JINAN — The three-day 2017 China (Qufu) International Confucius Cultural Festival started on Sept 27 in East China’s Shandong province to celebrate the 2,568th anniversary of the birthday of Confucius (551BC — 479BC).
The opening ceremony of the cultural festival was launched on Sept 27 evening and the Confucius Memorial Ceremony will be held Sept 28.
As part of the cultural festival, the 12th UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy announced its winners at the opening ceremony.
Three projects from Pakistan, South Africa and Colombia were awarded the prize in 2017.
One of the three laureates was the Citizens Foundation (Pakistan) for its Aagahi Literacy Program for Women and Out-of-School Girls. It conducts digital educational needs assessments and provides teaching services to support the education of younger girls and older women.
Women play an important role in society and family and what the foundation is doing echoes with Confucius’s teaching that in education there should be no class distinction, said Khalid Amna Waheed, a winners representative of the Pakistani project.
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was the first international award named after a Chinese. The prize rewards work that benefits rural populations and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women.
A total of 29 people worldwide have been awarded the prize in the past 12 years.