Posts Tagged ‘FOPSE’

What does Timor-Leste Transparency have to do with being a Social Enterprise?

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Doug Hadden, VP Products

The Government of Timor-Leste has taken another step towards leading-edge government transparency with the launch of an eProcurement portal. The Timor-Leste transparency portal was first launched in March of this year with budget transparency. The World Bank has commended the government commitment of revenue transparency as the first country in Asia/Pacific to fully support and be certified for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

What does this mean for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? How does it align with being a social enterprise?

Real Social Responsibility

There is a debate about CSR. Critics suggest that CSR is fake, just feel-good marketing. Others see CSR as a cost with few benefits. My sense is that what we understand as CSR is maturing to something else. There is a significant difference between how social enterprises like FreeBalance approaches the world compared to companies who sell similar software.

For example, there is a well-known software company sponsoring a yacht in a famous yacht race. (FreeBalance sponsored a 5K run to raise money for cancer research). Another well-known company uses some social responsibility to purchase modern art. (FreeBalance collects art from children as SOS Children’s Villages). Why the difference? Social responsibility is at the core of what we do: helping country growth through improving governance.

Making a Difference as an Innovation Motivation

Umair Haque has made a strong case of meaningful and sustainable capitalism. Followers of his blog entries and twitter feeds often disagree with this notion. Yet, I see it almost every day at FreeBalance.

A colleague at a company I worked for previously confided in me: “what am I going to tell my grandchildren, that I helped insurance companies become more profitable?” Don’t get me wrong, my time with that company was rewarding. I learned a lot and made some lifelong friends. However, the motivation to innovate was intellectual. We didn’t internalize the angst of insurance company executives. Working long hours, as we often did, was not a cause of celebration. I rarely woke up at 3 in the morning with eureka moments. (Mostly nightmares.)

Yet at FreeBalance, we’re actually doing something meaningful. Our teams in Canada, Portugal and Timor-Leste worked around the clock. They did so because they believe that this contribution will have a cumulative effect in making the lives of the Timorese better. And, consequently, the world a better place.

Yes, but what about the Business?

Our transformation from a traditional software vendor to a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) has resulted in more profit and rapid growth relative to the industry. It seems to be superior to the traditional notion of “the business of business is business.”

And, it’s not because people are motivated to work harder – rather to work smarter.

What happened to that company I worked for? After a series of acquisitions, they are part of that software company that sponsors the yacht.

FreeBalance Celebrates World Read Aloud Day 2011

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Thirteen FreeBalance Offices Around the World to Participate in Literacy Event

Ottawa, Canada (March 7, 2011) – FreeBalance, a Government Resource Planning (GRP) software For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE), will be participating in World Read Aloud Day on March 9, 2011. World Read Aloud Day is an international event organized by LitWorld that motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and stories. This event advocates the right for every child for literacy, safe education, and access to books and technology.

LitWorld will host a 24-hour Read-Aloud Marathon in Times Square on March 9, supported by the New York Daily News. Special guest readers at the event will include the Chancellor of Schools, Cathie Black, Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development, Dennis M. Walcott, and many renowned authors and performers, including C. Alexander London, Adam Gidwitz, Jane O’Connor, and Jill Santopolo. A special LitWorld poem will be printed exclusively in the Daily News for New Yorkers to read together and help celebrate the power of the written word.

“Literacy is the human rights issue of our time,” said Pam Allyn, Executive Director and Founder of LitWorld. “By learning to read, we all have access to information, the power of shared stories of the human experience, and a way to connect with one another. By raising our voices to express the written word, we come together on behalf of all the world’s people who long to join the world of readers.”

“We believe it is important to actively participate in the local community in a meaningful way,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO of FreeBalance. “World Read Aloud Day allows our offices from around the world to engage with the community. We look forward to March 9 where together we will celebrate the importance of literacy.”

FreeBalance employees will visit local schools, SOS Children’s Villages, orphanages, or community centres in Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, India, Guatemala, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mongolia, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Uganda, and the United States. This year The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle will be read. Colouring books and short story booklets will be provided to children by FreeBalance staff members. Text and activities will be translated to the local language to encourage understanding and participation. Children will receive a certificate of achievement.

FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management professionals in 18 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, Panama, Sierra Leone, Southern Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Uganda among others. FreeBalance operates in 15 customer time zones. FreeBalance has more than 60,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000, and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide.

About LitWorld
LitWorld is a 501C3 nonprofit organization led by Founder and Executive Director Pam Allyn. LitWorld’s mission is to cultivate literacy leaders worldwide through transformational literacy experiences that build connection, understanding, resilience and strength. Founded on the three pillars of access, advocacy, and education, LitWorld works with teachers, parents, community members, and children to develop sustainable reading and writing practices to engage the world’s most vulnerable communities in the redemptive power of story. For more information, visit www.litworld.org.

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com.

###

FreeBalance Company Update at FISC 2011

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Manuel Pietra, FreeBalance President and CEO, provided a company update to delegates at the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference in Madeira Portugal. He spoke about the purpose of FISC – to drive the priorities for the FreeBalance Accountability Suite and to act as a forum for knowledge transfer among Public Financial Management (PFM) practitioners. He described the use of the   6 Thinking Hats parallel thinking approach for arriving at decisions.

Priorities

Mr. Pietra described the evolution of FISC since 2007. He welcomed first-time delegations from Kyrgyzstan, Liberia and Uganda. FISC was augmented in 2010 to include Ministers of Finance. This program will continue for every two years.  The FISC conference is the most important event for aligning product development with international customer requirements. The FreeBalance Government of Canada Cluster has a similar role to FISC but with more opportunities to connect.

FreeBalance adjusted the program to meet customer priorities from FISC 2010 and FreeBalance surveys. FISC 2011 objectives include assisting governments to leverage the latest technology and to align products with needs for the coming two years. Mr. Pietra described the differences between steering committees and user groups. There are Minister’s meetings every 2 years with extended sessions.

Successful 2010

FreeBalance continues to grow at above average rates. New offices were opened in 2010. The employee base has also increased. Mr. Pietra believes that the customer-centric approach taken in mid-2006 has assisted the company to grow. This reorganization into a matrix with a single development, implementation and support process has enabled FreeBalance to be customer-driven. He described some of the latest initiatives in customer-centric development including the full use of the balanced scorecard methodology that aligns customer measurements with financial, internal process and learning metrics.

Some of the FreeBalance highlights of 2010 include:

Corporate Social Responsibility

As a For Profit Social Enterprise(FOPSE), FreeBalance strives to make a difference in the world. Unlike most companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is core the FreeBalance mission to help governments across the world leverage robust government financial management technology to accelerate country growth. He described how the balanced scorecard and triple bottom linereporting is assisting FreeBalance to achieve mission objectives.

About FISC

The annual FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conference runs from January 16 – 19, 2011 in Madeira, Portugal. FISC provides an interactive forum to exchange Public Financial Management (PFM) good practices among international customers and PFM thought leaders. FISC drives the FreeBalance Accountability Suiteproduct vision to direct FreeBalance GRP solutions. Previous FISC events were held in Mt. Tremblant, Canada (2010); Prague, Czech Republic (2009); Cascais, Portugal (2008); and London, United Kingdom (2007).

Banca Civica: An Open and Transparent Bank

Friday, January 7th, 2011

James Elrick, PR Specialist

Have you heard the one about the socially responsible bank?

FreeBalance is a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) contributing to improved governance and development outcomes. We also hire locally to ensure independently sustainable implementations.

So it’s always interesting to see another company that adheres to FOPSE values.

And the surprising thing is that it’s a bank. I never thought that a bank could be a FOPSE, open and transparent. But Banca Civica proved it can be done.

Banca Civica was founded as a Spanish savings bank. In Spain, savings banks are private financial institutions organized as foundations. Banca Civica is concerned on savings, focuses on the poorer classes, concentrates in a geographical area, and allocates its profits (Banca Civica allocates 30 percent) to social and charity projects. Download the brochure >>

Banca Civica promotes a type of banking known as “civic banking”. Civic banking turns traditional banking on its head as it places the customer at the center of its business practices. Civic banking gives customers rights and in the process creates duties for the bank to follow.

At Banca Civica, customers have five core rights:

  1. The Right to Know.
    Customers know how much Banca Civica earns with them.
  2. The Right to Decide.
    Customers choose what social projects they will earmark 30% of the profits generated through the business they conduct with the bank. In 2009, over 6,500 non-profits and community-based organizations received more than $130 million. Banca Civica has a web portal that enables customers to pick social projects.
  3. The Right to Accountability.
    The non-profits and community-based organizations explain to Banca Civica customers what they do with the money they receive.
  4. The Right to Participate.
    Customers are able to support their social projects as volunteers.
  5. The Right to Traceability.
    Customers know where their savings are being invested.

I can’t imagine customers at a bank in Canada determining the social project that bank profits will be used to help. I know Canadian banks have social projects, which I do value. But the bank chose them, not me, not the customers. Banca Civica listens to its customers and then does what they want. A true FOPSE with CSR as core.

Banca Civica even helps banks and businesses incorporate the principles of Civic Banking. They offer programs which provide those organizations with the benefits of the Civic Banking model adapted to social and entrepreneurial reality. Experts from Banca Civica work with other businesses in the implementation of advanced CSR systems, which combine economic profitability with social benefits. So not only does Banca Civica practice CSR, they also enlighten other organisations about the benefits of CSR and how to become a CSR. Very impressive.

The good news is that Banca Civica is opening branches in the USA. You can learn more at http://www.bancacivica.es/ (Spanish website currently).

New Partnership for FreeBalance Promotes Sustainability and Economic Development in Africa

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
New Partnership for FreeBalance Promotes Sustainability and Economic Development in Africa

FreeBalance joins Canadian Council on Africa, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) organisation

Ottawa, Canada (December 1, 2010)FreeBalance, a global Government Resource Planning (GRP) software company and For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE), today announced it has joined the Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica), the only pan-Canadian organization dedicated to the economic development of Africa. With over 150 members active in every sector of the economy, CCAfrica is at the forefront of Canada’s economic relationship with Africa. CCAfrica is also concerned by diplomatic relations & social development of Africa. Please visit www.ccafrica.ca for more information.

FreeBalance helps governments across the world leverage robust government financial management technology to accelerate country growth. The company is uniquely positioned to support public financial management reforms in Africa. FreeBalance has successfully rolled out modern public financial management systems in challenging circumstances: limited connectivity, low bandwidth, lack of electrical power, and low capacity. FreeBalance recently announced agreements with the Governments of Liberia, Uganda, and MCA Namibia. FreeBalance is also working in Sierra Leone and Southern Sudan. The Government of Sierra Leone is a member of the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC).

“FreeBalance looks forward to working with the Canadian Council on Africa to help promote greater economic activity in Africa,” said Manuel Pietra, President & CEO at FreeBalance. “FreeBalance has successfully worked with several African nations to modernise and reform their public financial management systems. This in turn has led to better governance, greater economic activity and increased investment, which benefits the people of those nations.”

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite is a Government Resource Planning (GRP) solution designed for the unique requirements of public financial management. FreeBalance covers the entire government budget cycle, including Budget Preparation and Budget Execution. The FreeBalance Accountability Suite supports the unique and evolving requirements of government, including the support of modern Government Resource Planning (GRP), Government Performance Management, Government 2.0, Shared Services and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

FreeBalance customers span the globe and the user community includes public financial management professionals in 18 countries, including Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Southern Sudan, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq. FreeBalance operates in 15 customer time zones. FreeBalance has more than 60,000 users around the world. FreeBalance software manages a global civil service workforce of 1,500,000, and also manages a quarter trillion ($US) annual budgets worldwide.

About the Canadian Council on Africa
The Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica) is the only pan-Canadian organization dedicated to the economic development of Africa. With over 150 members active in every sector of the economy – including education, engineering, infrastructure, natural resources, energy, finance, legal, consulting, communications, information technology, manufacture, agri-food, environment, sustainable development and health, CCAfrica is at the forefront of Canada’s economic relationship with Africa. CCAfrica is also concerned by diplomatic relations & social development of Africa. Please visit www.ccafrica.ca for more information.

About FreeBalance
FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results. For more information, visit www.freebalance.com.

###

 

Maturing of Corporate Social Responsibility

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Doug Hadden, VP Products

Many observers see the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill as a seminal moment in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  Chrystia Freeland in the Washington Post has gone so far as to suggest that CSR has finally been exposed as the “fetish encouraged by the philanthropies that feed off it and funded by the corporate executives who have found that it serves their bottom line.” Beyond Petroleum, the BP CSR campaign tag line went well beyond. There seems to be no top kill to stop the big blog spill. The CSR blog reaction firestorm has been illuminating. Many observers have presented some thoughtful analysis of what the gulf spill means to CSR. (More on that later.)

CSR is a relatively new concept. It is fraught with confusion because many observers can’t visualize how being corporately responsible can be anything but expensive (and pretentious). Others, see it as a marketing ploy by greedy business. Or a misguided hippie 1960s flashback. Or Scrooge-type guilt. Or the latest business fad.

I’d like to suggest a framework to visualize the evolution of CSR.

Stage 1: The Business of Business is Business

(Follows Milton Friedman’s famous viewpoint).

  • Realization: Business leaders recognize the Profit is required to sustain business.
  • CSR POV: CSR is a cost and serves no useful purpose to increase profitability and does not add to shareholder value.
  • CSR Risk: Government regulation means the business must be in “compliance”.
  • CSR Threat: There is risk that competitors that practice CSR may gain competitive advantage.
  • CSR Opportunity: Fake Social Responsibility marketing efforts.

Step 2: Business Embraces CSR

  • Realization: People and Planet sustainability is required to sustain Profit in the business. Exploiting the environment will result in loss of necessary resources for the business. Exploiting people will result in less customers. 
  • CSR POV: CSR increases profitability because it grows the supply chain and ensures enough customers.
  • CSR Risk: The holistic view of environmental and social sustainability leading to sustainable business is difficult to measure. Business needs to improve outcome measurements.
  • CSR Threat: CSR arms race develops. Large enterprises can leverage high profits for philanthropy. On the other hand, marketing noise can make it difficult for buyers to know the difference between real and fake CSR.
  • CSR Opportunity: People prefer to buy from ethical businesses.

Step 3: For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE)

  • Realization: Profit drives innovation
  • CSR POV: Profit can be a more effective feedback loop for success in solving social or environmental issues. FOPSE may be more effective than the non-profit model for solving some issues.
  • CSR Risk: FOPSE requires questioning traditional business models. (In this case, BP must not only be “beyond petroleum” but petroleum free.) FOPSE companies compete against mainstream organizations with well-understood value propositions.
  • CSR Threat: FOPSEs tend to be smaller businesses competing against very large companies. Those larger companies, especially those with real CSR initiatives, can out market FOPSEs.
  • CSR Opportunity: FOPSE is disruptive and can create sustainable competitive advantage.

FreeBalance FOPSE Experience

FreeBalance is a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) software company that helps governments around the world to leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. Our mission is governance because good governance is required for economic development. We’ve published a guide on how to become a FOPSE. Here’s our experience to date:

  • The CSR exercise helped FreeBalance to change the traditional business model used by software companies.
  • The customer-centric approach needed as a FOPSE has helped FreeBalance  grow significantly while competitors have stagnant results.
  • The FOPSE approach has been very successful to differentiate FreeBalance globally.
  • CSR is positively related to profit.

How to Become a for-Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE)

E-Mail Marketers – Be Gone!

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

by Doug Hadden

VP Products

It’s the spam that never dies. Persistent. E-mail marketers have figured out that I might be in charge of marketing at FreeBalance. It is really easy to find out what our business is all about. We have a website. We blog. We tweet. Yet, I receive numerous offers for e-mail lists. That manage to evade the spam filter. Two today, so far.

