Sweden: Reading for Egyptian children

09-11-2014 11:26 PM

Mary Fikry








On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Swedish Embassy in Cairo has launched the Swedish Egyptian initiative ‘Reading for Children’ and hosted the opening ceremony of a Children Photo exhibition organised by UNICEF.

The Children’s literature initiative aims to raise awareness on the importance of reading for children’s social and educational development and how it can serve as a tool to stimulate their creativity and free thinking. During the entire month of November the Swedish Embassy, in cooperation with national bookstores and NGOs, is organising a number of reading activities for children using high-quality Swedish children’s books translated into Arabic. Activities will include storytelling, arts and crafts, and drama workshops.

Speaking at the launching event, the Swedish Ambassador to Egypt, Charlotta Sparre, said: “Egypt’s real treasure lies in its youth. With almost 30 per cent of the population less than 14 years old, this young generation if given the right tools, could do wonders to the progress and prosperity of the country. In Sweden, we see children’s literature not only as an entertainment, but more importantly, it nurtures the children’s personality, fosters their curiosity and plants the seeds for creativity, innovation and critical thinking. In this initiative we are glad to see the enthusiasm of our Egyptian partners in supporting children’s rights and to encourage access to reading and literature. We hope this will inspire parents and others to make reading an essential and pleasant part of children’s daily activities.”

The event featured as well the opening of a photo exhibition showing photos taken by 25 street children during a photography workshop organised by UNICEF in partnership with three NGOs, Banat Al Ghad (a.k.a Banati), the Maawa Association and the Egyptian Organisation for Societal Consolidation.  The children’s photos reflected their daily life on the streets of Cairo and what they aspire for. The young photographers were awarded certificates of accomplishments handed in by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Actor Khaled Abul-Naga.


Watani International

9 November 2014




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