Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prisoners now have a library



Prisoners now have a library

Prisoners now have a library

More than 900 prisoners in Siem Reap can now spend at least two hours daily reading books in a library inaugurated inside Siem Reap Provincial Prison on Tuesday, according to the Coordinator of the Prison Library project, Sam Leang Eng.

“Prisoners have a lot of time for reading, but the problem is they have nothing to read” he said.

He told Insider that the library was largely an initiative of Sipar, a French NGO that works toward the reconstruction of Cambodia through education of the youth, and is a partner of the Ministry of Education , Youth and Sports.

Sipar’s goal is to fight illiteracy and poverty through the pleasure of reading, Sam Leang Eng said.

“Some people asked why we constructed a library inside the prison, and not in a school. We would like to see everyone reads books everywhere, not only in school,” he said, adding that Sipar has already constructed many libraries in schools and hospitals.

He said the Siem Reap Prison Library was constructed in 2013 under a budget from Agence Française de Développement (AFD), costing around $12, 000, with a size of 9mx11m, and containing more than 3,000 books focusing on “life skills” and various business sectors.

“The reader will definitely gain a lot of knowledge frombooks about agricultural skills, electronics skills and sewing skills. Those books consist of short texts along with many pictures that are easy to understand and follow-up,” Sam Leang Eng said.

He and his team have also recently tried to find some books related to the law.

“Now we really need law books to place inside the prison library. The more they read about law, the more they gain knowledge and I believe they would not let themselves be in the jail again.”

Sam Leang Eng said that the Development of Library services will be implemented in the 26 prisons in Cambodia , and there are now 21 libraries open for inmates.

He added that the prison library project was funded firstly by the European Union and implemented by Sipar in partnership with the General Department of Prisons over a period of three years, starting from January 2012 to December 2014, with a total cost of around $500, 000.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants