November 19, 2014 | Islamabad
The Assistant to the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Donald “Larry” Sampler and the President of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), David Miliband officially inaugurated the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project’s mobile bus library program at a government secondary school in Islamabad. The Mobile Bus Library Program will bring age-appropriate reading materials to communities which do not have established libraries in order to help reintroduce and re-establish a national culture of reading in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion Larry Sampler said, “The Mobile Library Program is just one element of the USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project which will help Pakistani children to start their own journeys in the world of books. Through this partnership between USAID, our implementing partner – the International Rescue Committee, and the Government of Pakistan, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to help increase literacy.”
The Pakistan Reading Project, implemented by the International Rescue Committee, will run a mobile bus library program in Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) over the next two years and will bring reading materials directly to communities and help re-establish reading habits. Trained librarians onboard each bus will conduct story-telling sessions in each community they visit. They will also issue books for schoolchildren to take home to read. David Miliband, President IRC said, “The USAID funded Pakistan Reading Project being implemented by IRC is helping to improve reading skills of children across Pakistan. The mobile bus library is another step towards promoting a reading culture in Pakistan.”
Later in the day, USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb and Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Development, Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue working towards improvement in the quality of education by helping to build the skills of teachers throughout Pakistan. At the signing, Mr Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman, thanked the U.S. Government for their continued support to raising standards in Pakistani education.
The USAID-funded Pakistan Reading Project is a $165 million project, which is supporting Pakistan’s provincial and regional departments of education to improve the reading skills of children. It is one part of a comprehensive education program that the United States implements in Pakistan in partnership with the government of Pakistan.