Stories from near and far
Virginia leads the International Board on Books for Young People in Zimbabwe. She told us why she believes children accessing a wide range of new books through the African Story Box Project is so important.
“Here in Zimbabwe, children would love to read but there are not enough books. Schools have no libraries, or they have library spaces with no books. Parents are struggling with the cost of living and school fees. They cannot afford to buy books.
For me, I have been an avid reader since I was a little girl. That was the Apartheid era. There were no children’s books in the black township where I grew up. I secretly read books for adults taken from my uncle.
If I had never had access to those books, I would not have excelled and achieved being a successful accountant, author, environmentalist and human rights defender.
Certainly, books give people the power to change their lives – and so this project will help children be well prepared for life as adults.
So my view is that the African Story Box project is a brilliant idea. Each African Story Box that is provided to schools is packed with 100 UK-donated children’s books and 100 locally published books.
This will give every child in both urban and rural areas opportunities to read locally published books and books from the United Kingdom. The locally authored books will give children the confidence to embrace, accept and appreciate their own country’s creativity and heritage.”
Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ve been working with Virginia and her team at the International Board on Books for Young People to provide 40 schools in Zimbabwe with African Story Boxes.
All photos ©Cynthia R Matonhodze/Book Aid International
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