Kalimat Foundation empowers 155,749 children in 25 countries - GulfToday

Kalimat Foundation empowers 155,749 children in 25 countries


Kalimat Foundation celebrates five years of positive global impact. WAM

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Kalimat Foundation, a UAE-based global non-profit, is marking five years of empowering disadvantaged and visually impaired children through books and literacy.

Since being established, the foundation has transformed the lives of 155,749 young readers in 25 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America and continues to support both young refugees and the visually impaired worldwide through two initiatives – the “Pledge a Library” and “Ara” (I See) programmes which aim to advance literacy and uphold the rights of children to access books in all formats.

Commenting on this momentous anniversary, founder and chair of the Kalimat Foundation Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), said: “Children, no matter where they are or what their circumstances, have a right to access basic education and literacy. At Kalimat Foundation, we view this as a fundamental human right. We design our outreach initiatives following the human-centric development approach of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, who envisions a world where people from all socio-economic backgrounds can live dignified, self-sufficient lives and be active members of their communities.

“We believe in the power of books and reading to empower children and broaden their horizons through new perspectives and critical thought,” she further noted.

“For five years, Kalimat Foundation has been delivering on its promise to improve the literacy journeys of vulnerable and visually impaired children.

“We are helping them rise above their adversities and readying them for greater success in life by providing quality reading materials in formats accessible to them.”

Thanks to the “Pledge a Library” initiative, refugee groups from across the Middle East have benefited from over 100 compact libraries.

Launched by Kalimat Foundation in 2017, these libraries contain over 15,000 generously donated Arabic language books and can be found in refugee camps, community centres, schools, public libraries, hospitals and NGOs in 18 countries.

At the recently concluded Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2021, Kalimat Foundation further enhanced its mobile library programme with its new “Letters of Joy” campaign where letters written by individuals to refugees will accompany the portable libraries worldwide in order to forge connections and friendships with those experiencing the tragedy and trauma of displacement and impermanence.

Kalimat Foundation has furthered its goals of advancing its philanthropic agenda through meaningful collaborations with like-minded partners.

The foundation has committed to fulfilling the need to provide a rich resource of Arabic children’s books for underprivileged and forcibly displaced children in Africa and the Middle East and in June signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UK-based Book Aid International (BAI), whereby the foundation will deliver 15 new libraries, each containing 100 Arabic language books, with BAI contributing English language content.

Formats under its “Ara” (I See) initiative. 20,634 of them have been distributed in the region, including to all UAE public libraries.

An agreement signed in 2018 between Kalimat Foundation and the Accessible Books Consortium (ABC) to collaboratively produce 100 Enologies and workflows.

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