Earlier this year, Informa employees donated second-hand children’s books to support an NGO, Almadanya, promoting children’s education and literacy in Tunisia. As a result of staff donations, we sent a total of 575 books, working with our mail and distribution supplier, Air Business, who kindly provided the courier service as a gift-in-kind. The books were given to Tunisian children participating in a nationwide reading competition in which 141 children took part.
Almadanya is a Tunisian Foundation that seeks to improve the lives of those in Tunisia in the aftermath of their political revolution.
Founder and President, Lotfi Maktouf, says they seek to “transform the liberties into job creation, economic opportunities, real growth and social justice”. The reading competition, which started in 2012, is an initiative that sees children across the country improving their literacy and engaging with Arabic, French and English language texts. In the English language category there were 23 junior high winners and 23 high school winners.
The ceremony this year was a great success and had extensive media coverage; four TV stations interviewed the children, including the most watched morning show, “Good Morning Tunisia”, and most of the local newspapers covered the story. “The kids were overwhelmed for most of it as it was their first visit to the capital, and for some to see the beach for the first time in their young lives.” stated Mr Maktouf. Lotfi, who was educated in Tunisia, France and the United States, values the importance of commanding English in the context of post-revolutionary Tunisia; he said, “the kids loved the books since English books are very scarce in Tunisia; the selection was just excellent and has motivated most students to take part in the English competition next year. In fact, we are thinking of organising an English young writers competition whereby the first prize winner would get a trip for English courses abroad.”
For more information about Almadanya, please visit www.almadanya.org. Pictures from the reading competition awards ceremony can be found onFlickr