Tag Archives: Kakuma Refugee Camp

Mayol and Salid

Mayol’s story

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

Mayol attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. As a refugee, Mayol cannot attend school outside the camp or move beyond the immediate town of Kakuma so his opportunities are limited. He sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself. If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.”

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library with the support of People’s Postcode Lottery. We thank players for their ongoing support in helping us reach people with the books they need to change their lives. 

 

Mayol and Salid

Remembering our Patron – using books to get back home

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.

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. He attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. Mayol sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself.

If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library via our partner Windle Trust Kenya. We believe that everyone should have access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives, whatever their circumstances. 

 

Reading in school

Tuning back into school with books

Irene is the Head Teacher at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, one of the world’s largest camps. Nearly 20% of residents are under the age of 18.

Irene
Irene

Life is restricted for people living in Kakuma even without Covid-19 lockdown. As refugees, they cannot leave the camp and education offers the only possible hope of a brighter future outside the camp.

Life in Kakuma is especially hard for girls who are at risk of assault as they move around the camp and who are often under pressure from their families to help with chores and care for siblings rather than attend school.

Irene is determined to help the girls in her school succeed and believes books form an important part of their education, but few of her pupils have any at home.

So, she and her staff are looking at how to get books to them from the school library, which includes books you have helped to send. And in the meantime are planning how they can use books to help pupils get back up to speed when schools reopen.

Busy Kakuma street
Kakuma Refugee Camp is very crowded which makes social distancing difficult

“Our school closed on 17th March and the girls have been home since then and many don’t have books. Maybe they have one or two or three at most.

Kakuma is very crowded and social distancing is almost impossible. [Having Covid-19 in the camp] would be detrimental. That is why the Kenyan Government decided to lockdown the camp – there isn’t anybody coming in or getting out of the camp.

Learning in class
Learning in class before lockdown

Even we, the teachers are not able to get into the camp. So each teacher has a WhatsApp group for their class. We try to give the girls work, notes and assignments via WhatsApp so that they’re able to learn at home. However, not all the students have phones.

For me, books are very, very key.

For me, books are very, very key. Kakuma is far from everything and refugees have limited movement. Students at other schools up country have local libraries [outside of Covid-19] where they can go and read books. In Kakuma those things are not there. They fully depend on the books in schools. If we do not have the books then they will not get exposed to what the other students are getting exposed to. Books improve their performance.

Reading together in the library

 

They like the books from Book Aid International and they use them a lot, especially the novels. They really like the novels. Every day they ask for novels so they can improve their language. In fact, they have challenged me to get more books so they can read them. I’ve realised that’s the impact of the books because we are not forcing them to read, it’s something they want to do.

Reading science books in the library
Using books at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kakuma

Education is the only hope for the girls of getting out of the camp. I get a lot of satisfaction being able to lead a team that can help these girls to transform their lives and to get out of the camp and get careers and be able to support their families. We also take overage learners and mothers who are married, so that we can empower them to have a career.

All the conversations we’ve been having on post-Covid recovery is around books.

All the conversations we’ve been having on post-Covid recovery is around books.

Books will help us push the syllabus. We will give the students the books and they will be able to read ahead. This will help them tune back to school faster.”

An update from Kakuma

Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya is the second largest camp in the world. Like many parts of the world, it is currently in lockdown because of Covid-19. Schools have closed and none of the 149,000 people that live there can leave. No-one can enter either.

People in Kakuma do not have electricity in their homes which makes it difficult for students to tune into lessons broadcast on national radio.

However, all is not lost. The books and solar lamps that supporters like you have helped to send are enabling students to keep reading and learning.

Here, George Nandi from our partner Windle International Kenya tells us more:

Kakuma busy street
Typical scenes in Kakuma Refugee Camp, where we are providing books

How has the pandemic affected life in Kakuma?

There is a restriction of movement in and out of the camp. Due to congestion in the camp it’s hard to observe the safety guidelines so people face high risks of protracted infections of Covid-19 and there are limited protective devices such as face masks and limited hand washing stations. There is also an increased rate of gender based violence and abuse, poor mental health and a drop out of learners – especially girls due to pregnancy.

