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IBBY: The World Cup of Children's Literature

The 29th International Board on Books for Young People Congress (IBBY)

Dates: 5-9 September 2004
Venue: The Artscape (and other venues)
Programme: (click here)
Additional / Fringe Events: (click here)
Keynote speakers: (click here)
The team:
Mr Jay Heale (Congress Organiser) sacbf@worldonline.co.za - 021 5320555
Dr Anna Louw (Chair of SACBF) annalouw@mweb.co.za - 021 8554417
Mrs Genevieve Hart (Conference Programme) ghart@uwc.ac.za - 021 788 5827
Mrs ZirkŽa Ellis (Exhibitions and Displays) hdn@mweb.co.za - 021 5315831
What is IBBY? (click here)

While South Africa was celebrating the victory of winning the 2010 Soccer World Cup Bid, South Africans in the field of children's literature were celebrating another African victory: that of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Congress being held in Africa for the first time. In September this year people from around the world will travel to Cape Town to take part in the five-day Congress.

Other countries which have hosted this Congress include the United States, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, India, Colombia and Switzerland. Cape Town will host the 29th IBBY Congress, which carries the theme Books for Africa.

The South African IBBY Congress team and the South African Children's Book Forum (SACBF) have gone to great lengths to harness the potential of the theme, creating dynamic and diverse programmes and activities not only for the Congress, but also around it and leading up to it.

Even though the Congress will be held in Cape Town, it will branch throughout South Africa and into schools to make sure our children understand the importance of this Congress as well as the gift and joy of books.

  • The Universal Storytelling Moment is one of the fantastic initiatives being put in place to facilitate this: on Tuesday, 7th September 2004 at 9:50 am, throughout the country, at the same time that South Africa's famous storyteller Gcina Mhlophe is telling a story to the Congress delegates, teachers and librarians will be reading stories to children. There are also a number of competitions associated with this event - please see details further down.

    Any schools wanting to take part and receive this kit should phone 021 532 0555 or send an e-mail to sacbf@worldonline.co.za giving their postal address.

  • Another project is the Proudly South African 100 Representative Children's Books tour, which will entail 100 of South Africa's best children's books touring South Africa, giving teachers, parents and children the opportunity to see the wealth of good books we have to offer. The 100 books will include books published in all 11 official languages, as well as multilingual books and one in Braille.
  • A fun competition being held for school children is to Name the Books for Africa "bird". Children are challenged to think up a suitable name for him/her and send it to:
    What's my name? SACBF Logo Competition
    PO Box 847
    Howard Place
    7405
    by the end of October.

    The prize is a bumper box of books for the winning school and a very special book for the learner who thought up the winning name!

September is also the month of the South African Children's Book Week, which runs from 5 to 11 September. The SACBF, in co-operation with the Department of Education, have created a host of activities to immerse children in the exciting world of books, including book and poster-making, a readathon and a Universal Storytelling Moment writing competition. For a list of suggested events, contact the SACBF or the Department of Education.

  • Lorato Trok, project co-ordinator of first words in print, a Book Development Foundation project which aims to ensure that all very young South African children have access to the stimulation of picture books and story books in their own languages, wants children to realise that books aren't meant only for learning ... they can be fun, they can captivate us and teach us, not the curriculum, but about life.
  • Biblionef is another organisation very much involved in the Congress because of their efforts to enrich the lives of children through reading. Biblionef donates new, appropriate storybooks in all 11 official languages to under-resourced children's organisations.

There are a number of interesting and unique fringe events taking place in September, which will be free to the public.

  • Huis der Nederlanden invites everyone to 4 Central Square, Pineland, Cape Town for real Dutch biscuits and strong coffee while they admire an exhibition of 87 Dutch and Frisian prize-winning children's books - during the month of September.
  • There will be an Amandla ebali: the power of story exhibition at the National Library in Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, featuring historical South African children's books in the storytelling tradition.
  • The public are also invited to a seminar on Humor in Children's Literature being held at the Centre for the Book on 8th September. For more information contact Colleen Higgs at: Colleen.Higgs@nlsa.ac.za.

The conference is going to be jam-packed with uniquely South African content, exciting workshops, thought-provoking seminars and plenty more. But the real focus of the Congress and all the activities is to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books, so even if you can't attend the Congress, then use the month of September to think about the joy of books and how we can make it possible to build a nation where every child has access to a book.

There are many organisations working together to make this a reality in South Africa. If you would like to help, contact:

  • First Words in Print
    Lorato Trok, Project co-ordinator
    Email: lorato.trok@nlsa.ac.za
    or
    Nazli Johaardien, Project administrator
    Email: firstwords@nlsa
    Telephone: 021 434 2669/ 021 422 2501; Fax: 021 424 1484
    Website: First Words in Print (hosted by Centre for the Book)

  • Biblionef South Africa - Donating books to children
    Jean William
    Email: bibsa@iafrica.com
    Telephone: 021 531 0447; Fax: 021 531 0455
    Website: biblionefsa.org.za



    LitNet: 25 August 2004

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