Tag Archives: Caribbean

Police training with book

Books enhancing police training

After the hurricanes that hit the Caribbean in 2017 two of just five of the British Virgin Islands’ libraries were forced to close. Jost Van Dyke Community Library was completely destroyed, as was the island’s Bookmobile. Virgin Gorda Community Library was also damaged and lost part of its collection.

In response to the hurricanes, supporters have helped to send thousands of brand new books to the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands where they are being used to replenish their community libraries but also support other institutions on the island, including its police force!

Chief Librarian Ms. Suzanne Greenaway tells us more:


Processing books in BVI
The books you helped to send are giving library users in the British Virgin Islands access to new, up-to-date information

“Three out of our five libraries are functioning after the hurricanes of 2017 and the books are placing new current materials on their shelves. These books are extremely important as our book budget has been cut.

We also loan some of the medical and higher education books to community colleges and other institutions.

Using books in police training
Donated books are also being used by other organisations including the local police force!

The instructors in the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) are presently benefitting from the books on policing and law.

These books have positively impacted my life and the practical application of my role as a police officer and instructor at the training academy.

Also, a police training course for new recruits started last year and the books were made available to the officers for use in the classroom and for research purposes:

“I have twelve years of service in the RVIPF. These books have positively impacted my life and the practical application of my role as a police officer and instructor at the training academy. Without these books, staff and students would have been deprived of the perspective of the knowledge, principals and practical applications they contain.”

– Sergeant Oneal Bakker, Police Officer and Instructor at Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Training Academy (VILETA).

“I am a serving officer for 26 years and am currently the Training Officer for the RVIPF. I primarily utilised the books for research and assisting in the compilation of training material for delivery during the force’s in-service training. The books were quite helpful in developing teaching modules and increased my knowledge. Without the books it would have been very challenging to source material of such good quality. With these books available, the standard of training was enhanced.”

– Inspector Selwyn Rock, Police Officer.

The materials will be used again and again because when this cohort of new recruits graduate, a new course will commence.”


UPDATE: Shipping books to support Caribbean hurricane recovery

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall on the Caribbean island of Barbuda as a Category Five storm, devastating the island. It was followed just a few days later by Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria shortly after Jose.

The hurricanes went on to inflict destruction on other islands in the Caribbean. The British Virgin Islands, Dominica and the Turks and Caicos all suffered heavy damage.

Thousands of people in the Caribbean are still unable to return home following Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria. Many schools, libraries and other public institutions were destroyed, and many books were lost along with those schools and libraries.

At Book Aid International, we are committed to supporting communities where books have been lost to disaster. We are now working with library services in the affected islands to make selections of brand new books to replace those lost and to offer displaced children the joy and comfort of reading.

The books we are sending

We have sent a donation of 1,600 books to the National Public Library of Antigua and Barbuda. 90% of buildings on Barbuda were destroyed and almost all of its 1,500 residents were evacuated to the sister island of Antigua. This book donation will support in particular Barbudan and Dominican children who have been taken into schools on Antigua to continue their education.

We will also send 2,000 books to help the island of Dominica begin rebuilding its library service in early 2018. Dominica was the first island to feel the full force of Hurricane Maria and 90% of its structures were damaged or destroyed. Two of the four public libraries on the island were severely damaged and over 25,000 books lost.

Plans for the future

As part of our Vision 2020, we are committed to ensuring that people affected by disaster or forced to flee their homes have access to books. Moving forward, we will continue to work with our partners in the Caribbean to help hurricane affected communities cope with displacement and rebuild their communities.