The South African Embassy in Tokyo hosted an appropriately named “Bon Voyage” function
Ambassador Pheko, 6th from the left, with officials from SAPESI, Sony, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives from donating cities.
The South African Embassy in Tokyo hosted an appropriately named “Bon Voyage” function on 22 May to commemorate the dispatch of six second-hand mobile libraries donated by the Japan branch of the South Africa Primary Education Support Initiative. The mobile libraries now face a long voyage from the port of Yokohama to the port of Durban, before being redecorated and used to service rural schools in South Africa.
There are more than 500 mobile libraries in use in Japan and after a number of years of service they are replaced. Given the fact that the service area of municipalities is not very big, the average mileages of these well looked after vehicles are less than 60,000 km. Instead of scrapping the metal of these “old” bus-libraries, they were kindly donated by various cities, towns and villages in Japan to elementary school children, in mainly rural South Africa.
Each two to three ton bus can carry between 2000 to 3000 books which are collected and donated worldwide by Sony Corporation. Sony has already donated 125,000 books from its offices in English-speaking countries to stock these libraries going to South Africa. A total of 38 mobile libraries have now been donated to South Africa since 2009.
In her speech at the ceremony, Ambassador Pheko of South Africa reflected on the joy of paging through a storybook and she welcomed SAPESI’s role in promoting literacy, and the joy of reading, to less privileged children in South Africa. She welcomed the contribution of the mobile libraries donated by SAPESI, which now service all of South Africa’s nine provinces.
Messages of condolence
to the Philippines regarding the devastation
of Typhoon Haiyan.
Huwag tayong patalo sa Bagyo!
Katulong at karamay ninyo kami sa pagbangon.
Kadamay ninyo kami.
Wag mag atubili na humingi sa amin ng tulong.
Mula dito sa Japan, Pilipinas, karamay ninyo kami.
Never lose to the typhoon!
We are always under the same sky supporting you.
We are always thinking about you.
Please tell us when you need anything.
We are supporting you from Japan.