Inspiring Readers aims to enrich children’s education by providing books, training teachers and linking schools with local Children’s CornersInspiring Readers is underway in Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. To find out about the impact of Inspiring Readers so far, see the 2021 report here.


In Rumuruti Kenya, OMC Primary School has been one of the many schools to see a transformation in its students, as shown in the video below.

The need for Inspiring Readers

In sub-Saharan Africa, many schools have libraries and children are forced to learn using only old, tattered textbooks which they often have to share with other pupils.

Since the Millennium Development Goals were set, many countries in Africa have made great strides in enrolling more children in primary schools, but this has not been matched by additional resources for those schools and children’s educations are suffering. As a result, more children are leaving primary school without basic literacy skills.

Inspiring Readers began with the aim to help a quarter of a million children succeed in school by providing beautiful, age appropriate books to enrich their classrooms and help them learn.

How does the programme work?

285 primary schools have received a Cupboard Library packed full of 1,250 brand new books, a grant to purchase local books and training for teachers in how to bring these books to life in the classroom.

The books provided range from picture books and simple readers suitable for the youngest readers to the fiction, non-fiction and subject books that upper primary school children need to help them develop their reading skills.

Inspiring Readers not only brings books into schools but encourages children to visit their local Children’s CornersThe Children’s Corners act as hubs for schools in the surrounding area, giving children access to larger book collections, vibrant library spaces and the passion and expertise of their local librarians.

Be a part of Inspiring Readers 

Inspiring Readers is ongoing in Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe. We have also published an evaluation of the programme’s Kenya pilot and first phase in 25 schools in Uganda, both of which found that Inspiring Readers is indeed helping children do better in school. Read the Kenya report here and the Uganda report here.

So far, over 280,000 children have books in their classroom thanks to the generosity of our supporters. We would like to extend a special thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for funding Inspiring Readers in Kenya, Malawi and Sierra Leone and to The Thomas Cook Children’s Charity for their contributions toward Inspiring Readers Uganda.

It costs around £2,600 to supply each school with their new libraries and to train the schools teachers. If you would like to be a part of Inspiring Readers, please contact us to discuss your contribution. Together, we can inspire a quarter of a million children.

Awards for Inspiring Readers

In 2017, Inspiring Readers won the International Excellence Award in the category of Educational Initiatives against competition from leading publishers in both China and Canada. The judges raised the programme for its innovation and investment in local capacity at 2017’s London Book Fair. Find out more about the prestigious award. 

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