Books for the World's Poor
Globally, approximately 10 percent of men and 17 percent of women over the age of 15 cannot read or write. However, through book donations, many organizations are bringing literature to communities in developing countries as a way to help improve literacy rates. These donations are helping children have a higher quality education and making it easier for adults to learn new skills. Here are three organizations focused on providing books for the world’s poor.

3 Organizations Providing Books for the World’s Poor

  1. Book Aid International
    In 2018, Book Aid International delivered 1.28 million books to people all over the world. They sent books to public and community libraries, university libraries, refugee camps, medical libraries, primary and secondary schools and prisons. As poverty affects people of all ages, genders and ethnicities, Book Aid International focuses on bringing books to all people. They have provided literature to communities where girls are prevented from entering classrooms and libraries, as well as to schools where children have no choice but to share old and torn up textbooks. They believe that without literacy skills the world’s poor will be unable to break away from the cycle of poverty. Thanks to this organization, around 21.4 million people had access to books in 2018.
  2. Brother’s Brother Foundation
    Brother’s Brother Foundation is an organization that promotes international health and education. Founded in 1958, their efforts have provided books for the world’s poor, along with medical, agricultural and educational resources. Their main objective is to bring good health care, education and nutrition to those in the world that lack it. To accomplish this, they work with local agencies in 149 countries. Some of the local agencies they partner with include hospitals, universities, health care departments, schools and religious organizations. With additional support from the United States and other countries, they have provided over $4 trillion in goods and services to the world’s poor. By bringing books to these nations, they have been able to provide some of the tools that the world’s poor need to believe in a better future. The textbooks donated are educating not only children but adults around the world.
  3. Bibliotheques Sans Frontieres (Libraries Without Borders)
    This French-based organization provides books for the world’s poor in over 50 countries. They work in 24 languages and have selected more than 30,000 pieces of literature that will help educate the world’s poor on the major issues of the world. Much of the literature they provide centers around education, health, employment, citizenship, disability and digital knowledge. Since 2007, Libraries Without Borders has touched the lives of more than 2 million people. One of the ways they have been able to reach so many people is through their Ideas Boxes, media library kits that are easily transportable. First designed for refugee camps, they are now found in neighborhoods and rural areas as well. Filled with books, tablets and mobile videos, Ideas Boxes provide vulnerable communities with content that is well adapted to meet their needs and in their own language. Libraries Without Borders has provided Ideas Boxes for more than 850,000 refugees and intends to continue growing this program.

Books and literature are a tool that many of the world’s poor do not have access to but these influential organizations are working to provide books for the world’s most vulnerable people. Due to their donations, more people have access to books that allow them to gain knowledge and new skills.

The next time you are thinking about getting rid of some books in your own library at home, consider donating them to one of these organizations. Help bring joy, knowledge and power to the people who need them the most.

Jannette Aguirre
Photo: Flickr