.”

Working across the Asia-Pacific region, Books for Asia relies on the goodwill and support of donors and partners like OOCL to get books into the hands of those that need them the most. Books for Asia has distributed over 46 million books, software programs, and other education material to a wide range of learning institutions since 1954.

The Asia Foundation’s President David D. Arnold said: “OOCL is a shining example of generous corporate support of our book program. Their contribution ensures that books donated by the world’s leading publishers will continue to reach an impressive number of students in Asia, helping them to develop to their full potential and contribute to their countries’ development.” Speaking on the common values shared by the shipping company and the international non-profit, Mr. Arnold continued: “We are very grateful and excited to work with a partner that shares our vision for a connected and educated Asia, placing a strong emphasis on the values of community, impact, and innovation in a rapidly developing region.”

On March 29th in New York City, Books for Asia and The Asia Foundation will host a cocktail reception to honor publisher donors and other partners, including OOCL. With their generous support, Books for Asia impacts 9 million people in Asia each year through donations of relevant, high-quality education material.

Read more about the Books for Asia program. For media inquiries, please visit the Press Room.

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Eelynn Sim, Associate Director


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