CamEd Business Journalism Club has launched a book program to address low literacy rates and financial constraints among Cambodian children.
Long Sereyborita, Co-president of CamEd Business Journalism Club, has spearheaded an innovative initiative aimed at promoting literacy and providing access to books for kids in Cambodia.
The club, consisting of about 20 members, has embarked on the project, ‘One for One’, to exchange books among students and the public, both in-person and through an online platform.
Recognizing the challenges faced by Cambodian children in accessing books and the persisting issue of low literacy rates, Sereyborita and her team decided to create a program that would make books more readily available.
The project initially started with a physical book exchange stand at CamEd, where students could exchange books for a period of seven days. However, the project swiftly transitioned to an online platform, allowing for a wider reach and a duration of six months.
As a non-profit club, this project represents the first time the CamEd Business Journalism Club has engaged in an initiative of this nature.
Sereyborita, a 20-year-old second-year student at CamEd, emphasized that the primary motivation behind the project was the observation that children in Cambodia often have limited access to books, despite advancements in the education system. Many children need more financial means to purchase books, which perpetuates the issue of low literacy rates.
"Our goal is to create a program that not only initiates change within CamEd but also expands on a larger scale, with the aim of recognizing the program and making it accessible to the general public," Sereyborita stated.
The "One for One" book exchange encourages individuals who cannot afford books to visit the stand, take a book for free, and even donate their own books.
The project has already garnered significant support, with more than 100 books donated, taken, and exchanged by CamEd students and the university library. During the initial seven-day testing period, the project received active participation and engagement from the university community.
Moving forward, the club plans to extend its outreach to other organizations, seeking additional book donations and identifying public spaces where book exchanges can be set up.
Sereyborita expressed her excitement about collaborating with Local4Local, an organization dedicated to community development, with a particular focus on education.
She hopes that through this partnership, more books can be donated and made accessible to children in need. Furthermore, she envisions the project inspiring the creation of a little library, where books can be freely taken and shared, eliminating the need for additional cabinets in public spaces.
"Our aim is to foster a culture of sharing books and knowledge. We believe that three days of active participation can lead to a significant contribution. During this time, we observed more than 15 people contributing and over 100 books exchanged, with a particular emphasis on books in good condition and English versions," Sereyborita shared.
With two months of preparation, CamEd Business Journalism Club is dedicated to collecting, taking, and exchanging books through the "One for One" project. As the initiative progresses, the club plans to gradually transition to a fully online platform over the course of six months.
Sereyborita hopes that by the half-end of the project's six-month timeframe, they will have contributed more than 50 books to Local4Local.
The launch of the ‘One for One’ book exchange project represents a significant step toward promoting literacy, fostering a love for reading, and ensuring access to books for Cambodian children.
Individuals who are interested in participating in the book exchange program can visit CamEd Business School and refer to the Facebook page of the CamEd Business Journalism Club. There, they will find a list of books available for exchange once the project transitions to the online platform.