End the 'book famine' in Sierra Leone
From 2014 to 2016 Sierra Leone was in the grip of the Ebola epidemic. Nearly 4,000 people in the country lost their lives to this devastating disease. For a year a national state of emergency was declared and all of the schools were shut in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
Memunatu and Osman attend Bassa Town Primary School. They are just two of the many thousands of children whose educations were disrupted by Ebola. Their town was badly affected by the epidemic, and they spent the year stuck at home, unable to go outside and play and in constant fear of the disease.
“That experience was a very bitter experience, because schools were closed. We need to play. But at that time, there was no playing in our minds. We were thinking about our friends who were dead.”
Osman aged 13, Bassa Town Primary School pupil
In 2016 the country was declared Ebola-free and the schools reopened. Now, more than ever, children need to get back to learning after missing out on so much teaching. Unfortunately, poverty levels in Sierra Leone mean that schools have only a small number of curriculum textbooks and no other books at all.
“In Sierra Leone there is a book famine for many of our children. They depend almost entirely on what the teacher says or writes on the blackboard for their learning. So there is a real need for books.”
Sallieu Turay, Chief Librarian of the Sierra Leone Library Board
Every £2 you donate delivers a book into the hands of a child
The books we send are donated by the UK publishing industry. It costs us just £2 to source, store, select and ship each book. If we reach our fundraising target of £4,000, we'll be able to send 2,000 children’s books to our partners to distribute to schools and libraries across Sierra Leone.
“To you I would say – we need more books! At the moment only 12 or 15 children can come at one time to read and I would like the whole school to be able to sit down and read together.”
Yearie Darboh Kamara, Head Teacher at Bassa Town Primary School
A bit about Book Aid International
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year we send over one million brand new print and e-books to schools and libraries. We also run library development projects which build the capacity of librarians to support people to read in Africa and beyond.
Bookish tokens of our appreciation
Every £2 you donate will enable us to send a book to children in Sierra Leone that will be read time and time again. To inspire you to dig deep and give as much as you can, we have a limited number of book-related rewards on offer which you can see above and read about in the pledges section.
Frequently asked questions
Please see here for answers to our FAQ’s. For any other questions, please tweet us @Book_Aid or email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
We hope you can help to send much needed books to children like Memunatu in Sierra Leone.