Our learners face challenges in accessing devices such as radios, smart phones and internet bundles.

How has education in particular been affected?

Schools remain closed and currently learning is going on through radio lessons where Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development’s pre-recorded content and live lessons are aired. Reading materials including print, audio and video content are also transmitted to learners through school WhatsApp trees and online education platforms. But our learners face challenges in accessing devices such as radios, smart phones and internet bundles. This period out of school might result in increased dropout rates and insufficient syllabus coverage leading to poor performance.

Vision Secondary
This period out of school could lead to increased drop out rates when schools reopen

How are you supporting learners in Kakuma now that libraries and schools are closed?

Currently teachers have minimum contact with students however the school library books are being safely issued to students by teacher-librarians and priority is given to candidates [students in the final year of secondary school] for home study. Teachers on the other hand are tasked with developing digital content to pass to learners through the available channels.

Books provided by Book Aid International and also solar lamps … are helping the students to continue to extend their study time at home.

How are the books and lamps supplied as part of our Reading for All and Solar Homework Club projects helping?

As I mentioned, the teacher librarians continue to issue out books provided by Book Aid International and also solar lamps. They are helping the students to continue to extend their study time at home.

Showing a book
Books you helped to send like this one are helping students to keep learning while schools are closed

 

There are more solar lamps and books on their way from Nairobi to Kakuma project, how will these help further?

More books and lamps will mean that more learners, especially candidates, will be able to extend their reading time at home. The outcome will be improved performance despite the restrictions caused by Covid-19.

We would like to say a special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Intouch Global Foundation for their generous support of our project work in Kakuma.

 

* Photos used in this blog were taken before lockdown.

Secondary school student in Kakuma

Girls succeeding through books and lamps in Kakuma

Our Solar Homework Club project in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp recently won the Educational Initiatives category of London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards.

London Book Fair award

Getting a good education in Kakuma is hard. Schools are oversubscribed and vastly under-resourced. Teachers are largely students’ only source of information. In addition, without electricity at home, pupils’ time to read, revise and complete homework ends when it gets dark.

The Solar Homework Club project aims to remove some of these barriers to reading and learning by providing solar lamps and new curriculum support books and novels for secondary school students to borrow and use to support their studies after school.

The project is making a particular difference for girls in the camp. Here, female students and staff from Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls, Vision Secondary School and Somali Bantu Secondary School tell us more:

 

Kakuma friends
Three friends from Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls with big ambitions for the future

 

What are the challenges you face living in Kakuma Refugee Camp?

Yvonne, school librarian: We are not allowed to move outside the refugee camp – you have to seek permission and you should have a very good reason to go. You cannot just say ‘I want to see a new place’ – it is not acceptable since we are refugees. So we are confined in the camp.

Fortune, student: That is why education is important – it can give us the opportunity to leave the camp.

… few families are like our families … They keep their daughters at home to cook and fetch water.

Amia, student: My parents are happy that I am in school. But few families are like our families. They do not know the importance of education. They keep their daughters at home to cook and fetch water.

Martha, student: Many other girls don’t live with parents. They are the mother and father of their siblings. They cook for their brothers and sisters. Many times, they have to do assignments in the morning when they come to school.

Yvonne: We also face security issues like assault. You can’t walk around in the camp. The camp has small roads and lots of bushes where people can hide. So if you are a girl walking around at night, you can be raped.

Kakuma school library
Choosing books from Kakuma Secondary School’s library

Why do you think it is important to have books to support your studies?

Amia: Before the teacher comes to class you have to go through the book and look at the topic. When the teacher comes, you understand more. But if there are no books you cannot get the first-hand information that you want. It can lower your grade.

Yvonne: From my childhood I have seen people succeeding through education – and you get education through books.

Reading science books in the library
Referring to science books at Morneau Shepell Secondary School for Girls in Kakuma

How are the new books helping?

Aisha, student: The books are good for revision as they have clear pictures, e.g. biology and chemistry books.

Nyamal, student: The books have helped. I like reading the books with pictures as it helps me understand better.

