We are committed to ensuring that those facing displacement, disaster, poverty or struggling to get an education have access to the books they need.
In some locations, this requires us to run smaller projects which focus on specific areas or communities within a country.
Disaster response in The Caribbean
In September 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Caribbean island of Barbuda as a Category Five storm, devastating the island. It was followed just a few days later by Hurricane Jose. The hurricanes went on to inflict destruction on the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos.
Thousands of people in the Caribbean are still unable to return home following Hurricanes Irma and Jose. Schools, libraries and other public institutions were destroyed, and many books were lost along with those schools and libraries.
We are proud to be supporting those currently sheltering on Antigua by donating books. In late 2017, we sent donation of over 1,800 books to the National Library of Antigua and two schools for children with special needs to support displaced Barbuda residents.
Supporting refugees in Greece
Greece is on the front line of Southern Europe’s refugee crisis. In 2016 nearly 172,000 people arrived in Greece by sea alone. (source) The people arriving from Greece need everything from healthcare to education to shelter.
The books we provide offer the chance to continue an interrupted education, begin learning English or simply escape the challenges of day to day life for a few hours. We are providing books to three NGOs which support refugees in Greece: ECHO Greece, METAdrasi and InterVolve.
So far, we have sent over 1,000 books to our partners, including Arabic phonics readers, English as a Second Language books and leisure reading books.
Supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Lebanon hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country except for Turkey. The influx is so profound that refugees now make up 25% of the country’s population of 4.4 million. According to the UN, Lebanon has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees anywhere in the world.
In 2017, we sent 1,899 children’s books including Arabic readers, teacher training manuals and English as a Second Language books to our partner in the country, Jusoor Syria. Jusoor’s mission is to help Syrian youth realize their potential through programs in the fields of education, career development, and global community engagement. These books will give young readers a critical opportunity to keep learning despite their displacement.
The Gambia is emerging from 20 years of a dictatorial regime under President Jammeh. The country has suffered economic mismanagement, political violence and human rights abuses. Today, 60 % of Gambians live in absolute poverty.
In late 2017, we sent a shipment of 4,327 books to our partners, Switched on Gambia, a small NGO that supports children attending some of the world’s most poorly resourced schools. The books we provided included Children and Primary books, secondary books, reference texts and teacher training texts.
Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule. The country has seen rapid growth in recent years and has reduced its poverty rate from 52.6% to 21.4% between 1991 and 2012. However, not everyone is benefiting from this growth, with poverty concentrated in rural areas and the North.
In 2017, we sent over 1,000 books to our partners in Ghana, The Rainbow Trust Foundation, to help support schools in rural Ghana. These books will enrich the classrooms of hundreds of pupils in southern Ghana.