This is the fifth and final post of our Literacy Advocacy series. For that reason, I decided that our last Literacy Advocate should be a big one. This week’s Literacy Advocate is based in London and, in a way, is much like last week’s post, where they facilitate many programs.In 2015 alone, their programs benefited more than 24 million people!
Their partners include publishing houses such as Pearson Education and Penguin Random House. Also, they are the sponsors of World Book Day, which I didn’t know existed until I began researching this Literacy Advocate.
Who is our fantastic, global bookworm inspirer?
Book Aid International began in 1952, when Countess Ranfurly moved to the Bahamas for her husband’s appointed position of Governor General. Lady Ranfurly was shocked at the lack of books and educational materials for the people there. So, she began collecting books for schools and libraries throughout the Bahamas.
She continued her work even after returning to the UK and created The Ranfurly Library Service which was then changed to Book Aid International in 1994. The organization specializes in promoting literacy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
They have programs that support libraries, primary and secondary schools, as well as universities. Prison book clubs, refugee camp literacy programs and book mobiles are also tools through which they empower those who otherwise would not be able to build a better life for themselves.
They have a great media page where they document the inspiring stories of people who are supported and follow their dreams through their programs. Samuel’s story is just the beginning of these heart-warming testimonies.
The books they send overseas have a six step process:
1) The programs within the organization give a list of what kinds of books they need.
2) Book Aid International staff in London work with the publishing partners to secure those books, which are from a wide range of categories.
3) Librarians sort through the donated books to match each individual program’s needs.
4) All of the books are packed and shipped from the warehouse
5) The distributors in each country stamp the books and send them to the programs
6) The books are then enjoyed by millions of inspired bookworms!
Although Book Aid International does not accept donated books from individuals, the organization operates 100 percent on individual monetary donations. Donate here then like them on Facebook, subscribe to their Youtube channel, or check out their blog!
Have you ever heard of Book Aid International? Have you ever participated in World Book Day’s fundraising initiative? If so, let me know in the comments below!