Book Aid International works for a world where no one is without the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives. Every year they make brand new, carefully selected books available to millions of people around the world.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £2.7 million for the charity’s work, enabling Book Aid International to expand its work across Africa – putting books into classrooms, refurbishing libraries, training teachers and librarians and offering the opportunity to read to 24 million people in an average year.
Players’ support is also helping the charity provide books for those who face huge challenges to reading and learning – including refugees.
In Africa, 29 million people have been forced from home by violence or persecution. People running for their lives cannot take books with them – and when they finally find safety in a camp or host community, educational opportunities are often very limited. Without education, temporary displacement risks becoming a lifetime of lost potential.
Thanks to players, Book Aid International is partnering with NGOs across Africa which create opportunities for displaced people to read and learn. It has worked to open 41 libraries in schools in Uganda’s Rhino Refugee settlement, and in Kakuma refugee camp the charity has given 24,000 refugees books in their classrooms with players’ support.
The opportunity to read in a well stocked school library helps young people succeed in school and to achieve their dreams – and it is vital for refugees like Mayol. Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape war, and today he lives in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp.
Mayol said: "War arrived again in our village at night. I ran away and my mum ran too. Maybe she was killed. Now I am a refugee. Here in the camp there are so many challenges - one book is given to 10 students.
"The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Some of the books help us improve our English, others help us understand things easily. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, I need to utilise this so that so when I go back to South Sudan, I can bring peace."
Today, 1% of the world’s population has been forcibly displaced - more than at any time since the Second World War. With players’ support Book Aid International will expand its work reaching out to those forced to flee their homes and take the next step towards a world where everyone has access to life-changing books.