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

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • ‘Action needed to stop road deaths doubling by next year’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place. At least five people on average are killed on Cambodian roads every day. The interior

  • Cambodian rice to lose EU duty-free status

    The Cambodian rice sector is set to lose its duty-free export status to the EU today – its major rice market – after the European bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports. The decision will be

  • Ministry to lose $60M a year in revenue

    The Ministry of Commerce will lose $60 million in revenue annually after the government eliminated export procedures in a campaign to boost competitiveness, a senior official at the ministry has said. Speaking at a press conference on Friday regarding the EU’s decision to impose safeguard