“Reading is a chance to escape reality”

18th January 2022 | Blog

Started in 2008, S.A.L.V.E. International is a UK and Ugandan based charity that supports children to stop living on the streets of Uganda by giving them a halfway home, support to be able to resettle with their family, education and hope for the future.

Thanks to our wonderful supporters, in 2021 we were able to provide 1,000 books to S.A.L.V.E, which they distributed to three different sites where they reached around 350 students.

Many of the children S.A.L.V.E support have been out of school for a long time whilst on the streets, so having access to books now means they can begin learning again at their own level.

S.A.L.V.E told us:

“For the older children, reading is a great chance to enjoy some time to themselves and sometimes to escape the reality of the trauma they have faced in the past.

The books also give our teacher a way of assessing the children’s educational levels – both the reading books and the educational books, which is really important for us when it comes to getting them back into education after being resettled to their families.

At our drop-in centers, the children have enjoyed having some quiet time to be able to sit and read, away from their chaotic lives on the streets. The books have given them the chance to be able to escape from the reality of their lives a little and to remind them of their love of education. Our street outreach team have used the books to run creative lessons around storytelling and to get the children using their imagination.

Reading is a chance to escape the reality of their lives for a lot of the children we work with, both on the streets and at our residential site, whether they can read, or use the pictures to create their own stories.

With schools being closed due to Covid-19, many of the children in our educational support programme have been staying with us residentially and the books have given us the chance to encourage them to keep learning and given our teacher plenty of ideas of exercises to set children at varying levels. This means that when schools eventually re-open, the children will still be in the mindset of learning and won’t have forgotten everything they had previously learnt.

We have one young girl staying with us residentially who has Cerebral Palsy who is not able to communicate well or understand the lessons. Being able to give her a book during the lessons helps make her feel more involved and part of the group which has been very beneficial to her.”

It’s only thanks to our brilliant supporters that we’re able to reach charities like S.A.L.V.E. Thank you for helping us reach readers around the world with the books they need to change their lives!