Books for Bumpetoke

Posted on Jan 21, 2014

As 2014 gets underway we are launching a new initiative.

To get the most out of education children need many things – most essentially a building to learn in, desks and chairs to work at, teachers to teach and books to learn from. The primary schools we build are supported by the Government of Sierra Leone though a per pupil overhead grant and, if all goes well, qualified teachers on the state pay roll. Currently just under half the primary school teachers in Sierra Leone have some kind of training, the rest are community volunteers.

The money we provide allows for some initial teaching materials with more supplied by the Government. In reality there are never enough books for the number and needs of the children. Even British schools struggle with this issue. Imagine how it is in Sierra Leone, a country where 40% of Government income comes from outside aid and 70% of the population live below the poverty line.

The fourth school we built was in the coastal village of Bumpetoke. It is an extraordinarily poor community. I wrote about it in my blog Bumping to Bumpetoke of August 14 2013. They have very few books and, as I reported, the head teacher wistfully asked if we could send some to them.

Bumpetoke requested 300 primary school books of any type for ages 2-11, but especially those at the lower age groups. Reading books and learning programme books, along with solar powered calculators, maps and globes. The shipping costs from the UK to Sierra Leone are not hugely different for 300 or 1500 books, so we decided to try and get enough donated to send to all five of the Millione funded schools.

We have appealed to individuals, schools and publishers with good results. But we need more. If you or your kids’ school have new or good quality primary school age books to donate that can be delivered to London, or collected by us from a London address, please email Beccy on beckalocka@hotmail.com.

Every book will make a huge difference to a child 3000 miles away.

Thank you. Some of the books

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