February 17, 2022
The Asia Foundation (TAF) released a new collection of 20 books in Tamang, a local language in Nepal.
The books, part of a group of 100 adapted and 20 new children storybooks being created in Tamang, were developed and illustrated by local authors and illustrators. Stories in the collection include elements of social emotional learning (SEL) and indigenous culture, particularly around friendship, intergenerational family dynamics and indigenous medicine. The books are available to read online or download for free from the Let’s Read Digital Library (also accessible through an Android app and iOS app) and the Global Digital Library.
The Tamang Collection was produced with All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) support under the Begin With Books Prize. TAF is producing 380 children’s books in six local languages of Laos, Nepal and PNG, where two prominent barriers to literacy are limited access to books and insufficient awareness of the importance of reading. Over two years, the TAF project is bringing together local authors, illustrators, designers, language experts and volunteer translators to create and adapt the early grade books and publish them with Creative Commons licenses on the Global Digital Library and the Let’s Read Digital Library where they are free to read.
The Begin with Books Prize is an ACR GCD competition in partnership with the Global Book Alliance through which global innovators are assembling cost-effective packages of high quality, accessible titles in 19 underserved spoken and signed languages.
Around the world, millions of children have little to no books in languages they use and understand, thereby limiting their right to literacy and quality education. For the more than 93 million children with disabilities, the shortage of books is even more severe, as resources, if available at all, often lack accessible formats. Literacy is a cornerstone of development, placing children on a path for future success in school, employment, health and society.
Research shows that children experience greater reading success when learning in their local spoken or signed language. Providing engaging and accessible books in Tamang is a meaningful step towards empowering and supporting children in Tamang communities on their path to literacy.
Beginning with books, we can ensure more children are prepared to reach their full potential.
ACR GCD is a partnership between USAID, World Vision and the Australian Government.