Book Aid International begins supporting Rwanda

Book Aid International has announced that it is expanding its work to provide brand new books to communities in Rwanda. Yesterday, 19th June, the charity sent 31,801 books to support readers in libraries, schools and further education institutions across the country.

In recent years, Rwanda has experienced strong economic growth which has been accompanied by a substantial improvement in living standards. This has seen a two-thirds drop in child mortality and near-universal enrollment in primary education.[i] Despite this progress, 63% of the population in Rwanda still live on less $1.25 a day.[ii]

The lack of a national library service in Rwanda means that many communities are unable to access the life-changing opportunities books offer, such as developing skills, starting businesses and enabling lifelong learning.

The books they are sending will support some of Rwanda’s many volunteer-run community libraries. These are almost always managed by members of the local community who have often taken it upon themselves to create a library in their area. These libraries serve the whole community and particularly those who cannot access traditional learning opportunities.

Book Aid International’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, talked about the charity’s work in Rwanda saying:

“Having visited Rwanda myself and met some of the volunteers who give up their time to run community libraries I am delighted that we are now working in partnership with the Kigali Public Library to provide brand new books for the users of the community libraries. Thanks to the generosity of our partners in the book trade, we can provide brand new books to libraries, schools and further education institutions throughout the country, books which will undoubtedly be a huge boost for readers across Rwanda.”

The charity’s initial shipment of 31,801 books was shipped on 19th June and included early learning and children’s books, higher education texts and medical and healthcare books as well as titles covering technical and vocational skills to support further education.

The charity’s initial work in Rwanda is funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. To find out more about Book Aid International and its expanding work to reach those who face the greatest barriers to accessing books and reading, visit www.bookaid.org.

i) World Bank Open Data, Rwanda

ii) World Economic Forum on Africa, 2016