The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) has been awarded the 2nd biggest literature award in the world by the Swedish Arts Council. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature.
The award amounts to 5 million SEK (Swedish krona) and is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible for the award, which is designed to promote interest in children and young adult literature.
This outstanding Project (Praesa) was established by anti-apartheid activist and academic Neville Alexander, Praesa promotes reading and literature to children and young people in South Africa and it is affiliated with the University of Cape Town.
When handing over the award, the jury praised PRAESA for its “innovative reading and storytelling projects” such as books in local languages and reading clubs in vulnerable communities.
Carole Bloch, Director, PRAESA had humble words to explain the impact in which the award will have on the children of Africa upon receiving the prestigious award
“Receiving this award is a dream coming true and a great honour. This will make an incredible difference to the reading work we do for huge numbers of children across Africa. Having this award come to the African continent gives great acknowledgement to the importance of grooming a love of reading to all children irrespective of the language and background” Carole Bloch said, in a statement from the Alma website.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was established by the Swedish government in 2002 in honour of the Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren.
The award recipients are chosen by a jury of 12 members with broad expertise in international children and young adult literature, reading promotion and children’s rights. The jury announces the receiver of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at a press conference after the the final meeting in March, although having already announced the recipient the award is presented in Stockholm at the end of May/beginning of June.