45,446 publisher-donated books reach Nigeria with the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery
Book Aid International is pleased to announce that it has begun working in Nigeria. 45,446 publisher-donated, brand-new books have now arrived in Lagos and are on their way to schools, universities, medical colleges, public libraries and displaced people across Nigeria’s Western States. The shipment was funded through the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The need for books to support Nigeria’s young, English-speaking population is huge. There are over 300 public libraries across Nigeria in addition to many more higher and further education facilities, many of which have little or no budget to buy books. 86 million Nigerians live on less than $400 a year and 3.4 million Nigerians have been displaced by conflict and natural disaster. They cannot afford to buy books.
Book Aid International’s donation aims to support medical, public and higher education libraries and reach readers who face additional barriers to reading and learning. One organisation benefitting from this donation is Pathfinder International, a non-profit serving some of Nigeria’s most underserved communities with reproductive health care. They have received a range of books selected for teens, as well as technical books to support programme delivery. Country director Dr. Amina Aminu Dorayi said those books will be a key tool in its work:
“We are working to improve the health and well-being of adolescents in internally displaced persons settlements by advancing gender equality and strengthening girls’ agency. These books will help to build their vocabulary and learn about their bodies. They will also help Pathfinder staff in Nigeria to improve their business administration, development, medicine and social care knowledge. We are grateful to Book Aid International for their generous donation which will no doubt change lives.”
The Elliemm Young Readers Initiative also benefited from this shipment with a donation of children’s books. The group’s founder Ms. Obiajulu Okonkwo’s said:
“Reading expanded my world, taught me about places that I never knew, and it is such a shame that many schools and communities in Nigeria do not have libraries. These kids are missing out. I want to change that story, one school at a time. That’s why we find schools with no books, get them to allocate a space to us and then turn them into reading centres. They will now be stocked with books donated by Book Aid International.”
Book Aid International Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, spoke of the charity’s work in Nigeria saying:
“We started working on this donation in spring 2020 – but then like so many other plans it was put on hold by Covid. We restarted conversations last year, but it took a further six months to secure the necessary permissions to ship these books. Without the dedication of our operations team, the persistence of our partners and the generosity of our supporters, it would not have happened. The books’ arrival has been long-awaited, and we know they will be hugely valued by the many thousands who will read them.
Book Aid International would like to extend a special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support funded this shipment. Since 2014, the charity has received £2,725,000 through players’ support to help it reach people around the world who need books.
Book Aid International’s work in Nigeria is part of its expansion across West Africa, and the charity continues to focus on the communities where access to books is at its most challenging. To find out more, please visit bookaid.org.
You can learn more about Pathfinder International’s work at pathfinder.org/countries/nigeria/ and about Elliemm Young Readers Initiative by visiting elliemminitiative.org.
Notes to editors
Please find a selection of images and the Book Aid International logo here: https://bookaid.dash.app/sharing/type/collection/tni11-nigeria-shipment
Interviews and further information
All named individuals are available for interview. Please contact Emma Taylor:
About Book Aid International
Book Aid International provides over one million new books every year in the places where they will make the biggest difference and sets up libraries, trains people to run them and works with its partners to spark a love of reading.
Together with its 150 partners worldwide, the charity provides books everywhere from refugee camps, prisons and hospitals to remote schools where there has never been a library before.
All of the books the charity provides from the UK are donated by publishers, and Book Aid International receives no government grants or support. To find out more or to help send the next book visit bookaid.org.
Book Aid International is a registered charity in England and Wales. Charity number 313869.
About the Elliemm Young Readers Initiative
Elliemm Young Readers Initiative seeks to promote and encourage reading and literacy amongst children, by exposing them to and making available to them books of different genre. The goal is to occupy them and redirect their focus away from social ills while building their love for reading and general knowledge of the world.
Find out more at elliemminitiative.org
About Pathfinders Interational, Nigeria
In 1965, Pathfinder helped establish the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria and provided the first grant in family planning to the Nigerian Ministry of Health for pilot work in northern communities. Since that date, Pathfinder has worked with the government, community-based organisations, the private sector, faith-based institutions, and communities themselves to strengthen health systems and delivery of sexual and reproductive health care. Find out more by visiting https://www.pathfinder.org/countries/nigeria