Wendy Rockett


Hackathons Usher in New Chapter for Children’s Books in Cambodia

November 30, 2016


On September 18, nearly 20 publishers, editors, writers, and young technologists, ready with pencils and laptops, filled a co-working space in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, for the country’s first children’s e-book hackathon. The hackathon is part of Let’s Read! an Asia Foundation initiative that applies technology interventions to stimulate read… Read more

Cambodian students in the school library during a weekly reading session. 

Southeast Asia Globe: How the digital revolution is bringing books to Cambodia’s children

November 10, 2016

Media Coverage

Southeast Asia Globe highlights The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia Let’s Read! E-Books for Cambodian Children: Despite this apparent goodwill, though, there remains a stark dearth of reading material for young Cambodians outside of their official school textbooks. Wendy Rockett, senior communications officer for The Asia Foundation’s Books for As… Read more

Cambodian students in the school library during a weekly reading session. 

5 Lessons on How to Build a Digital Library Program

September 6, 2016


Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day and a half century later there’s much to celebrate. However, one of the persistent problems faced by schools in developing countries still today is a lack of one of the most essential ingredients to encourage reading: engaging children’s books to build literacy from an early age. In… Read more


Picturing: The Promise of Libraries in Myanmar

April 2, 2014


Libraries and reading have a special place in Myanmar society. Yangon, the country’s largest city, is teeming with book vendors and libraries. The American Center and British Council libraries were venerated sources of up-to-date publications…


In Highly Literate Myanmar, Local Storybooks are Missing from Shelves

September 4, 2013


As we contemplate the triumphs and remaining challenges in improving literacy this International Literacy Day, consider the fascinating case of Myanmar. The country is one of the poorest in Southeast Asia, with decaying infrastructure and an economy that is just now starting to pick up after decades of stagnation.


Picturing: A Storybook Partnership

September 4, 2013


In developing countries, one of the impediments to early childhood education is the availability of high-quality, age-appropriate reading material in local languages. Children’s book publishing is limited by the lack of specialized skills among local publishers, authors, and illustrators, and a consumer base that can afford extracurricular books. To address this gap, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program and Room to Read are partnering to expand access to compelling and culturally relevant early reading material to children in under-served communities throughout developing Asia.


In Remote Sabah, Books Can Help Reduce Isolation

September 5, 2012


I recently took a trip into the heart of Malaysian Borneo to visit some of the most remote schools that The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia serves. Borneo is a large island located north of Java, Indonesia. In the spring of 2011, we started a partnership with PACOS Trust…

Wendy Rockett's trip to Sri Lanka 

Hope for Resurgence of Sri Lanka’s North Rests on Education

May 11, 2011


On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, I traveled by car from Colombo to Jaffna, a journey of more than 10 hours, and I discovered a city that seemed quietly determined to move forward. Two years after the devastating civil war between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tigers ended…