Welcome back to Charity Corner. This is my new series where I will be using my blog as a platform to lend a voice to different charities and organisations of all sizes, backgrounds and causes. Today’s Charity Corner, I speak to Jenny Hayes, the Communications Executive at Book Aid International, a charity which provides books to underprivileged places in the world.
What is the mission of Book Aid International?
Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book provision and library development charity. We believe that books and reading give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better. Our mission is therefore to get brand new books to the places around the world where books are scarce but where, if people had access to books, they could make a huge difference. To do this, we work in partnership with libraries, providing brand new books, resources and training to support environments in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish.
What’s the story behind the creation of your charity?
Book Aid International was founded in 1954 by Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly. Two years prior to that, Lady Ranfurly had moved with her husband to the Bahamas where he was Governor General. As she toured the islands, she was shocked at the lack of reading materials. She set about collecting books which she packed up and sent to schools, libraries and institutions on the islands. Thus the Ranfurly Library Service was born. On her return to the UK in 1956 Lady Ranfurly decided to expand her ‘book scheme’ to the British Commonwealth. The Ranfurly Library Service took up residence in London and sent books to countries all over the world. In 1994 the charity changed its name to Book Aid International.