Davao City, Philippines, September 7, 2007 — At a ceremony held today, 600 children’s books were presented to day care centers in Davao City. The books are being donated by The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program to The Kiwanis International Philippine South District, which will facilitate the delivery to child centers in need. Together in the past three years, The Asia Foundation and The Kiwanis International Philippine South District have distributed approximately 65,000 books to 1,500 schools in Visayas and Mindanao.
Each new book is provided by U.S. publishers and shipped from The Asia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco to its office in Manila. Since 2004, the Foundation has collaborated with over 90 Kiwanis Clubs in the Philippines to bring new books, textbooks, and education materials to public elementary schools and high schools, public libraries, and day care centers.
Dr. Steven Rood, country representative of The Asia Foundation, noted the Foundation’s shared goal with Kiwanis Clubs of promoting education and increasing literacy. Speaking at the Kiwanis annual district convention, Dr. Rood said, “The dedication of the Kiwanis Clubs to identify centers and schools in need and then coordinate the allocation of books to these children–some in the most remote areas of Mindanao–has opened the doors of education to our future leaders.”
The broad network of Kiwanis Clubs ensures that the donated books reach learning centers in every village. The Kiwanis work directly with educators to select the materials and subjects then covers the cost of book distribution. Monitoring and evaluation are done also by Kiwanis Clubs to check the status of books and that the needs of the recipients have been met.
Kiwanis Book Bank District Chairman and Past District Governor Mr. Jose S. Altavas said, “The Philippine South District of Kiwanis International made an unwritten contract based on trust and commitment to become partners with The Asia Foundation in distributing books to a network of Kiwanis clubs all over Visayas and Mindanao. The Asia Foundation’s continuous support became a boundless resource of books to thousands of children.” Mr. Altavas expressed that the Kiwanis Book Bank Project, through the help of The Asia Foundation, has contributed significantly to child literacy and education and a budding development of lifelong readers. “Early literacy skills are nurtured by Kiwanians who distribute and read books and build mini-libraries for the children. For all of us, Kiwanians, we always say, ‘books are real life’s treasures just like little children.’ Because, by placing books in their hands to read may greatly influence not only their hearts and minds but also their hopes and dreams for tomorrow,” Mr. Altavas added.
For more information about Kiwanis International, please visit: www.kiwanis.org.