I live very close to the wonderful Book Aid International offices. This is an organisation I have long been aware of for their pioneering work in getting books to communities of readers who would otherwise find it difficult to have access to reading matter – both for pleasure and for information. They are a charity whose work is hugely important and has the ability to directly affect the short and long term quality of peoples lives.
Book Aid International is an organisation that has been working to get books to readers in sub-Saharan Africa and the occupied Palestinian Territories for over 60 years. They work in countries from Cameroon to Palestine and Zimbabwe and last year ensured that over 1.1 million books were sent to over 3,400 libraries in schools, universities, cities, slums, remote villages, prisons, hospitals and refugee camps on the continent. Each book that leaves the Book Aid International warehouse in Camberwell has been selected by the charity’s team of professional librarians according to the needs of their library partners in Africa. The charity also runs specialist programmes in partnership with their library partners including the establishment of Children’s Corners in public libraries, a school book box library scheme, librarian training and the provision of medical and healthcare books and information.
Alison Hubert, Director of Book Aid International said: “Books are scarce in many of the communities where we work so we are delighted to have been able to send over 1.1 million books to the libraries we support in 2015. We work closely with our partners in Africa to ensure the books we send are useful and relevant and we are delighted that even more of these carefully selected books will now be on the shelves in libraries that need them the most.”
Book Aid International receives no grants from the British government and so every penny they need to undertake their work has to be raised from voluntary sources like individuals, grant making trusts, companies and community groups. For more information about how you could help, take a look at their Get involved pages.
Follow them on twitter @Book_Aid and visit their very informative website http://www.bookaid.org/