The Asia Foundation, a non-profit organization, has launched an 18-month project to strengthen public library institutions and support public Internet access in Vietnam. It’s supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The award of U.S. $400,715 is the first Gates Foundation grant received by The Asia Foundation.
The project, according to The Asia Foundation, will help expand the public’s access to information in rural areas and provide opportunities for Vietnamese citizens to improve their daily lives. The project will complement, reinforce, and broaden a concurrent planning grant from the Gates Foundation to Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
The Asia Foundation will work with the National Library of Vietnam (NLV) and other public library institutions in to expand access to information, especially for disadvantaged groups and communities. The project aims to promote public access to computers and the Internet through mass media, public campaigns, and community events.For awareness, local “Internet festivals” and other public outreach activities will be held in Vietnam.
The program will focus on 99 pilot sites, primarily located in public libraries and Cultural Post Offices in three rural provinces, and will plan for potential implementation on a national scale.
The Asia Foundation, it says, has partnered with the National Library of Vietnam since 1993 on different education programs, including the donation and distribution of almost 400,000 English language books to provincial public libraries, research organizations, and educational institutions throughout the country over the last 15 years.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative aims to spread knowledge among people.