The Books Arrive

Posted on Jul 9, 2014

Packing the truck

Packing the truck

Patience is a virtue I am not overly endowed with. But I am learning just how necessary it is.

We launched our appeal for schoolbooks to send to Sierra Leone in January this year. The Millione funded school in the village of Bumpetoke on the south coast had asked us for 300 books to create a mini library. They were hugely grateful for the school building, equipment and training but a lack of reading books would limit the kids learning. Our aim was to send a selection of different levels and types to cater for the wide range of abilities within the school.

The response to our appeal to friends and contacts was fantastic. Schools, publishers and individuals sent us new and good quality used books. Within weeks we had ten times our original target of 300, enough to send about 600 to each of the five Millione schools, a fabulous bonus for them all.

A supportive contact in a senior position at the international freight company Hillebrand gave us a special price – just their cost with no profit for themselves- and in March we packed the 3000 books into cartons and onto the truck to start their journey to Freetown.

Three weeks after sailing the books arrived at the port. And there they stayed. And stayed. And stayed…. a minor problem with the documentation took weeks to resolve, then a very small amount of tax needed paying but the paper trail wasn’t right so another lengthy delay ensued. Eventually Action Aid Sierra Leone overcame each hurdle put in their way and the books were delivered to their office in June.

Books 2


Now, almost six months after we launched the initiative, the books are being sent out to each of the five schools. I know they will be delighted. More news from the schools when it reaches me.

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