Community reading project recruiting 100 new youth volunteers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
One Book-One Community runs a booth at an education fair held at Olympia Shopping Mall early this month. ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY

The One Book-One Community Project announced it intends to recruit 100 young volunteers to push their campaign to promote reading to the young people of Cambodia. The volunteers will receive training in return.

The project is designed to promote reading to young people in the Kingdom through several major events: reading competitions, book distribution, mobile libraries, library development and markets.

The project will run for 25 months – from February next year until January 2025 – in collaboration with Riel Tiger Solutions, Business Record, Scholar Library and Diamond Elephant Travel.

Sok Lak, co-founder of the project, told The Post on October 3 that in order for the programme to run smoothly, the team needed the participation of 100 potential youth volunteers for its initial stages.

He said the young volunteers will receive benefits including communication and team work experience, the opportunity to participate in any of the project’s events, as well as certificates of participation.

“We plan to select the first 100 volunteers and we will organise some training for them and prepare them to develop themselves into leaders. Once the first step has been successful, we will recruit more people,” he added.

Lak said the volunteers will be expected to participate in future activities organised by the project, which will be held in all 25 capitals and provinces, as well as online. He added that they will take part in researching the reading needs of local communities across the Kingdom.

According to the 2014 Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey, Cambodia has the second lowest literacy rate in ASEAN after Laos, with about 29 percent of the population lacking basic literacy skills. The findings of the National Youth Development Council in 2021 showed that 32 per cent of the population are between 10 and 24 years old, and 71 per cent of young people are not officially educated.

Heang Vathei, owner of Riel Tiger Solutions Co., LTD and a co-founder of the project, said that due to the lack of basic reading and writing skills of the Cambodian people, the One Book-One Community will promote reading in the community through its major events.

“Increasing technology and smart devices have had a huge impact on children and young people. Spending too much time on smart devices and the internet they access is causing problems, especially to children’s development, including sleep problems like insomnia. The project aims to reduce these problems in Cambodian society,” she said.

On September 19, the project revealed that it intends to encourage more institutions to adopt a culture of reading. 25 libraries containing 25,000 books are expected to reach between 50,000 and 70,000 readers across the 25 provinces and capitals, it added.