Making a difference together

21st June 2018 | Blog

Community Ambassador Andrew has tirelessly supported our work for nearly a decade, holding fundraisers, quizzes and all manner of events to help send more books and encourage more people to get involved.

Refugee Week got him thinking about when he first became aware of our work to support people forced from home – and to find out more about how his employer and fellow Book Aid International supporter Cambridge Assessment also supports refugees.



I began volunteering as a Community Ambassador for Book Aid International nearly ten years ago, inspired by the motto ‘Books change lives’. I’m delighted that the organisation I work for, Cambridge Assessment, is also a supporter. It’s a good fit: education also changes lives and the Cambridge Assessment group works all over the world to provide educational qualifications that give learners the confidence to demonstrate and fulfil their potential.

This week, during Refugee Week, I’ve been reflecting on when I first became aware of Book Aid International’s work in refugee camps in 2014, when the charity published a message from Kakuma, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. Kakuma, in Kenya, has become the long-term home of forced migrants from all over Africa.


Addisu taught English to new arrivals in the camp


Book Aid International was working with Addisu, a resident of Kakuma who taught English to new arrivals and the camp was in desperate need of books. Since then, refugee camps have featured high on Book Aid International’s agenda as places where the correlation between literacy and health, self-determination and economic well-being is especially plain to see.

The reflection inspired me to find out more about how our work here at Cambridge also supports refugees, so recently I spoke to Sarah Rogerson, a manager in our English-language division, which provides qualifications in English to millions of learners every year.


Adult learners in Kakuma
Adult learners in Kakuma Refugee Camp

She told me about a number of initiatives that our organisation runs to support refugees and displaced people, including English-language teaching for refugees via an online classroom, a curated online learning portal providing content to organisations that support refugees support for refugees who need access to higher education through a Massive Open Online Course made available free of charge over the internet and bursaries for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK and Ireland to enable them to take a language examination and gain a qualifications.

Our experience working with refugees and other people learning English has shown us that without access to books and other educational materials, learners studying for their Cambridge English Qualification would certainly struggle.

Books, language teaching, and support for access to education can make a huge practical difference in the lives of refugees. With so many goals in common, it’s not hard to see why Cambridge Assessment is a keen supporter of Book Aid International!


We’d like to thank Andrew and Cambridge Assessment for their ongoing support.

To find out more about becoming a volunteer or corporate supporter, take a look at the links below.

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