Tag Archives: displaced people

Habiba and her son read together

Remembering our Patron – finding peace in books

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was our Patron for 55 years. He was a great reader who believed in the power of books, so this week we are remembering him by sharing stories of people who used books to change their lives.

Habiba and her two children were forced to flee conflict in Afghanistan after her husband was killed. After a long and perilous journey, they arrived on the island of Lesvos in Greece. She and her children have since been moved to a camp outside the city of Ioannis in northern Greece where they have access to a library filled with books you have helped to send. Here, Habiba shares her experiences and tells us of the positive difference that books are making for her and her children as they seek to rebuild their lives.

 

Habiba
Habiba

 

“I have come from Afghanistan and I have two children. My son is five and my daughter is 10.

In my country there was war. My husband was not a soldier. He went out and he did not come back. Some people killed him. And for my son – it was dangerous. People wanted to take him. So I had to leave, I had to find a safe place for the children.

I travelled through my country to Iran then to here. It was very hard to come so far and travel alone with two children.

We arrived in Greece four months ago. We stayed in Moira [the refugee reception centre on the island of Lesvos] for three months. It was very bad – all the people so close together. There was so much noise, so much stress. I did not sleep at all at night. It was very scary.

 

Camp
Habiba and her children have been moved to a new camp where they have access to a library

 

But now we have moved camps, things are more calm. This camp is very good – it is quiet and I can come to the library. It is a very good library.

 

Choosing books to read
Habiba has come to the library to choose books for her son and herself

 

Today I have borrowed two books – one for my son who is five years old. It is about Poppy Cat. The story is good for my son. I think for my children storybooks and alphabet books are good. These will help them learn English.

 

Reading together in the library
Habiba believes it is important to read books in English with her son as it will help him learn the language

 

The other book I have borrowed is for me. It is a book of poetry – it’s a great book. These poems are very nice! I think the books are very good for me – for my heart. Books are very good for relaxation.

When I lived in Afghanistan I had so many books in my library! I had many cookbooks. You should send some cookbooks! I love cooking. I would like to learn to cook new things.

I have a lot of hope for my children’s future – that there will be no war. Just peace.”

 

Reading book

Refugee voices: Hassan

Hassan* from Chad lives in Katsikas refugee camp just outside the city of Ioannina in northern Greece. He is a nurse by profession and hopes to become a doctor one day. He reads books you help to send to NGO Soup and Socks’ centre to keep his knowledge up-to-date.

 

Katsikas camp
Katsikas Refugee Settlement in northern Greece

 

I am from Chad. I had a big problem in Chad. It was very bad. If I could have stayed I would have – but I could not. Now I live here without my family, my friends, without everything. It is difficult.

I was a nurse in Chad. And now, I am here and I have time but I don’t want to spend my time without doing anything. I want to add to my knowledge in the sciences. That is why I came to the library to borrow some books – like books for nurses.

Refugee with book
Hassan reads medical books at Soup and Socks’ library to keep his knowledge up-to-date

So this library is a very very good thing for me. The books for science and medicine – they are so good. Now I am so busy with the library, I do not even go on the internet!

Books are important for refugees.

It is true that the situation is terrible, but most people would like to learn still. They are always looking for libraries, looking for places where they can find the opportunity to learn.

But there are not many places like this library. I hope to read a lot of different books.

In the future I want to be a doctor! I hope to do my masters – and after that become a doctor. That is my dream. And that is why I have chosen this book. It will help my knowledge go up.

*Hassan’s name has been changed.

 

Children's Corner a MYSA Library

February Book of the Month

Our February Book of the Month is:

Illegal
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.

 

Habiba and her son read together

Finding peace in books

Habiba and her two children were forced to flee conflict in Afghanistan after her husband was killed.  After a long and perilous journey, they arrived on the island of Lesvos in Greece four months ago. She and her children have since been moved to a camp outside the city of Ioannis in northern Greece where they have access to a library filled with books you have helped to send.

Here, Habiba shares her experiences and tells us of the positive difference that books are making for her and her children as they seek to rebuild their lives.

 

Habiba
Habiba

 

I have come from Afghanistan and I have two children. My son is five and my daughter is 10.

In my country there was war. My husband was not a solider. He went out and he did not come back. Some people killed him. And for my son – it was dangerous. People wanted to take him. So I had to leave, I had to find a safe place for the children.

I travelled through my country to Iran then to here. It was very hard to come so far and travel alone with two children.

We arrived in Greece four months ago. We stayed in Moira [the refugee reception centre on the island of Lesvos] for three months. It was very bad – all the people so close together. There was so much noise, so much stress. I did not sleep at all at night. It was very scary.

 

Camp
Habiba and her children have been moved to a new camp where they have access to a library

 

But now we have moved camps, things are more calm. This camp is very good – it is quiet and I can come to the library. It is a very good library.

 

Choosing books to read
Habiba has come to the library to choose books for her son and herself

 

Today I have borrowed two books – one for my son who is five years old. It is about Poppy Cat. The story is good for my son. I think for my children story books and alphabet books are good. These will help them learn English.

 

Reading together in the library
Habiba believes it is important to read books in English with her son as it will help him learn the language

 

The other book I have borrowed is for me. It is a book of poetry – it’s a great book. These poems are very nice! I think the books are very good for me – for my heart. Books are very good for relaxation.

