MEDIA RELEASE: Reading for the first time at 60 in rural Kenya

24th August 2017 | News

This International Literacy Day, 8th September, Book Aid International is celebrating readers like Florence Chaptlo, 60, who has used books the charity sent to her rural Kenyan village with the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery to learn to read for the first time in her life. Prior to having the books in her adult learning class, she could not even write her name. “Now I can get a fair price when I shop and use a mobile phone!”

The charity’s ‘Where Literacy Thrives’ campaign, which begins on 31st August, will highlight the unsung heroes in public libraries as well as libraries in schools, refugee camps and small community-run libraries who work tirelessly to help people access books and support learners like Florence as they begin to read.

The campaign will see the charity sharing images, stories and videos submitted from its global network of partners around the world which show all the places where literacy is thriving in the week leading up to International Literacy Day on 8th September. Libraries, schools and readers around the world will also be invited to share their own reading experiences and images, quotes and stories of the places where reading and learning are flourishing using the hashtag #LiteracyThrives.

International Literacy Day 2017 is also the charity’s second year providing funds, marketing materials and support to enable libraries to hold their own reading promotion events. This year, thanks to funds from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, 11 libraries in 10 countries will hold community events which will raise awareness of the value of reading. Book Aid International will live tweet as many of these events as possible to end its campaign.

Book Aid International is proud to be helping to create spaces where literacy and learning can thrive even in some of the world’s most isolated and vulnerable communities. The charity’s Head of Programmes, Samantha Thomas-Chuula, explained saying:

“We are very proud to play a role in helping people like Florence to learn to read, who never had the opportunity to learn as a child. These changes can be truly life-changing and we’re looking forward to featuring stories from the places where literacy is thriving despite huge challenges. We’ll feature images supplied from Iraq, traditional pastoral communities in Kenya and even Rwandan hospitals – and we hope that many teachers, readers, librarians and families will join in and share their own stories of the places where #LiteracyThrives!”

Samantha also extended the charity’s thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for helping the charity publicise the campaign and encouraging its players to share their own experiences of the places where literacy thrives on social media.

The campaign begins on 31st August and the charity is encouraging anyone who loves to read to be a part of the campaign by sharing their own reading experiences using the hashtag #LiteracyThrives. To follow the campaign, follow @book_aid, visit www.bookaid.org/latest or like the charity on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bookaid/




About the campaign

Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity sends more than one million books to thousands of libraries around the world where people would otherwise have few opportunities to read.

The charity is marking International Literacy Day on 8th September by shining a light on the work of librarians and teacher-librarians around the world who are creating spaces where literacy and learning can thrive. These often un-sung heroes work tirelessly supporting adult readers who may be beginning to read later in life, helping children growing up in non-literate households discover books and reaching out to even the most remote communities.

The charity will highlight the work of these literacy champions around International Literacy Day by sharing their first-hand photos, quotes, video clips and stories showcasing their work and how literacy is changing lives in their communities. In addition to images, videos and stories from overseas the charity also has a strong literacy case study with high resolution images and a large collection of literacy images that can be put together in a gallery.

For further information, pictures or comment please contact Jenny Hayes, Communications Executive at Book Aid International.

e: jenny.hayes@bookaid.org
t: 020 7326 5801

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