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Reading partners focus on capacity at Book Aid International event in Nairobi

With support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, in March 2023 Book Aid International brought nine partner organisations from across sub-Saharan Africa together for a three-day learning event focused on how to create access to books in some of the world’s most marginalised communities. All of the partners involved have received publisher-donated books and worked with the charity to establish reading spaces.  

The Learning Event is part of Book Aid International’s Partnership Development Programme (PDP). The PDP aims to strengthen Book Aid International’s project partners’ organsiational capacity so that they can do more to support reading and create sustainable change. It focuses on building partners’ skills in designing, delivering and evaluating projects.  

Key aspects of the event included strategies for greater participant engagement when training community members to support reading, how monitoring and evaluation can lead to greater impact and how partners can come together to create a community of practice.  

One of the partners at the event was the Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF). SCEF works to help children in Accra, Ghana, who have lived or worked on the streets to find a route towards a brighter future. The charity uses books donated by Book Aid International in its resource centre library and has worked with Book Aid International to establish more than 50 school libraries. 

The charity’s CEO, Paul Semeh, spoke of what the learning event meant to its team:  

“This training has been very impactful and with the innovative skills acquired we will change our book and library management activities at SCEF to be more practical and tailor-made. Our training skills have been enhanced to be more interactive to catch participants attention, as well as to being innovative in our reporting by using graphics and pictorial evidence.” 

The partners involved were the Community Libraries Association of Uganda, EISERVI Cameroon, The Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust Zimbabwe, Ineza Foundation Rwanda, Rainbow Trust Foundation Ghana, Save the Needy Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Book Trust, The Street Children Empowerment Foundation Ghana and the We-Care Foundation Liberia.   

Samantha Sokoya, Book Aid International’s Head of Programmes, commented on the learning event, saying: 

“Partnership is at the heart of everything we do, and we know that by working together we can give more people the opportunity to read in the long-term. This event was a key opportunity for partners to come together to share learnings, re-examine challenges and develop their ideas for promoting reading. We are grateful to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for funding this programme, and we know it will help our partners do more for readers.” 

Book Aid International has been supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery since 2014. Players have raised over £3.8 million, awarded by Postcode Education Trust. These funds have enabled a number of activities designed to grow Book Aid International’s work with its partners. 

Book Aid International provides books to over 185 partners around the world. These partners range from NGOs like SCEF to some of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest public library services. To find out more about Book Aid International visit bookaid.org.  


Notes to editors 


Please find a selection of images and the Book Aid International logo here: https://bookaid.dash.app/sharing/type/collection/rkfpk-nairobi-learning-event  

Further information  

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 185 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.