Have I got a list for you

E-mail marketers promise lists of important decision-makers in business in the United States. Notwithstanding the fact that FreeBalance sells exclusively to government. This is not a closely guarded secret. And, our focus in Canada and emerging nations is not hidden.

FreeBalance is a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE). This means that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is core to our company values. So, we avoid ethically suspect marketing activities. Especially spam.

FreeBalance is also a Canadian company. We must comply to Canadian privacy laws – PIPEDA, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.  This means that we cannot send e-mails to people unless they wish to receive them. Including non-Canadians.

How good are these lists?

You would think that e-mail marketing companies would now about PIPEDA. They should know something about the companies that are one their lists. Yet, they persist in sending e-mails to FreeBalance, a company that is clearly not the proper target. How accurate is their data? It is so easy to fix.

The last time I received a call about a “list”, I pointed out that our web site is very clear. “Why not check out web sites before calling,” I asked. “You can avoid calling non prospects and you can target your message better.” Her boss was interested in achieving the most phone calls, not the most effective calls. It’s no wonder that corporate performance management techniques have not been effectively leveraged in government – they’re not doing too well in business!

Towards a Manifesto on Ethical E-Mailing?

Most companies provide some form of privacy policy to customers. Written by lawyers. And, there is a lot of controversy over the privacy policies and changes to policies for many companies. Credit card numbers have been stolen. Private information has become public. Maybe we need a manifesto. A CSR standard for ethical e-mailing. At this point, we just saying “no”.

From now on, I will reply to this primitive form of marketing with a link to this page. I’m curiously tempted to list the names of these companies. Is this ethical? Have they not given up any rights for privacy?

 

 

There was a time when spam was amusing, not it’s a digital blight

Marketing Intern Position in Washington DC Office

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

FreeBalance helps governments around the world leverage robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance software solutions for public financial and human resource management support reform and modernization to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Good governance is required to improve development results.

Founded in 1984, FreeBalance is a for-profit-social-enterprise (FOPSE) company headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with international sales, support and development. FreeBalance solutions have been implemented in countries across the globe, including Canada, United States, Sierra Leone, Guyana, Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Antigua & Barbuda, Timor-Leste, Republic of Kosovo, Palestine, Panama, and Uganda.

FreeBalance is currently seeking 2 Interns in Washington for a period of 3 months during June – September 2010.

The interns will work closely with the Marketing department to support FreeBalance activities.  During this internship you will participate and support the following activities.

· Update position and branding

· Web 2.0 social networking (blog, wikis, Slideshare, YouTube etc)

· New web collateral

· Proposal responses and updating response templates

· Regional and country research for business development

· Product requirement gathering

· Conference and event support

· Product documentation

· Market, technology and customer research

· Translation

Requirements:

· 3rd year students enrolled or recent graduates in a discipline of either Political Science, Economics/Finance, or a related field

· Excellent writing and editing skills in English

To apply for this position, please send us an email with your cover letter and resume.

Leadership Lessons Learned

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

FreeBalance President and CEO, Manuel Pietra, has been nominated for the for Peter Brojde Award for Next Generation Executive Leadership by the CATA Alliance.

How has Manuel achieved profitable and responsible growth for FreeBalance? Manuel has 3 lessons learned:

  1. Decision-making tools
  2. Customer-centricity
  3. Social responsibility

Decision-Making Tools

FreeBalance leverages the “Six Thinking Hats” approach developed by Edward de Bono. The company was organized like most software companies when Manuel joined in March 2006.  The organization structure needed to adapt to better serve the market. And, the company needed to make numerous strategic decisions. Manuel assembled the management team. He provided training materials on the technique. He described some high level objectives. Then he left the room. Manuel believes that executives gain more control by relinquishing control.

The 6 Hats technique is used throughout the company and with customers. Members of the FreeBalance International Steering Committee leverage the technique when prioritizing product roadmap items.