Irene, school principal: Before, we never had a single novel in the school. Now, students read a lot during ‘quiet time’ time every day.

The books are good for revision as they have clear pictures.

Flyann, student: The English books help us build vocabulary … I find them very good. I want to be a student of literature.

Amia: The storybooks also have words of encouragement because most of the books talk about students who faced challenges and were successful in the end. They give us motivation!

And how are the solar lamps helping?

Student: The lamps have enabled us to expand prep time at night as well as do early morning reading. The lights also help us to have group discussion in the dormitories after preps.

Kadurenge, school principal: The solar lamps have helped reduce time walking to school and back at night for preps, giving them more time to read at home. Girls are especially grateful to be able to do homework at home every night. There is improvement in performance.

The lamps have enabled us to expand prep time at night as well as do early morning reading.

Zaki male student: Girls with lights read and perform well.

Amia: We have maximum time for revisions and so I get good grades. My parents are very happy about it and know that I will become successful.

Working hard in class at Vision Secondary School

What are your hopes for the future?

Nyaneng, student: I come to school to fulfil my dream of becoming an engineer in order to support my country.

Anisa, student: I want to change my life to a new one through education. I want to become a teacher to teach the  next generation.

Yvonne: I have read about women who have succeeded. I believe I can succeed too.

I have read about women who have succeeded. I believe I can succeed too.

Many thanks to Intouch Global Foundation for their generous support of our Solar Homework Club project.

Kakuma school

Refugee project WINS London Book Fair award!

We are thrilled to announce that our Solar Homework Club project in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp has WON the Educational Initiatives category of London Book Fair‘s International Excellence Awards!

It’s a great honour to receive this recognition for our Solar Homework Club project, which seeks to support secondary education in Kakuma by supplying brand new books and solar lamps so students can continue studying after dark.

Our vision is of a world where everyone has access to the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives and nowhere is this more important than in places like Kakuma, where education support is so desperately needed.

We would like to extend a very big thank you to the publishers who donate the books we send – it is thanks to them that we can undertake ambitious projects like this one, which aims to remove some of the particular barriers to reading faced by people in refugee settings.

Many thanks also to the Intouch Global Foundation for their funding and partnership on our solar projects.

The International Excellence Awards celebrate the wealth of success and innovation in the world’s publishing activity outside the UK. The category our project won – the Education Initiatives category – awards innovative and exciting new initiatives that increase education provision and effectiveness and provide wider access to learning.

Read on to find out more about our award-winning project!

Typical scenes in Kakuma Refugee Camp

Getting a good education in Kakuma Refugee Camp is incredibly hard.

Life in Kakuma is isolated and challenging. Residents are not allowed to leave the camp without special permission and are subject to curfews. In addition, homes do not have electricity and it is dangerous for females to go out after dark. For many, education is their only hope of leaving the camp and pursuing a better life.

Students share a book
Students share the few books available to revise and learn.

But getting a good education in Kakuma is hard. Schools are oversubscribed and vastly under-resourced. There just two one-room community libraries for the entire 149,000 population and prior to our intervention only a few schools had a library resource. These libraries contain only a few textbooks and curriculum books and in most schools, teachers are largely students’ only source of information.

Without electricity at home, pupils’ time to revise, and complete homework or assignments is curtailed when it gets dark.

Solar Homework Clubs are improving educational attainment at secondary schools in Kenyas Kakuma Refugee Camp through the provision of books and solar lamps.

Solar Homework Clubs have created Solar Libraries filled with new publisher-donated revision guides, supplementary textbooks and fiction and solar lamps in each of the camp’s six secondary schools. In addition, teachers have been trained in using the books to improve students’ study skills, exam preparation techniques and how to run a lending library.

 

By borrowing lamps and books, students are able to continue their studies at home after dark and maximize learning through the up-to-date resources. Already teachers report that students are better able to complete their assignments on time.

The books and lamps are also improving the quality of education as teachers are also using them, giving them more resources and extended hours to prepare lessons. Previously, they were trying to do this during busy teaching days.

