Tag Archives: Dadaab

Children's Corner a MYSA Library

February Book of the Month

Our February Book of the Month is:

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano and donated by Hachette Children’s Books

Weaving together real stories of migration, this powerful graphic novel brings to life the 21st-century refugee experience. The story follows a young boy, Ebo, as he undertakes the hazardous journey across Africa to Europe in search of his siblings who left before him and in hope of a new and better life.

Whilst told with humour and compassion, the authors do not shy away from the realities that men, women and children who make this epic journey face.

Illegal inside
Giovanni Rigano’s stunning illustrations bring the story to life

Text is quite minimal and it is Giovanni Rigano’s stunning illustrations that bring the story vividly to life. His illustrations act like a camera lens, bringing the reader up close to faces highlighting emotion and drama but also pulling back to reveal vast panoramas. The double page spreads of the sprawling city of Agadez and the illustration of the boat Ebo is granted passage on in the middle of the seemingly endless ocean are particularly memorable.

The engaging illustrations and sparse text make this book very accessible. Readers will find Ebo’s spirit and ingenuity infectious, especially those in refugee camps who often tell us that they are particularly inspired by stories of people who have overcome challenges in their own lives. This book will also be welcomed by NGOs working in camps who often use books as a tool to help people, especially children, work through the trauma of what they have been through and handle the difficulties of camp life.

Copies will soon be on their way to refugee camps we support across the world including Dadaab and Kakuma, two of the world’s largest camps, both in Kenya.


Children participate in a reading activity in Alrowwad's library in Aida Camp

MEDIA RELEASE: Friends of Alrowwad UK teams up with Book Aid International to support refugee camp libraries


To mark Refugee Week, UK Friends of Aida Refugee Camp’s Alrowwad Centre in West Bank stamped hundreds of books at Book Aid International’s warehouse to go on the charity’s forthcoming shipment to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

Book Aid International has been sending books to OPT since 1988 and in 2016 the charity sent 15,000 books to public libraries, libraries in refugee camps, schools and universities there. Of these, hundreds of picture books and reading books for children and young people supported libraries in four refugee camps in West Bank, including Aida Camp.

Aida Refugee Camp was established in 1950 to house people who were displaced after Israel declared independence in 1948. The camp is severely overcrowded: it houses over 5,500 refugees in an area less than one third of a square mile. Its proximity to the separation wall means the camp’s residents experience regular clashes with the Israeli Security Forces. These clashes are particularly upsetting for the camp’s children.

Alrowwad Centre offers children in Aida Camp one of few safe places to go outside their homes. In addition to a library stocked with Book Aid International books and offering a busy programme of activities, the centre also runs drama, dance and film workshops to promote belonging, creativity and self-expression. Together, the library and these activities help camp residents deal with the challenges of camp life.

Book Aid International Chief Executive Alison Tweed said “This Refugee Week we are proud to support displaced people around the world. Displaced people, wherever they may find themselves, need access to books so that they can continue their education and keep reading. We were very pleased to welcome Friends of Alrowwad UK to our warehouse yesterday. We have seen first-hand the excellent work Alrowwad does and how their team uses the books we send to support the education of children in the camp and make books available to all.”

Melissa Scott of Friends of Alrowwad UK said “It has been a pleasure to stamp books that are destined for Alrowwad and other libraries in Palestine. The bright, vibrant books will be loved by the children who are so keen to further their education which fits the ethos of Alrowwad Centre. The centre provides a safe haven for children in Aida Camp in which to learn, grow and improve their life chances and the library is a big part of that.”

In addition to supporting refugees in OPT, Book Aid International also supports libraries in two of the world’s largest refugee camps, Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya and provides books to Souda Camp in Chios, Greece. The charity is seeking to expand its work providing books to displaced people, people living in fragile states and conflict-affected communities over the next three years and hopes to send around 25,000 books to OPT in 2017.




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

e: jenny.hayes@bookaid.org

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 ships around one million books to thousands of libraries in communities where people have very few opportunities to access books.

Book Aid International works with an extensive network of libraries, schools, hospitals, NGOs and other partners to ensure that the books it sends reach those who are most in need. In addition, it also run library development projects which build the capacity of librarians to support readers and communities.

The charity only sends books at the request of its library partners. These books are carefully selected by our UK team led by professional librarians to ensure that they the needs of local communities.

All of the books sent by Book Aid International are donated by the UK book trade so they are all new.

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


About Alrowwad Centre for Culture and Arts

Alrowwad is a not-for profit NGO which provides artistic, cultural and theatre training for children in Aida Camp, Bethlehem. Alrowwad works in the spirit of social entrepreneurship to deepen the notion of belonging, volunteering, creativity and self-expression for children, youth and women, regardless of origin or religion. Arowwad also provides vocational training for job creation and building peace within individuals to be able to build it among Palestinians and the world.

Find out more here http://www.alrowwad.org/en/ or find Friends of Alrowwad UK on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofAlrowwadUK/

Kakuma learners

A book for a book: bringing more books to children in refugee camps in Kenya

At Book Aid International, we believe all children should have the opportunity to read, to enjoy new, appealing and relevant books regardless of their situation. There is one book which we are particularly excited about at the moment and that is The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon which is published by Orion Children’s Books today.


The Bone Sparrow


The novel follows a 10-year-old boy called Subhi who has lived his whole life in a refugee detention centre. Orion Children’s Books will donate a book from their list to us for every copy of The Bone Sparrow sold. We will send these books to a refugee camp library in Kenya, to bring the joy of books and reading to children like Subhi.

“We are proud to be partnering with Orion Children’s Books, one of our long-term publisher supporters, on this important campaign. We have supported libraries in refugee camps in Kenya for many years and for many of the camps’ inhabitants, these libraries represent the only chance to read, to learn and to progress in education.“ – Alison Tweed, Director, Book Aid International.




The books which Orion Children’s Books donate will be sent to our partner Windle Trust which provides libraries, education facilities and programmes for people in Kenya’s Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa Province is estimated to be the largest refugee camp in the world, with a population of around 320,000 people. Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana Province has an estimated population of around 180,000 people.

We have supported Windle Trust’s work in these camps with book donations since 2000. Many people in the camps have no access to books anywhere else and Windle Trust’s facilities provide a rare, reliable and accessible source of reading and learning materials. We are delighted to have this opportunity to send even more inspiring, high quality books for children in these camps to enjoy, thanks to Orion Children’s Books and Zana Fraillon.

Zana Fraillon felt compelled to write this novel because she could not ignore the millions of people who were being forcibly displaced and the millions of children missing out on a childhood. “The Bone Sparrow was written so we remember the people behind the statistics.”

Thanks to Orion Children’s Books and Zana Fraillon, the children of Kakuma and Dadaab will have access to some fantastic children’s books and the chance to experience the joy of reading, even within the camps’ walls.

Find out more about The Bone Sparrow here.