For millions of people who have no local library, books are out of reach.
Families struggling with poverty cannot afford to buy books for their homes and in many communities schools can offer only a few tattered textbooks.
The need for books is greatest where people face conflict, displacement and discrimination – yet it is exactly these communities which are the most likely to be without a well-stocked library.
Reading offers the chance to discover new possibilities, to continue an interrupted education, to look through windows into new worlds and to start the journey toward a better future – and no one should be without books.
Creating Voyager Container Libraries
Every Voyager Container Library brings a shipping container to life as a library to support a whole community – from children learning to read to adults looking for the skills to set up a business to students studying for exams.
Stocked with more than 5,000 brand new books donated from the UK, every Voyager Container Library includes built in shelves, funding for locally purchased books, training for staff and volunteers to run the library and funds to run a launch event, introducing the community to their new library.
Libraries offer the chance to read about new possibilities, to find new information, to look through windows into new worlds and to start the journey towards a better future – so every Voyager Library will give thousands of people the opportunity to change their own lives for the better.
The first Voyager Container Library
The first Voyager Container Library has now opened in Rwanda with a focus on supporting children who would otherwise have no access to books. It is a beautiful, welcoming space packed with inspiring books and surrounded by a veranda where children can gather together and read.
Rwanda does not have a public library network, so community libraries which are often full of old tattered books or a few curriculum books or old uninspiring fiction books in schools are many children’s only opportunity to read. The books in the new Voyager Container Library are a vital new resource, and children particularly love sitting together sharing and interacting with the sound and pop-up books.
The library contains books both for primary and secondary level students, and many pupils are using the library to support their studies:
“At school we had books but we have limited days when we were supposed to go and read – we only have it once a week. Now we have this library, I come every day after school. When it’s open I am here. Now I can read so often I will know how to read better and I will now start approaching English books and be able to read English better – I have more confidence.”
– Carine, 12, P6 student at GS Gisozi School I
We would like to thank the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting the first Voyager Container Library. Find out more about how players support our work
Be a part of the next Voyager Container Library
We hope to open many more Voyager Container Libraries in the years to come and focus on bringing these thriving libraries to the people who are farthest from the book – particularly displaced people. It costs around £30,000 to create a Voyager Container Library.