Today is World Book Day and I am excited to announce that books are starting to arrive, little by little and bit by bit. There is always that gap between when we announce our Library project and when books start arriving that I wonder if we will get any response at all… and each year we are wonderfully and gloriously surprised!!!
For a number of years now, on World Book Giving Day, we have begun a project to create a library for a school or a community that does not have access to books at all. In our part of the world it isn’t hard to find vast areas, where literacy is a huge problem and children are just not familiar with books, they do not have any books at all, not at home, not even at school. Naturally, we cannot raise a library on our own, we rely on our readers to help us and firmly believe that little by little and book by book that we can make a significant difference to the lives of these children. One or two books is all that we ask, and it will be life changing… imagine holding a book and getting lost in a book for the first time, when you are already way down the road of primary school.
This year we are trying to help a school in Manenberg, an area of Cape Town that is notorious for crime and violence, plagued with gangsterism, substance abuse and domestic violence. Not to mention, that for socio-economic reasons, these children are unable to pay for school fees and there are certainly no extra funds for the luxury of books. Those of us who are surrounded by books can not believe a world without books, and we don’t see them as a luxury or privilege at all. The truth is… books are the one place that we can all go to escape and retreat into when the world is overpowering, these children, who so need the relief to escape, are unable to.
These children are just like yours and mine, they dream dreams, they get lost in a good story and they have a very good idea about what books they would like to read about. My children have the privilege to get away from it all in a good book, my children can drift off to sleep each night on the cloud of a good story. These children, who live under immense and continuous stress, should have this privilege too.
Renowned Author, Illustrator Niki Daly Supports Our Library Project.
“In today’s world of electronic communication and mass media, it is difficult for those of us who are ‘connected’ to imagine a home without any of the tools required to become a fully literate individual. And yet, there are children who still do not have a book they can call their own; children whose only contact with a book is likely to be that of a scrappy text schoolbook or outdated reader.
So, I am deeply comforted to know that there are groups such as Se7en who are identifying the need for story books in rural areas and underprivileged communities. In these areas, where life is hard, books for children may seem non essential for survival. However, they are very much connected to survival as I see it —
- Books with pictures and stories that hold the imagination of children are the building blocks towards learning to read and love stories.
- Learning to read and write are key to literacy, knowledge and education.
- Knowledge and education are empowering – essential to employment.
- Employment and survival go hand in hand.
It is also my firm belief that stories are essential towards ‘feeding’ our imagination – that inner space in which our wishes and dreams are conceived; where we recognise our own potential in stories that take us beyond the ordinary; fairy tales, wise folk stories, stories of heroes and heroines that fill us with hope and a trust in being able to face our own challenges, conquer our own fears, go beyond ourselves in making our dreams come true and to feel optimistic about life.
All the Best,
We Need Your Help to Build a Library
Step 1: Select a Book or Books
- You can search through your books for gently used books that your children have outgrown or no longer love.
- You can buy a book or two with your children and package them up.
- You can shop at Amazon and ship directly.
- And you can shop on-line, locally at Loot, and ship directly as well.
While all the students do learn English, many of the learners have Afrikaans as their first language. English books are very welcome, so are books in Afrikaans. Any books will be great, story books, picture books, craft books, cook books, reference books… really any books. There is a large community being served here. If you are shopping overseas and would like to buy local language books then click on the South African vendor to find books and they will deliver locally for you.
Step 3: Let us Know All About the Books You Chose
We would love if you could photograph the books you are sending, if you shop on-line then just send us a list of the books that you ordered. If you have a blog and write about it then let us know and we will have a Progress Post each week. I will pop the photo’s you send into the blog post and if you do have a blog there will be a chance for you to link up as well.
We are excited about this project and we really hope that our readers seize the day and join us. It doesn’t have to be huge, if even one percent of our readers pop a book into an envelope and post it off, we will have a library. So here’s to hoping that we hear from you all really soon. Leave a comment saying you would like to join us, contact us… Please share this post… whatever you need to do… we would so love to hear from you.
If you have contacted us and had no reply, please try again, one or two of the email addresses I received kept bouncing back… Please email again… there could well be a little glitch.
We know that a project with a deadline often works better so could we aim to get our books in the mail around mid-March. That gives you a week or two… to get mailing!!!
We would like to thank Niki Daly, International Book Giving Day for their enthusiastic support and Biblionef South Africa, for helping us to find a community in our area that needs a library, over the years they have provided us with unprecedented support in helping us to pursue our dream to provide books for children just like ours, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books.
Disclosure: The Amazon and Loot links are affiliate links and our blog will earn a very small percentage of the book sales made there, we pledge to put any of our earnings from books for the school directly back into buying more books for them… this is their project and we don’t in any way want to gain financially from it.