Celebrating International Mother Language Day in over 60 languages!

Posted by Remya Padmadas on February 24, 2020

Every year, StoryWeaver marks International Mother Language Day (IMLD) to remind us all that learning to read in one’s mother tongue early in school makes education more engaging, meaningful and enjoyable for children. 

Suzanne Singh, Chairperson, Pratham Books, says: ​“Children love stories and they are an ​important​ ​part​ ​of​ ​a​ ​child’s growth​ ​and​ ​development. Children need storybooks that they can relate to and that are in languages that they speak and understand. Through StoryWeaver,  we are trying to address the inequity in the availability of reading resources by providing open and free access to over 18,000 storybooks in 224 languages and fostering the respect for cultural and linguistic diversity.” 

In 2020, we're ringing in International Mother Language Day by helping volunteers conduct more than 1000 reading sessions for children in over 60 languages! This week, volunteers from around the world are using StoryWeaver’s digital repository of multilingual storybooks to read to children in several languages, including mainstream Indian languages (Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu), indigenous languages (KuviPawari, Santali), vulnerable languages (Gondi, Korku), classical languages (Sanskrit) and other languages from around the world (Arabic, Igbo, Nepali). 

30,000 schools in the state of Chhattisgarh, India (of which 15,000 are in tribal areas) have been encouraged to celebrate International Mother Language Day with StoryWeaver by giving children access to books and storytelling in indigenous languages like Gondi, Kurukh, Sadri and many more. Says Dr. M. Sudhish, Samagra Shiksha Chhattisgarh: “On January 26, the Honorable Chief Minister of Chattisgarh announced the use of mother tongue languages while teaching in classrooms. When we heard about StoryWeaver’s IMLD initiative, we felt that this was a great opportunity to take the Chief Minister’s mandate forward and bring mother tongue storytelling into the classroom.”

Additionally, we're also thrilled to announce the launch of open digital libraries in 16 underserved languages, marking the culmination of our Freedom to Read 2020 campaign, which aimed to create digital books in languages that have limited or no children’s books. Through our campaign, over 500 storybooks have been translated into languages such as Amharic (Ethiopia), Basa Jawa (Indonesia), Bodo, Tangkhul (vulnerable languages from North-East India), Kolami (vulnerable indigenous language from Maharashtra), Kochila Tharu and Rana Tharu (spoken in Nepal), Sindhi, and bilingual books in English-Surjapuri, to name a few.

These libraries have been co-created in collaboration with our partner organisations:

And our Language Champions:

A huge shout-out to our Freedom to Read partner organisations, Language Champions, and IMLD reading volunteers! Your efforts will go a long way in helping put a book in every child's hand. THANK YOU! 

Stay tuned for more stories from the IMLD reading sessions and our Freedom to Read partners!

In the meanwhile, here are some happy moments  from our ongoing International Mother Language Day celebrations:

From a reading session in English-Surjapuri conducted by Azad India Foundation in Kishanganj, Bihar

From a reading session in Arabic conducted at the Qatar National Library

From a reading session in Kolami, conducted at DIET Yavatmal to mark the launch of an open digital library of 100 Kolami storybooks, created by Institute for Multilingual Education (IMLi) and StoryWeaver

From a reading session in Maithili conducted by Aripana Foundation at Gyan Niketan Public School, Darbhanga, Bihar

From a reading session in Amharic, by Ras Abebe Aregay Library in Ethiopia

From a reading session in Karbi, conducted by Pragyam Foundation at Parijat Academy, Guwahati, Assam

From a reading session in Marwari conducted by SNS Foundation, Rajasthan

From a Nepali reading session conducted by Nepali Rana Tharu Samaj

From a reading session conducted in Mayurbhanj, Odisha


Do join the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below. You can also reach out to us through our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Update: StoryWeaver Freedom to Read 2019

Posted by Amna Singh on December 27, 2018

Written by Amna Singh

StoryWeaver believes that every child deserves to have access to joyful reading material in her mother tongue. In November 2018, we opened applications to educators, translators, literacy organisations, and everyone else working with children to promote reading -- in our quest for partners to help build a 100 local language libraries of children’s books in underserved languages by International Mother Language Day on February 21, 2019 .

We were seeking partners with relevance of work and expertise in language and translations, and above all, a shared vision of equity in access for all. We got over 225 applications from all over the globe – each application inspiring us with their exemplar work in the field of literacy and language for the under-represented communities.

Based on our guidelines, relevance of work and a rigorous evaluation, we have selected 16 organisations and 28 individual language champions to partner with us to build these digital local libraries.

Selected Organisations: Target Languages

  1. Azad India Foundation: Surjapuri

  2. BookDash: 11 official South African languages

  3. SNS Foundation: Marwari

  4. CODE- Ethiopia: Amharic, Afaan Oromoo

  5. African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA): Igbo, Hausa, Fante, Ewe, Yoruba, Kikiyu, Luganda and Swahili

  6. Global Forum 4 Literacy: Zulu, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Tswana and Arabic

  7. Suchana Uttor Chandipur Community Society: Santali, Kora, Bilinguals

  8. Aripana Foundation: Maithili

  9. Little Readers' Nook: Tulu, Kutchi, Marwari …

  10. Unnati Institute for Social and Educational Change: Korku

  11. North East Educational Trust: Assamese, Bodo

  12. Brightstart Pre Primary school and Learning Centre : Marwari

  13. Libreo.ph: Tagalog, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tausug/Maranao and Ilokano

  14. Darakht-e Danesh Library: Pashto

  15. Every English: Brazilian Portuguese

  16. REHMA: English-Urdu bilinguals

The selected language champions will help build local libraries across 24 languages.

Target Languages: Selected Language Champions:

  1. Amharic: Kaleab

  2. Bambara: Kirsty Paxton

  3. Basa Jawa (Javanese): Maharani Aulia

  4. Bundelkhandi: Ankit Dwivedi, Krishna Murary Upadhyay

  5. Chinyanja: Agnes Nankhoma Singine Nyendwa

  6. Dari: Aisha

  7. Filipino: Kaye

  8. Garhwali: Shweta Rawat

  9. GSB Konkani: Sujith Kamath

  10. Kirundi: Melchiade Ntibazonkiza, Adolphe Ndagijimana

  11. Kui: Shruti

  12. Kumaoni: Somya Budhori , Richa Pathak Pant,

  13. Kuvi/Jatapu: Markose K C

  14. Malay: David Loiuson

  15. Malvani: Rupali Bodekar

  16. Malvi: Omprakash Kshatriya

  17. Ndebele: Ntando Titus Ntaka

  18. Pawari: Amit Dudave

  19. Pashto: Nighat Kamdar

  20. Sanskrit: Meenakshi Sundaram K B, Priya Bhakthan

  21. Serbian: Ana Jovic

  22. Sindhi (Devanagari Script): Bharti

  23. Sindhi (Arabic Script): Zaib-un-Nisa

  24. Vietnamese: Nguyen Dac Thai Hang

 

Thank you for your initiative, we will get in touch with all selected partners for the next steps.

And a BIG thank you to everyone who applied. StoryWeaver is truly a result of your constant support, and contributions. We will do our best to reach out to you and explore alternate ways to collaborate. Thank you, again, and happy holidays!


 

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