The Asia Foundation Continues Support for Education in Southern Philippines
Koronadal City and General Santos City, Philippines, March 6, 2008 — At separate ceremonies to be held in Koronadal City and in General Santos City, a total of 20,000 children’s books and reference materials will be presented to 560 schools all across the province of South Cotabato and the city of General Santos. The donations are part of The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program. The distribution of the books in Mindanao is made possible through the Foundation’s Transparent Accountable Governance (TAG) project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Among key people who are invited to grace the occasion in Koronadal City are Koronadal City Mayor Fernando Q. Miguel, South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes, officers of the city government, and officials of the Department of Education. The ceremony in General Santos City is expected to be attended by City Mayor Pedro B. Acharon, Jr., Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio, city government officials and representatives from the Division Office of the Department of Education. Officials from The Asia Foundation will join, along with representatives of recipient elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities during these events.
The provision of books and other educational resources serves as a joint commitment in the campaign for education among communities in South Cotabato and General Santos. Mr. Ky Johnson, Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation, noted the Foundation shares goals with local communities in Mindanao who have taken the lead in improving quality education in their areas. Mr. Johnson said, “The Asia Foundation is happy to be able to provide educational resources in order to make a difference in the lives of schoolchildren in South Cotabato and General Santos. All members of society have to take on the responsibility of mobilizing their resources to create an impact on the performance of their young leaders. With the help of our local governments and private partners, we can help each community as we bring learning to all deserving schools throughout Southern Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines.”
The Asia Foundation acknowledges the unrelenting support of public and private partners in this endeavor; namely; the City Governments of Koronadal City and General Santos City for encouraging activities that promote education and literacy, Aboitiz2go (which helped shipped the books), the U.S. publishers that supplied the donated books, and USAID for generously supporting the Books for Asia’s special focus on Mindanao.
“Education forms the foundation for all prosperous and democratic societies,” said Jon Lindborg, USAID/Philippines Mission Director. “The U.S. Government is very proud to support the work of dedicated organizations like The Asia Foundation and committed schools and communities across Mindanao to help improve educational opportunities for school children and young scholars.”
Since 1954, Books for Asia, the Foundation’s longest-running program, has been committed to the belief that knowledge and education are critical for Asian nations to advance their citizens and societies. Books for Asia puts nearly one million up-to-date books and resources of the highest quality into the hands of students, teachers, and librarians in 17 Asian countries each year.
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