Solar Homework Clubs invest in the most vulnerable

Studying outside of school hours is hard especially for girls and child-headed households (young people who looking after siblings without parents) as they often have to use available daylight in the morning and after school for chores such as cooking, collecting firewood and fetching water. Access to lamps is especially valuable for these children who in spite of their circumstances and busy schedules, are determined to succeed. They report that the lamps are enabling them to study at night once they have finished their chores and also in the mornings before dawn.

A young writer in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
It is dangerous for girls to go out after dark so at night they must study at home at night.

Many of the teachers are themselves refugees and were not teachers in their home countries. These individuals are often professionals in other disciplines with a passion and drive to make a difference in spite of the challenges they face. They have taken part in short teacher training programmes but with little experience, it is hard for them to deliver the quality education that they and their schools aspire to.

Teacher training
Teachers learn how to run a lending library and use the books to prepare lessons.

The teacher training included in the Solar Homework Club programme gives teachers the chance to develop new skills. They learn how to manage a lending library, instill study skills in their students and teach revision techniques. Two teachers and the head teacher at each school takes part in training.

Teachers report that these new skills have improved their confidence in their abilities and the training is already having a positive impact on students, as one teacher comments:

In a very short time, I was able to work with them on how to study and they got motivated and went on to study and formed study groups. In about four weeks they were able to perform miraculously. It was unimaginable that I raised my students’ mean grade from 2.2 to 3.3.

After the success of the project in Kakuma Refugee Camp, we are now working with Intouch Global Foundation and other partners to bring lamps and books into other communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

London Book Fair

London Book Fair

Following the cancellation of London Book Fair, we are disappointed to miss the opportunity to catch up with many of our publisher supporters.

Our work continues and we would still love to meet to discuss your ongoing support. If you would like to arrange a meeting, please get in touch.

Award shortlisting

We are thrilled that our Solar Homework Club project in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp was shortlisted for the Educational Initiatives Category of London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards!

We’d like to say a special thank you to Intouch Global Foundation for generously funding our Solar Homework Club project.

Find out more about the shortlisting and our Solar Homework Club project here.

Kakuma school

Refugee project shortlisted for London Book Fair award!

We are thrilled to announce that our Solar Homework Club project in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp has made the shortlist for the Educational Initiatives category of London Book Fair‘s International Excellence Awards!

The Educational Initiatives Awards celebrate the wealth of success and innovation in the world’s publishing activity outside the UK.

The category our project has been shortlisted for – the Education Initiatives category – awards innovative and exciting new initiatives that increase education provision and effectiveness and provide wider access to learning.

It’s a great honour to receive this recognition for our Solar Homework Club project, which seeks to support secondary education in Kakuma by supplying brand new books and solar lamps so students can continue studying after dark.

We would like to thank the publishers who generously donate the brand new secondary school books we send and Intouch Global Foundation for generously funding the project.

Read on to find out more about our shortlisted project.

Typical scenes in Kakuma Refugee Camp

Getting a good education in Kakuma Refugee Camp is incredibly hard.

Life in Kakuma is isolated and challenging. Residents are not allowed to leave the camp without special permission and are subject to curfews. In addition, homes do not have electricity and it is dangerous for females to go out after dark. For many, education is their only hope of leaving the camp and pursuing a better life.

Students share a book
Students share the few books available to revise and learn.

But getting a good education in Kakuma is hard. Schools are oversubscribed and vastly under-resourced. There just two one-room community libraries for the entire 149,000 population and prior to our intervention only a few schools had a library resource. These libraries contain only a few textbooks and curriculum books and in most schools, teachers are largely students’ only source of information.

Without electricity at home, pupils’ time to revise, and complete homework or assignments is curtailed when it gets dark.

Solar Homework Clubs are improving educational attainment at secondary schools in Kenyas Kakuma Refugee Camp through the provision of books and solar lamps.

Solar Homework Clubs have created Solar Libraries filled with new publisher-donated revision guides, supplementary textbooks and fiction and solar lamps in each of the camp’s six secondary schools. In addition, teachers have been trained in using the books to improve students’ study skills, exam preparation techniques and how to run a lending library.

 

By borrowing lamps and books, students are able to continue their studies at home after dark and maximize learning through the up-to-date resources. Already teachers report that students are better able to complete their assignments on time.