Customer Centricity

Most software companies are not customer-centric.  Manuel realized that traditional operational processes used by software companies can result in inferior service and put barriers between  company and customer decision-makers. We reorganized the company and provided customer metrics as the main dashboard for success. We’ve written a lot about customer-centricity in the past.  Initiatives such as the FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC), support SWAT Teams and the FreeBalance Customer Exchange have improved support and products. This has aided our growth.

Social Responsibility

Many traditional business leaders believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is company cost. Companies that engage in CSR risk profits. Manuel advocated the move to a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) where CSR is core to company decisions. We’ve talked about the benefits of this approach. We’ve even published a white paper on how to become a FOPSE.  The business media has been interested in this approach Manuel has explained how FOPSE companies are able to effectively achieve social goals and achieve growth.

FreeBalance Reads Aloud

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

FreeBalance staff celebrated World Read Aloud Day on March 3rd.  More pictures are available to FreeBalance customers through the FreeBalance Customer Exchange.

WRADFreeBalanceDili3Dili, Timor-Leste: Stephen was able to capture a good picture of FreeBalance President and CEO, Manuel Pietra, with school children in Dili. Manuel has been at the forefront of Corporate Social Responsibility at FreeBalance by advocating more activities with SOS Children’s Villages and other organizations that focus on children.

Stephen says that “a fun time was had by all” at Escola Primaria Numero 4, Fatuhada, Dili. Timor Leste.

WRADFBGuat07Guatemala City, Guatemala: Miguel and the FreeBalance team read aloud at Public School # 80 “Angelina Acuña” in Guatemala City.

“Teachers of the school also organized other activities related with the WRAD. All of us including kids and teachers enjoyed all the activities and shared a great moment all together!”

WRADFreeBalanceKampala08Kampala, Uganda: Tiberius reports that Government of Uganda IPPS project and Computech staff joined FreeBalance at World Read Aloud Day from the oldest school in Kampala.  SOS Children’s Villages in Kampala also leveraged the reading material.  Great art work was created by the children, rated far better than that produced by Tiberius who has wasted his talents on computer engineering.

DSC07720Ulanbaatar, Mongolia: Khurelbaatar reports a “great day for the kits with lots of joy and new information sharing.”

Books were read aloud in English and Mongolian.  Children displayed their Read Aloud workbooks for the camera.

Every FreeBalance staff member reading aloud described the event as a wonderful experience highlighting the importance of literacy for economic development and innovation.

DSC03816Pristina, Kosovo:  Rehana reports that children were happy to hear books read in Albanian and English.

Certificates were provided to all the children who participated around the globe. Certificates were proudly displayed by all.

Kosovo was the first FreeBalance customer outside of North America.

WRADFreeBalanceLisbon02Lisbon,  Portugal: Antonio reports that the Portuguese children in the first year elementary class were intrigued with the subject matter. “When we explained this same thing was happening in classrooms all over the world, their eyes lit up and the questions flowed.”

Books were read in English and Portuguese.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan: Victoria describes the wonderful experience with school children in the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“We are very much pleased with the opportunity of reaching the hearts of kids on behalf of the mission and look forward for more repeatable events in the future.”

WRADFreeBalancePalestine03Palestine: Hussam thanks “FB management for giving the opportunity to share this with the kids in Palestine and special thanks from the kids themselves.”

World Read Aloud Day is much more active than reading and listening. Activities, discussion and interaction.

Read_Aloud_Ottawa1Ottawa, Canada: James reports finding a school that appears like the United Nations.

“Some students already speak two or three languages and are now learning English/French. It’s a very diverse school that does a wonderful job at being inclusive.

All the students enjoyed the story immensely. And they were very excited about the colouring activities and the stickers. Did I mention they liked the stickers!”

WRAD DC - 11Washington, USA: Anne reports that Michael dressed as Batman was big hit with the children at a Head Start Pre-School Program. “all loved the book and there was lots of talk about favorite animals during the Animal on the Globe Activity.” Anne and Michael were accompanied by Kathleen Guy from Global Action for Children.