(19 December 2017) The Asia Foundation today announced a donation from one of Korea’s largest publishing and education companies, YBM, Inc., to expand the Foundation’s Let’s Read! digital libraries initiative. The regional platform brings open-sourced books in local languages to children in underserved communities in Asian countries, helping to improve access to books and literacy to families impacted by poverty, conflict, or gender discrimination. The Let’s Read! platform currently includes a digital library web app, pioneering translation tool, and free Android e-reader app available on Google Play.
Across Asia, the children’s book genre is severely underdeveloped and the situation is unlikely to change unless a larger pool of writers, illustrators, and particularly editors are provided the professional development to produce high quality, local content. The contribution from YBM will help initially scale the Let’s Read! Editor Training Modules in five Asian countries—Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, and Laos.
YBM’s support will create, test, and implement training modules and equip editors with best practices in writing and editing children’s books. A critical component of the Let’s Read! initiative, editors with knowledge of local language and culture can then train and guide teams of writers and illustrators to produce a stream of high quality books.
YBM believes in the investment in language proficiency,” said Min Sunshik, Vice Chairman of YBM, Inc. “Together with our long-time partner in Korea, The Asia Foundation, we are committed to addressing the severe shortage of children’s books in underserved communities and helping promote the love of reading among young children.”
“We are grateful for YBM’s support for the Editor Training Modules and helping us expand Let’s Read! across the region,” said Dylan Davis, country representative of The Asia Foundation in Korea. “By empowering creative talent in local communities, we can help inspire literacy, transform lives, and improve national development outcomes.”
Over the years, YBM has supported notable projects with The Asia Foundation in Korea, including sponsoring Korean journalists for the prestigious Harvard Nieman Fellowship.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Since 1954, The Asia Foundation has supported Korea’s dramatic development from an aid recipient to a donor nation whose advanced economy and robust democracy are considered models for others. Today, the Foundation is uniquely positioned to work alongside the Korean government, NGOs, and corporations on development programs and knowledge exchanges.
Read more about the Foundation’s work.
The announcement is here.