Biblionef has launched its 1 Million Books Campaign in response to the high illiteracy levels in South Africa and that more than 16,000 public schools in South Africa do not have libraries, depriving children of the essential foundation that reading provides and dimming their potential for a bright future.
In line with its mission to provide new books in all eleven official languages to the country's children, it has already donated 1 million books to 6148 schools and children's organisations, reaching more than 3 million children over a period of 14 years.
Now, with the launch of the 1 Million Books Campaign it hopes to donate another 1 million books by the end of 2016. It asks the public to support the campaign with R60 to cover the cost of donating one book.
"We are determined to diminish the illiteracy rate by creating a love for reading. Without being able to read, many doors stay closed and people remain in a situation of poverty. We believe that children, who start enjoying books at a young age, will still be reading as adults," says Jean Williams, executive director, Biblionef SA.
Only new books sought
Biblionef only donates new books. "While we appreciate individuals wanting to donate old or used books, our focus is on supplying new books in the languages of the children." Providing children with access to new books in their mother tongue creates an environment for them to enjoy books and develop a love for reading. Reading empowers children and gives access to further education and life opportunities. Giving children access to books is a big step towards raising a generation of South Africans who could change the world.
"When children have positive, fun experiences with books and reading, they become lifelong readers. This allows them to develop critical thinking skills, make informed decisions and live balanced and productive lives," concludes Williams.
For more information, go to www.biblionefsa.org.za