During and after war, books offer the opportunity to continue an interrupted education, to escape into a story and to find new hope for a brighter future. Back in 2018, we made it a priority to provide books to those who live with or have fled conflict and since then, each year, we send thousands of books to people who are displaced, those in refugee camps and those escaping conflict.
Reaching refugees in Greece
In Greece, refugees seeking safety from wars at home continue to arrive every week. When they reach Greece, they are supported by a network of small NGOs, many of which operate on a shoestring and in difficult conditions. These inspiring organisations provide the opportunity for refugees to return to education, to begin to learn English and to find a safe space that offers refuge from the day to day realities of camp life.
We work with a handful of NGO’s in Greece to provide books for all ages to community libraries, classrooms and mobile libraries to help displaced people begin to write the next chapter. These books are transformative for refugees like Habiba:
“I think the books are very good for me – for my heart. Books are very good for relaxation.” Read Habiba’s story
Books for displaced children in Cameroon
Thousands of children have lost their homes since 2017 in Cameroon’s escalating violence. We’ve worked with our long-standing partner to provide over 5,000 books in damp proof, lockable boxes to children who have lost their homes and schools and are sheltering in the forests.
These books offer children who are facing hardship the opportunity to read, learn and escape into a story.
“We believe that we can give these children hope in a hopeless situation. Dreams should not end because there is strife and conflict, but unless we right the wrongs now for these children so they can learn today, there will be no tomorrow for them and their communities.” – A bishop in Cameroon. Read more here.
Restoring the library IS destroyed
In 2015, IS fighters destroyed the University of Mosul library, burning over one million books. The Mosul Book Bridge campaign was founded by lecturer Alaa Hamdon when he returned to the city and saw the damage. It has one goal: to restore the library. We, therefore, sent 3,791 brand new, higher education texts to the library, helping them begin the process of restoring what IS destroyed and supporting students returning to their university.
“Those books are very valuable and will make a big difference to students.” Read more
Putting books in Syrian classrooms
International NGO Syria Relief is working to keep Syrian children in school and we have provided them with over 16,000 Arabic readers to support pupils’ learning. These books are a lifeline for young readers, many of whom have known nothing but war. We have also sent over 9,000 higher education texts to Idlib University, giving students access to vital information.
“These books have the power to change our children’s lives because, through reading, they will learn new skills and become more creative. The books will give hope once more to the children.” Read one school’s story