Every year, we send thousands of vocational books, English language learning books, technical guides and how-to guides to all of the 25 countries we supported.

Each of these books will have a direct impact on the people who read them by helping them gain new language and practical skills.

Books are seeds of change

In Zimbabwe’s impoverished Gwanda region, a group of women are using books to take control of their futures. They joined a study circle set up by Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library and read widely – about how to make a living, about their rights and about health.

Together, they decided to set up a community garden which would enable them to sell vegetables and fight the poverty which has held their communities back. Today, for the first time, they feel in control of their families’ futures:

“We are now able to sell what we are growing and we have money with which we pay school fees. We are able to run our households with the income.” Read more

Achieving dreams through books

Linda in Cameroon is in the final year of her studies to become a Magistrate. Growing up in a rural area where most people are subsistence farmers, Linda has had to overcome many hurdles to get to where she is today. Without books, she would not be where she is today:

I achieved my dream thanks to the books at the library. Read Linda's story

Learning to read at 60

Chesengoch is a tiny, remote village in Kenya’s vast Great Rift Valley. The area is rugged with steep cliffs and poor roads and most people lead a simple pastoral lifestyle. Poverty and illiteracy levels are high. Chesengoch is part of our Inspiring Readers programme, so the local schools are fortunate to have brand new books in their classrooms.

When parents and grandparents saw children coming home reading, they also saw an opportunity to improve their own reading. So they demanded support from the government to fund an adult education teacher and began improving their
own literacy using the Inspiring Readers books.

Some, like 60-year-old Florence, below, even learned to read for the first time.

"I joined the class so I could learn to read and write. Now I can read prices, so I get a fair price when shopping and I can use a mobile phone!" Read Florence's Story

Helping rural communities

In many rural communities, agriculture is the main source of income and in some areas, it is the means by which people subsist. Many of these communities are in areas affected by environmental degradation and climate change. Access to up-to-date information can be transformational. Books have an important role in providing people with the knowledge and skills to cope with degradation and protect their crops and animals.

In one tiny community library several hours from the city of Mbale in Uganda, Julius Nemisano founded the Lukhonge Community Library to provide local people with access to books and information, helping them increase yields and keep hunger at bay.

We also have books helping our people to learn how to plant their fields, how to plant their trees, how to improve their watersheds. Read Julius' story

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