Alfred and his two sons

MEDIA RELEASE: 98,814 African primary school pupils inspired to read

14th December 2017 | News

Nothing in the world can give an education apart from reading

Book Aid International is delighted to announce that its 2017 London Book Fair International Excellence Award-winning Inspiring Readers programme has now brought books to the classrooms of 98,814 African primary school pupils in Kenya, Malawi and Cameroon.

One parent who has seen the benefits of Inspiring Readers up close is Kenyan teacher Alfred, shown left with his sons, in the Kenyan town of Kabarnet. Alfred works in an Inspiring Readers school and his two sons also attend a school which benefits from the programme.

Like most parents in the area, Alfred cannot afford to buy books for his home, so Inspiring Readers offers a vital chance for his sons to access enriching, brand new books. He told us about why he thinks Inspiring Readers is so important:

“I am a teacher and also a farmer – I have a small farm to supplement my income. The food I grow on the farm enables me to have food for my family. If I was told I had to buy some books for my children, I would struggle. I would be forced to sell an animal so that I can get some little money. But books are to prepare the child for future life, so I have to struggle. Books are very important. Nothing in the world can give an education apart from reading!

“My children, when they come home, they introduce us to the new books that they have learned in school. They tell us the stories. We really enjoy it. We feel there is something good happening at the school – and it’s because of the books they have there.”

Alfred’s children are just two of almost 99,000 pupils benefitting from Inspiring Readers and Book Aid International plans to expand the programme in 2018. In total, the charity hopes to reach 250,000 African school pupils through Inspiring Readers. The charity’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, talked about programme’s progress so far and plans for the future.

“We are delighted with the progress made this year thanks to the hard work of our library partners and all the teachers who have participated in the programme. Together we are making a real difference to the lives of children and to their communities as well by giving them a chance to discover the joy of reading. Inspiring Readers is just getting underway in Uganda and we are looking forward to expanding the programme further next year.”

The charity would also like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting Inspiring Readers in Kenya and Malawi. Players have so far provided a total of £900,000 to help Book Aid International send books to readers around the world.

Inspiring Readers aims to dramatically increase the books and support available to African primary school pupils by setting up school libraries, training teachers in how to use books in their classrooms and linking schools with public libraries. To learn more about Inspiring Readers visit



For further information, high resolution images and comment please contact Jenny Hayes, Communications Executive at Book Aid International.

t: 020 7326 5801

About Book Aid International

Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity aims to ship around one million brand new books to thousands of communities around the world where people have very few opportunities to access books and read. All of the books the charity sends are generously donated by publishers.

Book Aid International works with an extensive network of libraries, schools, hospitals, NGOs and other partners to ensure that the books it sends reach as many people as possible. The charity estimates that the books it provides reach 24 million people every year.

In addition, Book Aid International runs projects which build the capacity of librarians and teachers to support people and communities.

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

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