The German embassy in Egypt will hand over the Library Bus of the Goethe-Institut in Cairo to the Misr El Kheir Foundation on 15 July as a kind of project expansion.
A Sunday press statement from the embassy said that, since 2013, the Library Bus, a project funded by the Federal Foreign Office, provided more than 75,000 children outside of Cairo and in other Egyptian cities with the opportunity to experience enthusiasm for reading.
The mid-July event will take place in the presence of representatives of both institutions. Sönke Siemon, the chargé d’affaires of the German embassy, will hand over the Goethe-Institut’s Library Bus to Misr El Kheir Foundation at the premises of the Goethe-Institut in Cairo, added the statement.
Over a period of six years, the Library Bus drove to schools, children hospitals, orphanages, and leisure clubs outside of Cairo.
The bus was packed with children’s and youth books in Arabic and was accompanied by storyteller Haytham Shoukry, added the statement.
Aiming at addressing illiteracy in Egypt, the project was designed to promote reading as a fun activity through an innovative approach. The project aimed at engaging students in reading outside of a school context through games, reading exercises, and storytelling sessions.
Recently, the bus drove to fixed stops in the Nile Delta, Alexandria, and provinces in Upper Egypt on an average of once a month, said the statement, noting that the bus has been serving thousands of Egyptian children and youth on more than 800 visiting days since it started.
“The Library Bus project is a symbol of Germany’s engagement in Egypt in the field of education and civil society,” said Siemon, adding, “the bus served both as an engine for young readers and as a tool to engage communities far away from Cairo. Even in a digital age, reading is the basic skill in education. Education, in turn, is the best way towards social advancement and civic awareness.”
“We want to continue with these efforts to promote reading in remote areas of Egypt. Hence, it is important for us that initially the bus is going to operate under the joint coordination of the German embassy in Cairo, the Goethe-Institut in Cairo, and Misr El Kheir Foundation, but under the full leadership of Misr El Kheir Foundation at the same time,” said Elke Kaschl Mohni, regional director of the Goethe-Institut in North Africa and the Middle East.
Misr El Kheir Foundation is the perfect partner, because the organisation has longstanding expertise that guarantees that many of the former stops will still be visited in the future, which allows for continuity, added Mohni.
For her part, Dina Hathout, the director of Aspects of Life Scope at Misr El Kheir Foundation, said that cooperating with the Goethe-Institut aims at developing the Egyptian society, adding, “our mission has always been human development, and through this project and with the cooperation with Goethe-Institut, this year we will be able to reach more beneficiaries and spread this noble cause throughout different areas of Egypt.”