When I lived in Afghanistan I had so many books in my library! I had many cook books. You should send some cook books! I love cooking. I would like to learn to cook new things.

I have a lot of hope for my children’s future – that there will be no war. Just peace.

 

Michael packing millionth book

MEDIA RELEASE: Millionth publisher-donated book to begin journey to refugees in Jordan

Book Aid International is pleased to announce that today, Thursday 25th October, the one-millionth book of 2018 will be leaving its South London warehouse bound for Jordan. The shipment contains a total of 2,591 books that will be used by international NGO, MercyCorps in Jordan to create a new public library in the Za’atari Refugee Camp and to enrich six local community libraries which will benefit Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Jordanians.

The millionth book is a sought-after medical text donated by Elsevier, a leading global science and information analytics business specialising in science and health. Elsevier’s CEO, Ron Mobed, commented on his business’s support for Book Aid International saying:

“Where bandwidth and infrastructure are a challenge, hard copy books remain essential to treat patients, alleviate pain and support health literacy. For over a decade, Elsevier has been proud to partner with Book Aid International through book donations and Elsevier Foundation grants. We’re so pleased to have donated the millionth book sent this year, and to know that it will benefit displaced people.”

The shipment also includes Arabic phonics readers donated by Oxford University Press to as well as brand new books for readers of all ages donated by a range of publishers.

Sending 2018’s one-millionth book to support refugees living in Jordan is part of Book Aid International’s efforts to provide much-needed books to people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes. This new area of work, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, has seen the charity reach refugees and displaced people around the world – from families who will spend years waiting for resettlement in Africa to those in transit through southern Europe to Syrians sheltering in neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan.

The millionth book sent this year is Maternal Child Nursing Care, 5th Edition. Written by the foremost experts in maternity and pediatric nursing the book offers accurate, practical information readers will need to succeed in the classroom and the clinical setting. This new edition offers numerous content, plus hundreds of illustrations, alert boxes, and tables that clarify key content. By helping to educate the next generation of healthcare providers, the book will contribute to the care of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

The shipment also contains leisure reading and children’s books which will help refugees cope with life inside Za’atari Refugee Camp, and refugees have expressed their excitement at the prospect of a new library: “Due to the hard living conditions and lack of resources inside refugee camps, we feel lost and hopeless. This library would provide us with the opportunity to reconnect with the outside world and feed our souls with knowledge again,” said Ajwad, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee at the Za’atari Refugee Camp.

Book Aid International is incredibly pleased to be sending the millionth book of 2018 in October and the charity aims to send 1.2 million books by the end of the year. Book Aid International’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, thanked everyone who made this milestone possible.

“We can only send books to the people who need them because of the generosity of so many people – the volunteers who give their time to pack the books we send, the publishers who donate the hugely valuable books we provide and our many donors. I would like to extend a particularly warm thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery who have funded the expansion of our work providing life-changing books to refugees.”

The charity looks forward to continuing to expand its work, and it hopes to send 1.5 million books annually by 2020. To be a part of sending the next book, or find out more, visit www.bookaid.org.

ENDS

Notes for editors

For further information and comment please 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 sends around one million brand new books to people around the world who would otherwise have very few opportunities to access books and read.

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. www.bookaid.org

About People’s Postcode Lottery

  • People’s Postcode Lottery is a lottery operator in which people play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
  • A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities, and players have raised £350 million for good causes so far
  • For £10 a month, players can win prizes every day: postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes
  • Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
  • Players can sign up by Direct Debit, credit card or PayPal online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5
  • Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licences number: 000-000829-N-102511-014 and Number: 000-000829-R-102513-013. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
  • People’s Postcode Lottery manages lotteries promoted by different charities. For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit postcodelottery.co.uk/society
Lagam library Kenya

Our top 10 highlights from 2017

Thanks to your support we achieved so much in 2017!

With your help, our books reached readers in TWENTY countries, over 88,000 primary school children are enjoying new books in school thanks to our Inspiring Readers programme, more than 5,000 books reached displaced people in Greece and much more besides.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

Take a look at the ten short clips below for more of our 2017 highlights.

 

Highlight 10

60-year-old Florence in Kenya joined an adult education class and using the books you helped to send, learned to read for the very first time.

Highlight 9

Schools and libraries in the Occupied Palestinian Territories received twice as many books.

Highlight 8

Our amazing donors smashed our Open Doors Children’s Corners appeal’s £600,000 target, giving thousands of children in seven countries vibrant reading spaces to discover books.

Highlight 7

30,000 brand new books reached readers in Rwanda.

Highlight 6

3,806 books were shipped to the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan.

Highlight 5

5,541 books reached displaced people in Greece.

Highlight 4

Books you helped to send are now filling a library in rural Uganda where they are helping children develop a love of reading and farmers to cope with the effects of climate change.

Highlight 3

88,903 primary school children in Cameroon, Kenya and Malawi now have brand new books in their classrooms thanks to our Inspiring Readers programme.

Highlight 2

Children in Nairobi’s slums are now enjoying Book Havens in three local libraries.

Highlight 1

Thanks to your support, we sent books to 20 countries, which will reach over 20 million readers!

Thank you for your support in 2017. Here’s to getting even more books to the people who need them the most in 2018!

For more information about the work you supported in 2017, take a look at the links below.