Sarangani, Philippines, February 11, 2013 — The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program, with support from Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), will distribute 6,000 brand new books to all public elementary schools in the remote towns of Malungon in Sarangani and Daraga in Albay.
AusAID, through the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), has supported literacy projects for out-of-school youth in the two municipalities. PACAP is the Australian Government’s long-running program that provides small grants assistance to poor communities throughout the Philippines.
Books for Asia distributes much-needed books and supplementary reading materials for free to schools nationwide as a continuing commitment to promote education and literacy in the country.
“Australia’s support reflects our commitment to help Filipino children have access to quality education. Australia and the Philippines share the belief that education is a way for people to overcome poverty. We hope that more children will be encouraged to stay, participate more and learn better in school,” Geoff King, AusAID Counsellor, said.
According to Asia Foundation’s Country Representative Dr. Steven Rood, “We very much appreciate our partnership with AusAID through PACAP. We are encouraged by the partnerships we see among local organizations, the communities, and local governments. As we continue to pursue development in communities throughout the Philippines, we need to improve education for the younger generation. Our schoolchildren should become thinking individuals so that they can become a driving force in our efforts for peace and progress. This is where books are vital to allowing students to learn about the wider world.” Dr. Rood added, “Our efforts will make a deep and broad impact as we try to bring books to the remotest schools in the country. We are thankful to AusAID in supporting Books for Asia. The Asia Foundation is also grateful to McGraw Hill companies for its generous donations of brand new books to our program.”
Representatives from AusAID and The Asia Foundation will attend the book turnover ceremonies in the two municipalities, along with officials from the provincial and municipal government, Department of Education district supervisors, principals of the recipient schools, and heads of NGOs.