July 27, 2011 — On July 19, The Asia Foundation with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched five book distribution centers and donated 28,000 books in the provinces of Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and in the cities of General Santos and Tacurong in Southern Philippines. The donations were made by The Asia Foundationâ€™s Books for Asiaâ€™s program and distributed in Mindanao through the Transparent Accountable Governance project, a partnership between USAID and the Foundation.Â
At each book distribution ceremony, The Asia Foundation and USAID donated brand-new educational materials to public elementary, secondary schools, and colleges as a continuing commitment to promote education and literacy in Mindanao. Boxes of reference materials were distributed to public libraries in host provinces, municipalities and cities, and partner non-government organizations of The Asia Foundation.
The Asia Foundationâ€™s Country Representative in the Philippines, Dr. Steven Rood noted, â€śAs we strive for a peaceful, democratic, just, and prosperous Philippines, a key emphasis is to address education. School children have to be enabled to become thinking individuals so that they could become a driving force in efforts for peace and progress. Education is central to this process, and books are vital to allowing students to learn about the wider world.â€ť
Since 1954, Books for Asia has distributed over 13 million books and journals to public and private institutions across the Philippines. Books for Asia donates educational and instructional books to all three of the island groups – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – addressing the resource needs in 14 of 17 regions of the country.