A partnership between the Asia Foundation(AF), United States Embassy in Suva and the Fijian Government has led to opportunities for educational empowerment in Fiji and the region.

In recognition of this collaboration, the Asia Foundation together with the United States Embassy in Suva yesterday donated educational books, reading materials and resources to Fiji.

At an event held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister and Acting Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Yogesh Karan received the donations and extended the Fijian Government’s appreciation to Asia Foundation and the US Embassy for the timely contributions made through the 'Books for Asia' program.

AF and US Embassy were acknowledged for their commendable efforts in the distribution of printed and digital books to schools, non-government and government agencies in support of the 'Let’s Read' initiative.

In reaffirming the Fijian Government’s support for such important initiatives, Mr Karan said the 'Young Diplomats' programme is also an opportunity for capacity building for aspiring Fijian diplomats.

He noted the Foundation’s work across the Asia-Pacific region and shared commitment to strengthening governance, expanding economic opportunities, enhancing environmental resilience, empowering women, children and promoting international cooperation.

The Asia Foundation, Program Manager for the Pacific, Dr Milika Naqasima Sobey who oversees the work of the Foundation stated that through the “Books for Asia” program, the Foundation has been able to enhance awareness and provide research resources and publications for the empowerment of individuals and communities.

Recently the Foundation distributed books to the educational institutions in Western Division, with plans to also reach out to Northern Division. It aims is to expand its engagement levels with Governments, civil society organizations and development partners in Fiji and the region.

Chargé d’Affaires (CDA), Elise Tokumasu de Silva said the initiative highlights the importance of literacy and collective commitment for further collaboration opportunities.

She said so far 2300 books have been donated to 30 different institutions in Fiji and all other Pacific island countries that the US Embassy in Suva is accredited to; she further emphasised the US Embassy’s commitment to literacy development and the well-being of communities in the Pacific.