Nal’ibali claims international prize for reading for joy

Nal'ibali has been awarded Systematic's Joy of Reading prize at Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark

06 June 2019 - 10:20
Putting the 'joy' into reading.
Putting the 'joy' into reading.
Image: Supplied

Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign aimed at sparking children’s potential through reading and storytelling, has scooped Systematic's Joy of Reading Award at Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark. The award was presented by the president of the International Library Association (IFLA), Spain's Glòria Pérez-Salmerón, on Saturday, June 1.

Twenty-eight projects from around the world were nominated, focusing on initiatives that disseminate the joy and ability to read, and thus engage in the fight against illiteracy. Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali’s managing director, received the award on behalf of her dedicated team in South Africa.

“I would like to dedicate this award to the 17,000 literacy activists in South Africa – we call them FUNda Leaders – everyday ordinary people who have signed up with Nal’ibali to create opportunities for children in their lives to fall in love with books.

Jade Jacobsohn accepting the Joy of Reading prize in Denmark.
Jade Jacobsohn accepting the Joy of Reading prize in Denmark.
Image: Supplied

“I’d also like to dedicate this award to my fierce and fabulous team of fellow Nal’ibalians, who are immersed, on a daily basis, in the hardships of social inequality and poverty, as they fight to give children the best chance they can get of rising out of it - the ability to read with understanding,” lauded Jacobsohn. 

She concluded with the formidable words of Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. The foundation of education is literacy."

The international jury applauded Nal’ibali for its long-term impact and influence on local communities in South Africa and for parents in particular, who have become role models for their children’s reading habits.

They complimented Nal’ibali’s framework that creates a nurturing environment, as well as generating the assortment of multilingual reading materials, so that children from all age groups, can learn to love reading in the many mother tongues spoken in South Africa.

The award comes with a  $10 000 prize, which will go towards stocking up Nal’ibali’s newly launched mobile libraries for Story Power in Motion, ensuring children and adults have access to great stories in their home languages.


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