By Van or Tablet, Mobile Libraries Are Fixing Cambodia’s Book Crisis

Affordable devices and an intuitive app are putting libraries of books in the hands of kids who need them. #ProjectLiteracy

From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime killed nearly two million people in Cambodia and destroyed the nation’s schools—being educated was a crime. Today, education is a priority for Cambodia. But its school system remains plagued by illiteracy and high dropout rates, particularly among women and girls.

It hasn’t helped that books are out of reach for many Cambodians: pricey, tough to transport, susceptible to damage. Even schools and public libraries have trouble stocking the shelves with up-to-date texts in good physical quality. Plus, the few books that are available are rarely printed in Khmer, the country’s native language.

But nearly a third of Cambodians own mobile devices these days. So it only makes sense to start thinking of reading material as mobile, too. Check out this slideshow to find out how The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program, in partnership with Library For All, is seeking scalable solutions to Cambodia’s lack of accessible books through a program called Let’s Read!

All images courtesy Asia Foundation