Grow Your Reader Foundation raises the 'Flag of Peace'
Young people in countries across the Commonwealth raised a "Flag of Peace" to celebrate and mark Commonwealth Day on March 13, 2023. The initiative is supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Royal Commonwealth Society and Bruno Peek, Pageantmaster.
To enable them to observe and contribute towards Commonwealth Day, the specially designed Peace Flags are being given to young people in Commonwealth countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific, and Europe. It is part of efforts to promote 2023 as the Commonwealth Year of Peace across the participating nations, with the theme for Commonwealth Day 2023 being 'Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future'.
Among those raising the Peace Flags this year were Grow Your Reader Foundation, a registered non-profit organisation that works to develop the education quality of Bangladesh.
Grow Your Reader Foundation instals mobile, street, and online library stations in different corners of Bangladesh, and has been providing teacher training facilities since 2016. The curricula they have developed include enhancing reading skills, social-emotional learning (SEL), sustainable living, child food, and nutrition to ensure quality education. A notable aspect of their classes are the online learning platforms, which ensures that children's learning processes aren't obstructed even when their schools are closed due to unavoidable circumstances.
With 50,000 people positively impacted through GRF's different projects across the country, their "Wheels of Wisdom - WoW" project is one of the 15th EIFL Public Library Innovation Award winners. It runs in Barisal, Mymensingh, and Jashore divisions, their wheels covering 12 areas. Till now, 8,500 children have borrowed 7,400 books and 34,000 hours of internet access.
Their street library project, "Book Garage", runs in Dhaka, Jamalpur, and Tangail, comprising 19 street libraries. Till now, 4,500 children have benefited from this project and its educational content in Bangladesh's first audiobook app, "Sunboi," and their YouTube channel. In an after-school program in Jashore, university students teach underserved children for free.