Tag Archives: Reverse Book Tokens

Book Aid International Changes Lives

Here’s an organisation that in 2018 sent 128 million new and carefully selected books to libraries, schools, universities, refugee camps, prisons and hospitals around the world. 

You can help Book Aid International by making a donation, and/or by buying a ‘reverse book token’. Here’s why it matters.

Child Refugees in Kenya

Boys at a secondary school in Kakuma

24,000 children in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya now have books in their schools. The teachers have also been trained in using books in their classrooms.

Before the training I never used to know how to organise books for learners and how to captivate interest among pupils. I now understand the level of children’s understanding. Each of them is different from the other. (Isaac Ubur, headteacher Kalobeyei Early Childhood Centre)

See below for a link to hear Ben Okri say more about the supply of books to the Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Children in South Sudan

18,684 books were sent to South Sudan, where the economy is predominantly rural, but farming needs to improve.

Our farming is quite basic so we need a profound change and this can be gained through books where research has been done on improved farming methods. But there is a lack of books. We have universities, we have schools, but we badly need books. (Professor Dr Jacob Lupai, at the University of Juba)

READ Bhutan 

5106 books were sent to READ Bhutan, a project that aims to offer all children the chance to read. 

The only public library is situated in the capital, Thimphu and most children living in other districts have no access to the public library. READ Bhutan is the only organisation working to build community libraries. We now have nine community libraries. Many children cannot travel outside Bhutan so the books will be an opportunity for them to see a new world, build their creativity and learn about different cultures. (Kezanger, READ Bhutan project manager)

Other 

Donkey mobile library in Zimbabwe

Books have also been sent recently to these destinations:

  • to rebuild the library in the University of Mosul, 
  • to schools in Liberia, 
  • to women in a community garden and for donkey-drawn mobile libraries in Zimbabwe
  • to medical professionals around the world,
  • to displaced children in Cameroon,
  • and to libraries in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 
Choosing books in a school in Malawi

Ben Okri’s appeal

Ben Okri, the Nobel Prize winning writer from Nigeria, presented the Radio 4 Appeal for Book Aid International on Sunday 31stMarch. You can listen to him talking about the charity’s help given to Yvonne in Kakuma Refugee Camp here.

Reverse Book Tokens

These special Book Tokens are a great idea for presents to support Book Aid International: you pay the money and someone else gets the books. For only £6 Book Aid International can send out three books. So a Reverse Book Tokenmakes an excellent present and it supports Book Aid International. You can also join the Reverse Book Club to send a regular donation to the charity. A reader will thank you.

Boys in a Syrian school

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Book Tokens to Change Lives

Every year there are a few people who defy my wide-ranging ideas about Christmas presents. They live abroad so I can’t send them chutney. Or they haven’t finished last year’s jar of chutney. Or they don’t like chutney. And what’s more they are the same people who presented these problems last year. And the year before. And so on. What to do? What to do? [drums fingers]

This year my solution is Reverse Book Tokens.

Book Aid International

Book Aid International supports the distribution of books abroad in places where they are needed. Last year, for example, Book Aid International sent more than 14,000 books to The Occupied Palestinian Territories. More than 8,000 of them were for children. Some of these books went to Alrowwad Centre Library in Aidi Refugee Camp. Some went to Battir Public Library, also in the West Bank, where children who cannot travel have Reading Passports to record the places they visit in books. Children who cannot get to Nablus when the checkpoint is closed depend on books in the Beit Furik public library. More books went to a school library in Ramallah. [Information from Book Aid Newsletter in July 2017]

Books Change Lives

This work is important because books change lives. Here’s the proof. Rahmatu says this:

Before I started going to school and reading books I never had any plans for my future because in my tribe, young girls of my age grow up and just get married. But now that I’m in school I plan to become a lawyer.

If I were to meet the person who helped send books to our school, first of all I would say a big thank you! And plead with them to send many books to our school because children are in need of them. [from the website]

The strap line for Book Aid International is BOOKS CHANGE LIVES. Thinking of reading presents this year? Book Tokens are a great idea to support Book Aid International: you pay the money and someone else gets the books. For only £6 Book Aid International can send out three books. So give a Reverse Book Token to support Book Aid International. You can also join the Reverse Book Club to send a regular donation to the charity. A reader will thank you.

I donated my first new £10 note to Book Aid International

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Books change lives.

Want a good idea to solve your Christmas present problems? Reverse Book Tokens may be the answer. What are they? Read on.

Reading and books connect people in important ways. Reading and writing are two important activities that enable underprivileged people to counter the odds stacked against them: refugees, prisoners, the oppressed, children … A recent blog on reading with children referred to Neil Gaiman’s October 2013 lecture in which he outlined our collective responsibility to help young people read. Here is the link again to the full text of his lecture on the Reading Agency site. In a spirited defence of all reading and of libraries he argued that individuals need literacy, but so does society.

The bigger picture of the importance of books and reading came vividly to me when I worked briefly in Africa, with teachers in Maputo, Mozambique. I have also visited schools in Zimbabwe and in Ethiopia. One thing I know is that resources we take for granted in our schools are in very short supply in some schools, especially in rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular – books. Not all schools can afford to provide books, and yet …

66 Bookaid logoMy mother put me in touch with Book Aid International and I have supported them ever since. Last year they provided more than half a million books to 3,300 libraries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Their work is so important. It changes lives.

Rahmatu is a 13-year-old-girl from Cameroon who is at secondary school , a country where only one in 5 girls achieve this. Her family cannot afford to buy books. But thanks to Book Aid International her school library is full of books and she takes a book home every day, and reads to her siblings. Her favourite book is Gulliver’s Travels. You can see her speaking on the website.

Before I started going to school and reading books I never had any plans for my future because in my tribe, young girls of my age grow up and just get married. But now that I’m in school I plan to become a lawyer.

Book are changing the aspirations of this young girl, at the same time as allowing her siblings access to books as well. The video shows Rahmatu reading aloud to children in her village. The essence of this story is repeated in Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, DRC, for libraries in prison, in hospital, and in primary and secondary schools. The strap line for Book Aid International is BOOKS CHANGE LIVES.

66 Bookaid classroom

Book Tokens are a great idea; you pay the money and someone else gets the books. Reverse Book Tokens are a great idea to support Book Aid International: you pay the money and someone else gets the books. For only £6 Book Aid International can send out three books. Money for this charity is also raised through donations, festive cards and World Book Day events. The next one will be on Thursday 6th March 2014. The charity is hoping to raise money through celebrating its 60th birthday in 2014.

66 bookaid lorry

Thinking of presents for readers this year? Give a Reverse Book Token and support Book Aid International. A reader will thank you.

If I were to meet the person who helped send books to our school, first of all I would say a big thank you! And plead with them to send many books to our school because children are in need of them, says Rahmatu.

 

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