READING PROSPECTS. Two schoolchildren from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur check a Sherlock Holmes classic novel at the opening of a book sale in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday (Feb. 1, 2023). The Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines has partnered with Big Bad Wolf Books to donate more than 1,000 books to schoolchildren. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

Malaysian gov't, firm donate books to Marawi schoolchildren

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (February 1, 2024)– The Malaysian government, through its Embassy in the Philippines, and a book retailer firm, donated more than 1,000 books to schoolchildren in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur province.
In an interview on Thursday, Malaysian Ambassador Dato Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino said the partnership with Big Bad Wolf Books chain is expected to promote good relations with the Philippines while improving the literacy rate in Mindanao.

"We hope that this partnership will be the start of expanding this project, aiming for the whole Mindanao (schools) to be recipients," he said during the symbolic turnover of the books here.

Castelino said Big Bad Wolf Books' donations were coursed through the Mindanao State University under the King Faisal Center for Islamic, Arabic, and Asian Studies.

Meanwhile, The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also partnered in its reading project to identify more schools in Lanao del Sur and the rest of Mindanao.

At the sidelines of the event, DSWD Undersecretary Fatimah Aliah Dimaporo said the agency has identified scores of disadvantaged children unable to access basic social services including books for education.

In Lanao del Sur, she said many children, mostly orphans, are sheltered in boarding schools known as "torils."
"With the overwhelming population in torils, these schools are dependent on private donations," Dimaporo said.

The donations to Marawi City schoolchildren were part of Big Bad Wolf Book's initiative as it opens its 18-day sale, a first in this city.
Founded in Malaysia, Big Bad Wolf's founder Andrew Yap said its company envisioned for the younger generation to kickstart the reading habit and the love for reading. (PNA)