Every year, we send thousands of books to support people all over the world. Below are some examples of how having access to books can be transformational for adults.

Books are seeds of change

In Zimbabwe’s impoverished Gwanda region, a group of women joined a study circle set up by Edward Ndlovu Memorial Library and read widely – about how to make a living, their rights and health. Together, they set up a community garden that 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

Reading in the university library

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. Here, 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 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