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Carole Bloch, Ntombizanele Mahobe and Malusi Ntoyapi Accept PRAESA’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Stockholm

Our Story MagicOscar Wilde's The Happy PrinceInterviews with Neville AlexanderThe Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) has been awarded the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at a cermony in Stockholm, Sweden.

The announcement was made in early April.

PRAESA is an independent research and development unit affiliated with the University of Cape Town. It was established by the late Neville Alexander in 1992.

See: PRAESA Wins 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award – World’s Largest Award for Children’s and YA Literature

At the ceremony, director Carole Bloch gave a speech thanking the Swedish Arts Council for bestowing the award on PRAESA. Training coordinator Ntombizanele Mahobe and programmes support officer Malusi Ntoyapi joined her to receive the award.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded in honour of the late author of Pippi Longstocking books. It is intended to promote youth literature that demonstrates valuing democracy and human rights.

PRAESA is the first ALMA recipient from Africa, and one of only two organisations to have won the award.

Press Release

Strong feelings when PRAESA received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2015

It was an emotional moment when Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) was presented to the South African reading promotion PRAESA by Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke. PRAESA, Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, is the first laureate ever from the African continent.

At the Stockholm Concert Hall PRAESA was represented by Director Carole Bloch, Training Coordinator Ntombizanele Mahobe and Programmes Support Officer Malusi Ntoyapi. In her speech Carole Bloch emphasised how stories actually can change children’s and young people’s lives:

“We believe that the stories we tell, write and read can change lives. Sharing stories inspire us all to struggle against becoming overwhelmed by the challenges we meet each day in our fractured and profoundly unequal society. This is also the impetus behind the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign PRAESA runs.”

The Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, underlined the importance of culture for democracy:

“For me as a minister of both culture and democracy it is very encouraging to see PRAESA’s successful work using culture to strengthen democracy. A wide range of culture, arts and literature that reaches both adults and children is a prerequisite for democratic development and for preserving democracy.”

Artist Kristina Amparo performed her own songs during the evening, and Swedish rap artist Petter performed his own text Fäller en tår. The program also included a street dance performance inspired by the South African Kwaito music style.

Host for the evening was Ingemar Fasth, Head of Literature and Libraries at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern.


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