Reaching refugees

When you’ve been forced to flee your home, books can help you believe that a better world is still possible – so we provide thousands of brand new books to refugees every year.

Home What we do Reaching refugees

In refugee camps, books are never easy to find

Right now, more people are displaced from their homes than ever before.

Every day, more and more families arrive in refugee camps worldwide, often with only the clothes they are wearing and the few possessions they have been able to carry. 

For those families, the value of books cannot be overstated.

A non-fiction book can help children hold on to their potential, or can help adults believe the life they have always wanted is still within reach. A story book can help whole families escape the trauma of the journey they have endured together. 

So we’re more determined than ever to reach more refugees – and especially women and girls, who face the greatest barriers to reading and learning.

How we reach refugees

We’re already working with partners across Africa, Europe and the Middle East to offer thousands of people who have fled conflicts the chance to read and learn. 

In Greece, our partners create safe spaces where refugees can take time away from the stresses of camp life, and our books give people the chance to learn and take time for themselves. Since 2016, we’ve provided 35,036 books to refugees in Greece.

We also support refugees sheltering in Africa. In Kenya’s Kakuma camp, where it’s not unusual for a teacher to teach 100 pupils with only a few tattered textbooks, we’ve provided enough brand new books to help 25,000 young people get the quality education they are entitled to through our Reading for All programme. 

In Uganda, in 2021 alone we provided thousands of books to four refugee camps, three secondary schools, one community library and eight education centres. The country is home to more refugees than anywhere else in Africa – and we’re determined to give more people who have fled home the chance to read and keep learning. 

And, in Cameroon, our portable Discovery Book Boxes help children learn, wherever they are.

 

SDG 4

Quality Education

SDG 10

Reduced inequality

Our impact

66,304

Refugees with new school libraries since 2018

115

Refugee teachers trained since 2018

58

Refugee school libraries opened since 2018

101

Refugee camps and settings supported last year

Our refugee projects

Why books matter for refugees

Books give people who have been displaced the power to succeed in education and help them begin to reimagine their futures. Here are a few of their stories:

Reader story

Finding peace in books

Habiba fled Afghanistan alone with her two children. Now books are helping her build a new future.

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Blog

Books for a better life

Jocknus supports people fleeing war in South Sudan. He told us about what books mean for the youngest refugees.

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Reader story

Escaping civil war

Mayol is a refugee. He dreams of returning home and building peace in South Sudan – and books in his school are helping him get there.

Read more