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November 10, 2009
Providing Secondhand Books to Children in South Africa
South African NGO SAPESI (South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative) and Sony Corporation have reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education of Free State, South Africa, to continue supporting the South Africa Mobile Library Project for the coming three years, from 2009 to 2011.
At a book donation ceremony to be held by SAPESI in South Africa today, Sony will donate approximately 20,000 books (18,000 English books and 2,000 indigenous language books) to this project.
Sony began its support of this project in 2008, collecting English children's books from Sony Group company*1 employees in six English speaking countries and regions (United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Africa). The number of books collected in 2009 tripled, compared to the previous year. Furthermore, Sony also provides funds to SAPESI to purchase books in South African indigenous languages. In total, Sony has provided approximately 28,700 books (approximately 23,700 English books and 5,000 indigenous language books) to the project through SAPESI over the past two years.
SAPESI sent twelve mobile library vehicles to South Africa in October 2009, as part of its plan to send 100 mobile library vehicles to South Africa by 2015. Four vehicles will be introduced across the Free State province, and together with the existing three vehicles, the Mobile Library project will now operate in all five education districts in the State. Each vehicle will visit 25 primary and secondary schools, enabling the project to provide library services to a total of approximately 50,000 students in the Free State province.
Through these activities, Sony and SAPESI aim to contribute to the literacy education of children in South Africa and support the provision of universal primary education, one of the Millennium Development Goals.