World Vision International (WVI) in Cambodia initiated the “10,000 Books” campaign to enhance child literacy. Over five months, contributions were made by the public and provided to reading camps in nine distant regions across Kratie and Preah Vihear provinces.

The programme aimed to cultivate a literary culture and raise funds to support children in remote areas.

Chea Sopheap, senior manager for national fundraising and public private partnership at WVI, shared that the group had received donations totaling 10,060 books from numerous sources.

Plans are underway to allocate some of the materials to school libraries in the targeted regions, allowing students to access and share the resources.

Education has suffered significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, affecting millions of children due to prolonged school closures.

Sorin Var, technical program lead for education at WVI-Cambodia, emphasised the importance of investing in children’s reading capabilities. He highlighted that written material serves as a reservoir of knowledge, offering insights into various subjects like cultures and sciences.

WVI-Cambodia had previously initiated a similar project in 2022. The effort generated over $2,400 in funds and received more than 500 books. These resources were allocated to extracurricular groups and schools in the Sambor district of Kratie province and the Choam Ksan district of Preah Vihear.

Meas Serey, a volunteer in the Kantuot commune of Preah Vihear, reported that their centre accommodates 30 to 40 children for weekend sessions.

“Beyond enhancing literary competence, the camp fosters friendships and solidarity. Contributions of funds and books to our facility directly support underprivileged children,” she said.