Library development charity Book Aid International is returning to supporting libraries in Sierra Leone, it announced today. The charity, which ships around a million books each year to libraries in sub-Saharan Africa, has sent a shipment of 38,000 brand new, carefully selected books to Freetown to help the country rebuild after the Ebola crisis.
Book Aid International withdrew from Sierra Leone in 2007 when the ceasing of UK government funding caused the charity to reduce its number of countries of operation and focus on East Africa. Since then Book Aid International has grown its income streams and is now once again in a position to support Sierra Leonean libraries with donations of brand new books for a range of libraries. The expansion into Sierra Leone is supported in part by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who started supporting the charity in late 2014.
The books on this first shipment will go to the Sierra Leone Library Board which runs a network of 20 public libraries as well as supporting schools, hospitals, universities and prisons as well as to local NGOs supporting education in Sierra Leone. The books range from children’s phonics books and early readers to academic texts, medical and healthcare books and adult fiction.
The Ebola crisis has had a devastating effect on life in the West African country, but was declared over in late 2015. As the country begins to rebuild, Book Aid International hopes its support can help people get back to normal life and restart their education. Libraries in the country are generally well-used but many of the book collections are outdated.
Book Aid International Director Alison Hubert said: “We are delighted to be able to support library services in Sierra Leone at such a crucial point in the country’s redevelopment. Although recent events in Sierra Leone have been devastating, we have been very encouraged by the dynamism and commitment of the Sierra Leone Library Board to help people continue in their lifelong learning even in the most challenging of circumstances. There are many great outreach projects being implemented in Sierra Leone that help people to access books and reading resources and we hope our books can play a small part in helping Sierra Leone and its people to rebuild and to fulfil their own potential.”
Sallieu Touray, Chief Librarian at Sierra Leone Library Board said: “The intervention Book Aid International is making at this critical time with a shipment of 38,000 relevant books to Sierra Leone for distribution and reading promotion activities is a great boost to the education sector. More users, pupils,students, and educators will be exposed to books (the most important resource in education) and this will enhance teaching and learning in Sierra Leone.”
Book Aid International works in 12 African countries and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to distribute books and learning resources and to train librarians. The charity partners with local library services and communities to provide safe, engaging spaces to access books and reading. Visit www.bookaid.org for more information.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, pictures or comment please contact Jessica Faulkner, Head of Communications at Book Aid International.
t: 020 7326 5800
About Book Aid International
Book Aid International works in partnership with libraries in Africa, providing new books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish. The charity’s vision is of vibrant libraries that inspire readers and empower communities.
Book Aid International works in 12 African countries and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to distribute books and learning resources and to train librarians. The charity partners with local library services and communities to provide engaging spaces to access books and reading. Visit www.bookaid.org for more information.
About People’s Postcode Lottery
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