By Naomi Yakawich
Phnom Penh, Cambodia—After months of campaigning on social media to raise book donations, volunteers with Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Cambodia gathered enough new and gently used books, magazine, and educational videos to launch the Peacebook Library at Kdey Takoy Primary School on June 30.
The community library project aims to help enhance literacy for people living in the remote areas of the country, believing that a literate mind improves rational thinking, a better understanding of both one’s environment and oneself, providing a sense of fulfillment and developing their ability to contribute to the development of the greater community.
Peacebook Library is also a supplemental project that aids children who attend GPF Cambodia programs including EnglishEd and GreenEd, which provide education on English literacy and utilizing and protecting the environment respectively.
In addition to raising book donations and renovating the library, GPF Cambodia and partner Global Peace Alliance Cambodia organize and train Peacebook Ambassadors, volunteers who act as the supervising team at the school’s library on a daily basis. These youth ambassadors have the responsibilities to facilitate the students’ reading inside the library, initiate activities with the students to make learning more fun and engaging, manage the organization of the library, and collaborate with the school teachers and other teaching volunteers to assure the students’ participation in reading.
Within the first week of launching Peacebook Library, teachers and volunteers witnessed a dramatic increase in students coming into the library. Having more new books and facilitators makes the experience inside the library more engaging and enjoyable as the students have someone to turn to when they cannot understand certain stories or spell advanced words.
Organizers present at the launching of Peacebook Library included Mr. Jinsoo Kim, Regional President of GPF Asia Pacific; Mr. Audambendid Dul, the President Global Peace Alliance Cambodia; Ms. Sally Quimson, Country Director of GPF Cambodia; Mr. Te Somanak, Principal of Kdey Takoy Primary School; and Mr. Hideo Kawabata, CEO of Fuji Suiso Kansha Company, a major sponsor of the project.