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Kiwis Spread Joy Of Reading With Books For Change

Media ReleaseMedia Release May 2013May 2013

Kiwis Spread Joy Of Reading With Books For Change

New Zealanders have displayed characteristic generosity by donating to Cottonsoft Books for ChangeCottonsoft Books for Change, a programme that spreads the joy of reading across nations - from New Zealand to Indonesia.

Late last year Cottonsoft launched an initiative aimed at boosting the libraries available to children in four communities in Indonesia. By making use of established business partnerships, the successful programme has inspired global partners to form new CSR programs of their own with Australian and other subsidiaries considering similar initiatives.

Asia Pulp and Paper, Cottonsoft’s affiliate and supplier, supports the development of the communities in which it operates and has set up four learning centres in Malang, Mojokerto and Sidoarjo, all in East Java, and Perawang in Sumatra.

The learning centres are used by locals for education purposes, small business operations, women empowerment classes and micro-financing advice. Equipped with staff, computers and other resources, the centres are a vital facility in the community and instrumental in the education of local children.

Wanting to help, Cottonsoft set up Cottonsoft Books for ChangeCottonsoft Books for Change, a programme aimed at filling bookshelves with good quality second-hand books donated by intermediate schools and students in Auckland and Dunedin, the two regions in which Cottonsoft operates.

Kim Calvert, Country Manager for Cottonsoft New Zealand, is excited to be able to partner with APP to help. “When we learned of this need in the learning centres we wanted to assist in a tangible, practical way that meant the children who use the facilities could enjoy the same books as Kiwi kids.

“Indonesia is one of the largest trading partners for New Zealand and is a country with which our business has a direct relationship. For those reasons it is important that we provide support where we can, and help to build a cultural understanding between the two nations.”

On the transport side, Cottonsoft worked with business partner Oceanbridge, which matched the generosity of the public donors by offering its services to send the books to Indonesia. Oceanbridge’s Christchurch branch manager Mark Corner is equally pleased to help, saying, "Indonesia has been a valuable and inviting trade partner for many New Zealand businesses, and it is great to be able to support an initiative that help their children receive the same degree of education that many of our kids take for granted.

“Oceanbridge has watched the company’s great effort in developing Books for Change and wanted to get involved and share some of the workload. Providing free shipping seemed the perfect answer to help the Books for Change campaign get off the ground.”

Cottonsoft Cottonsoft Books for Change is just one part of APP's corporate social responsibility programme, but it has made a company-wide impact. Sustainability Manager Darragh Brennan was expecting a positive reaction ahead of the campaign’s launch. "Corporate social responsibility is part of the culture at APP and we're impressed, but not at all surprised by, the generosity of New Zealanders.

“Many people in Indonesia live on less than $2 a day and these books will make a real impact on the education of the children who visit the centres. APP is inspired by the amazing response, and the children, parents and teachers who have been involved in this project can be very proud of what they have achieved."

The donated books will be shipped to Indonesia this year. The 2013-2014 Cottonsoft Books for Change programme will commence nationwide in New Zealand in the third school term.


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