The books and lamps are also improving the quality of education as teachers are also using them, giving them more resources and extended hours to prepare lessons. Previously, they were trying to do this during busy teaching days.

Solar Homework Clubs invest in the most vulnerable

Studying outside of school hours is hard especially for girls and child-headed households (young people who looking after siblings without parents) as they often have to use available daylight in the morning and after school for chores such as cooking, collecting firewood and fetching water. Access to lamps is especially valuable for these children who in spite of their circumstances and busy schedules, are determined to succeed. They report that the lamps are enabling them to study at night once they have finished their chores and also in the mornings before dawn.

A young writer in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
It is dangerous for girls to go out after dark so at night they must study at home at night.

Many of the teachers are themselves refugees and were not teachers in their home countries. These individuals are often professionals in other disciplines with a passion and drive to make a difference in spite of the challenges they face. They have taken part in short teacher training programmes but with little experience, it is hard for them to deliver the quality education that they and their schools aspire to.

Teacher training
Teachers learn how to run a lending library and use the books to prepare lessons.

The teacher training included in the Solar Homework Club programme gives teachers the chance to develop new skills. They learn how to manage a lending library, instill study skills in their students and teach revision techniques. Two teachers and the head teacher at each school takes part in training.

Teachers report that these new skills have improved their confidence in their abilities and the training is already having a positive impact on students, as one teacher comments:

In a very short time, I was able to work with them on how to study and they got motivated and went on to study and formed study groups. In about four weeks they were able to perform miraculously. It was unimaginable that I raised my students’ mean grade from 2.2 to 3.3.

After the success of the project in Kakuma Refugee Camp, we are now working with Intouch Global Foundation and other partners to bring lamps and books into other communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Celebrating 2019!

Supporters like you made 2019 another brilliant year.

 

 

Your support helped to send an astonishing 1,211,423 brand new books to 136 partners in 26 countries, reaching an estimated 25 million readers!

 

What remains of the library
2,500 books were sent to The University of The Bahamas’ library which was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian

 

2019 brought a series of book-destroying disasters and your support helped us respond to global events.

When Cyclone Idai devastated schools in Zimbabwe and Malawi and Hurricane Dorian hit The Grand Bahamas, you helped to send brand new children’s and higher education books, enabling learners to continue their education in the face of disaster.

 

Reading activity in Uganda's Adjumani Refugee Settlement
Displaced children in Uganda’s Adjumani Refugee Settlement are discovering the joy of reading thanks to books you’ve helped to send

 

You also helped us to continue to reach displaced people around the world, sending 25,377 books to refugee camps across Southern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa.

You even helped us bring solar lamps as well as books to secondary school libraries in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp so that reading and studying no longer has to stop when the sun goes down.

 

Canon School cakes
An astonishing 785 schools fundraised to support our work on World Book Day

 

Children and teachers from 785 schools took part in World Book Day, raising an incredible £98,428 enabling us to send 49,214 books to people who need them most around the world.

 

 

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery helped us do something particularly special – up-cycle a shipping container into a thriving community library in Rwanda!

Together we achieved so much and we would like to thank each and every person who made it possible.

Watch this video to see just some of the ways your support made a difference in 2019!

BBC Radio 4 Appeal announced for 31st March

We’re very pleased to announce that on 31st March, Ben Okri will present a BBC Radio 4 appeal in support of our work.

Ben Okri OBE FRSL is a Nigerian poet and novelist. Considered one of the foremost African authors in the post-modern and post-colonial traditions, he has been compared favourably to authors such as Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez.

 

Ben Okri
Award-winning Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri will present the appeal

Ben will tell the inspiring story of one refugee, Yvonne, who changed her own story through books. With your support, we hope to raise £30,000 – enough to send 15,000 books to people around the world like Yvonne who are determined to build a bright future despite facing conflict and displacement.

The appeal will air on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 31st March at 7:54am and will then be repeated on Sunday 31st March at 9:25pm and Thursday 4th April at 3:27pm.

We urge you to tune in, donate and spread the word to encourage your friends and family to tune in as well!