Rwanda shipment being loaded

MEDIA RELEASE: Book Aid International begins supporting Rwanda

20th June 2017 | News

Book Aid International is pleased to announce that it is expanding its work to provide brand new books to communities in Rwanda. Today, the charity sent 31,801 books to support readers in libraries, schools and further education institutions across the country.

In recent years, Rwanda has experienced strong economic growth which has been accompanied by a substantial improvement in living standards. This has seen a two-thirds drop in child mortality and near-universal enrolment in primary education.[i] Despite this progress, 63% of the population in Rwanda still live on less $1.25 a day.[ii]

The lack of a national library service in Rwanda means that many communities are unable to access the life-changing opportunities books offer, such as developing skills, starting businesses and enabling lifelong learning.

The books we are sending will support some of Rwanda’s many volunteer-run community libraries. These are almost always managed by members of the local community who have often taken it upon themselves to create a library in their area. These libraries serve the whole community and particularly those who cannot access traditional learning opportunities.

Book Aid International’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, talked about the charity’s work in Rwanda saying:

“Having visited Rwanda myself and met some of the volunteers who give up their time to run community libraries I am delighted that we are now working in partnership with the Kigali Public Library to provide brand new books for the users of the community libraries. Thanks to the generosity of our partners in the book trade, we can provide brand new books to libraries, schools and further education institutions throughout the country, books which will undoubtedly be a huge boost for readers across Rwanda.”

The charity’s initial shipment of 31,801 books was shipped today and included early learning and children’s books, higher education texts and medical and healthcare books as well as titles covering technical and vocational skills to support further education.

The charity’s initial work in Rwanda is funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Book Aid International would like to thank players for their generous support.

To find out more about Book Aid International and its expanding work to reach those who face the greatest barriers to accessing books and reading, visit


[i] World Bank Open Data, Rwanda

[ii] World Economic Forum on Africa, 2016



For further information and comment please contact Emma Taylor, Head of Communications at Book Aid International.

t: 020 7326 5800

About Book Aid International

Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity ships around one million books to thousands of libraries in communities where people have very few opportunities to access books.

Book Aid International works with an extensive network of libraries, schools, hospitals, NGOs and other partners to ensure that the books it sends reach those who are most in need. In addition, it also run library development projects which build the capacity of librarians to support readers and communities.

The charity only sends books at the request of its library partners. These books are carefully selected by our UK team led by professional librarians to ensure that they the needs of local communities.

All of the books sent by Book Aid International are donated by the UK book trade so they are all new.

Visit for more information or join the conversation on twitter: @book_aid


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