So today is International Book Giving Day and we have had this idea for a book project for the longest time…
At the beginning of our Summer we took a trip across our country to visit a rural village in Lesotho.
And we were incredibly blessed by all our readers who sent us school equipment. We had pens from Australia, crayons from Singapore, markers from Canada, paper from China, Crayons from South America. It was incredible. When we got to Lesotho, the school that we had expected to be ill-equipped was not equipped at all. They had no paper, no pencils, just a concrete floor and a lot of eager learners. We were able to take a box of about seventy books from Biblionef South Africa for the school and as the books were handed out so the children sat in the dust and started reading – overjoyed to be able to practice their skill.
For us teaching our children to read is an opportunity for them – a door that opens up to a whole world. Once our children can learn to read the world is literally their oyster – they can teach themselves anything, they can “travel” anywhere… in fact they can literally disappear into the world of books. For the children of Lesotho they are not so lucky. There are simply no books for them to read – none. Not even one. So while the children have learnt to read there are no dreams to be discovered, no adventures to go on, no wild and wacky places to visit, no exciting new skills to learn… They can read but the skill doesn’t open doors for them.
Now in our world we would go to the library… in their world their is no library… the nearest town was a fair way away and there were stalls on the pavement for selling produce – but no books. No book store, not even a stationary store. The capital city was over an hours drive away and unreachable to most of these folk, except maybe once a year to visit family – and there… there are no books either. It is simply a country where books are unavailable.
Well the school we visited has a dream… a dream of building a library… and we have a library, our kids have a library: these are our kids books over and above their fabulous collection of school books that increases by a shelf each year from Sonlight:
This week our kids and I are going to go through them and pick and choose the books we can share and post to the school in Lesotho. This afternoon we made book plates to go inside our books:
They turned out quite well… and they were quick and fun to make…
And this is where all of you come into play… the couple of books we post to Lesotho will not make a library, but if all my readers send just one book they would have a library of note… okay if just a hundred readers send a book they will have more than doubled the books in their village… So we are asking you if you could post a book to two to our friends in Lesotho. It doesn’t have to be a new book or an expensive book… a loved book is fine… an over loved book – not so much!!! Stories, educational, picture books, fact books, easy readers, classics, teen reads – anything… They read anything and it is an English medium school so the kids speak and read beautiful English. If you would like to add to your book, with a bookplate then feel free to print one out and color it, or add a bookmark, or a photograph of your kids and a letter about where you are from. Your books will be so appreciated and loved.
This is how it will work… I am giving us a window of opportunity… from now until the end of the month you can comment on this post, tell us you would like to send a book or even what books you would like to send – if you blog about it feel free to pop a link into your comments. At the end of each week I will email all of you who have commented with the address of the school in Lesotho, with postal instructions. If you have any questions then feel free to ask…
A lot of you have asked if you could use online shopping to send your books – I never thought of that so thanks for the brilliant suggestion… And just so as you know I am an affiliate with these sites and our blog will earn a very small percentage of your payment… If we earn enough to buy a book for Lesotho from your shopping we will most certainly add it to the library.
Firstly there is Amazon:
Then there is a local online bookstore, Kalahari, I am waiting and waiting and waiting… to hear if they deliver to Lesotho.
Meantime, comment away, we are dying to hear from you!!!