Nal'ibali wins global award for encouraging reading, storytelling

Reading is fundamental to a child's development as it underpins everything we do in life.
Reading is fundamental to a child's development as it underpins everything we do in life.
Image: 123RF

South African national reading campaign Nal’ibali has won an international award for its work. Nal’ibali, a campaign aimed at sparking children’s potential through reading and storytelling, was awarded The Joy of Reading Prize in Aarhus, Denmark.

The award was presented by the president of the International Library Association, Gloria Perez-Salmeron, on June 1. A total of 28 projects from around the world were nominated for the award which focused on initiatives that disseminate the joy and ability to read, and thus engage in the fight against illiteracy.

Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali’s managing director, received the award on behalf of the team which works on the programme.

“I would like to dedicate this award to the 17,000 literacy activists in South Africa – we call them FUNda Leaders – everyday ordinary people who have signed up with Nal’ibali to create opportunities for children in their lives to fall in love with books,” Jacobsohn said.

“I’d also like to dedicate this award to my fierce and fabulous team of fellow Nal’ibalians who are immersed on a daily basis in the hardships of social inequality and poverty, as they fight to give children the best chance they can get of rising out of it.”

Nal’ibali was applauded by the international jury for its long-term impact and influence on local communities in SA and for enabling parents in particular to have become role models for their children’s reading habits. The programme was also praised for its framework that creates a nurturing environment, as well as generating multilingual reading materials, so that children from all age groups can learn to love reading in their mother tongues.  

For winning the award, Nal’ibali received $10,000 (R149,000) which will go towards stocking up Nal’ibali’s newly launched mobile libraries for Story Power in Motion.

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