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Books for African schoolchildren

2 May 2016

Book Aid InternationalSupplies much-needed books to developing countries, raising funds from publishers and general public; 'Reverse Book Club' is masterly idea-for just £5 ($10) month you can provide 48 books to go to where they're most needed, a charity which focuses on providing books for Africa, has developed a new programme. Inspiring Readers is a school-based programme that aims to improve the reading opportunities of a quarter of a million African children though the provision of book cupboard libraries in primary schools. Already tested, the scheme has shown that it makes a big difference.

Inspiring Readers will benefit more than a quarter of a million children through providing school libraries which will be run from the local libraries' children's corners, which have already proved a success for the charity. The scheme will operate in more than 300 schools and fill a real gap. Although many African countries have made significant progress with getting more children into school, the result is often that the schools are overcrowded and the teachers lack resources.

Librarians, teachers and head teachers will be offered training is handling the scheme and in using it to improve the children's reading and fostering a love of reading. In the countries where Book Aid International works, in Southern and Eastern Africa, almost none of the primary schools has a library, and sharing one old, out-of-date book between 10 children is common.
Without a decent supply of books, the issue is not only that children struggle to learn to read. They are also denied the opportunity to explore the world through books, to find the stories, information and knowledge that could change their lives.

Almost all the books sent by Book Aid International to African libraries are donated by publishers. This means that the charity is able to supply new, up-to-date books which are what the schools need, but they will need to source more than 350,000 new books that are relevant for primary school-aged children.

Individual donations can play their part, especially through the Reverse Book Club, where just £6 enables 36 books to be supplied to a community library over the course of a year.

The inspiring new website gives a clear picture of the work done by Book Aid International.