A very special thank you

28th December 2021 | Blog

This year, players of People’s Postcode Lottery contributed an extraordinary £850,000 to help us provide more books, support more libraries and train more teachers and librarians across Africa.  

Everything we do has one simple goal: to make sure that people who desperately want to read have access to books. And in 2021, players’ support allowed us to make books available to hundreds of thousands of readers, teachers and librarians.  

Below are five of the inspiring people who players have supported:  

Sarah in Nairobi, Kenya 

In 2021 our Inspiring Readers  programme surpassed its target, putting books into the classrooms of over 290,000 children. Kenyan Librarian Sarah has been involved with Inspiring Readers from the start:  

“There are places in Kenya where a child touches a book for the first time and actually smells it because this is a new book. They are so used to hand me downs. They may not even know how to read, but the fact that they can flip through a new book with colourful pages makes them light up!

I hope and pray that it is possible that no child who wants to read ever misses the opportunity to access storybooks because I feel like it’s the greatest injustice ever. Any child has the capacity to succeed in life if they’re given the right tools.”

Any child has the capacity to succeed in life if they’re given the right tools.

Read more from Sarah.

Lamine in Accra, Ghana 

During the lockdown, millions of students like Lamin were out of school with no access to books at home. Thanks to a new programme called Books to Go, thousands of students will have the chance to take books home so they can keep learning even in the event of future lockdowns. 

“We didn’t have books but now we have the opportunity to read many books!” 

See more pictures from Books to Go. 

Hassan in Freetown, Sierra Leone  

This year we expanded our work in Sierra Leone, providing access to books for readers like Hassan who works as a teacher: 

“I have been reading the books from Book Aid International on a frequent basis. The books have played a crucial role in improving my literacy skills and the ideas I learn from them have always been useful and crucial in my teaching practice. Actually, they are helping me to become the best teacher I can be.”

They are helping me to become the best teacher I can be.

Read more from Hassan.  

Luciano in Malawi’s Nkhotakota wildlife reserve 

In Malawi, 71 schools in the Nkhotakota wildlife reserve in Malawi received a total of 24,000 books to establish school libraries. They are helping to transform the educations of pupils like Luciano:  

“These books will help me learn how to read quickly. Our parents don’t know how to read, they can’t teach us, there’s nowhere where we can learn how to read except books.” 


Read more here.

Edna Adan Ismail in Hargyessa, Somaliland  

Edna Adan Ismail is the director and founder of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland. She is an activist and pioneer in the struggle for the abolition of female genital mutilation, and she told us how books are vital to her work:  

“I’m very determined to accomplish what I have set myself to accomplish, which is to train health professionals for my country, Somaliland. When I first opened the hospital, the first gift of books were received from Book Aid International. In Somaliland, there’s no bookshop I can walk to and just buy books from, and there’s nobody like Book Aid International that we are easily connected with who give us books. 

We are now walking towards the direction in which we wish to go. We have women engineers. We have women nurses and doctors. A step at a time, we fight these battles. Books are a source of contribution towards this development. Without books, we cannot develop. Without books, we cannot get trained. Without books, we cannot get out of the situation that we are in.”

Without books, we cannot get out of the situation that we are in. 

Read more from Edna.

These are just five voices from the many thousands of readers that players of People’s Postcode Lottery have helped us reach. We join with all of them in thanking the players for their support – and we can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store! 



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