Charity celebrates five years of work in Africa
Released: Monday 22nd October 2012 at 16:53
A North East charity is celebrating its fifth anniversary as it continues to help educate people of all ages in Africa.
Since 2007, Book Aid for Africa has sent more than 200,000 books for people of all stages of reading, making a substantial contribution in raising the quality of educational provision. The books have been sent to numerous countries across Africa.
The brainchild of Dr Elewechi Okike, a senior lecturer at the University of Sunderland, the charity has developed and even included backing from the TV presenter Gok Wan in the past. Books are now being sent on a daily basis to help educate people from some of the world’s most deprived communities.
The Principal Lecturer in Accounting, originally hails from Nigeria and wanted to do something when she went back to her home country and was left shocked by what she saw.
Having left the country in 1989 after teaching at one of the country’s leading Universities in Lagos, Dr Okike returned to visit in 2000 and was left appalled by the state of the libraries. Her aim is now to fill the empty library shelves even in the remotest parts of Africa with good quality books.
The Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Robert Heron and the Deputy Mayoress, Mrs Juliana Heron, are attending the celebration on Saturday (October 27) at CitySpace at 2:30pm. A number of councillors and MPs have also confirmed their attendance. The celebrations will also include an awards ceremony to recognise the efforts of volunteers from over the past five years and thank those involved.
Dr Okike, said: “The pleasure of children smiling when they see these books and the atmosphere of how they approach life, changes instantly. I can’t even explain in words the feeling I get when I see their faces and the difference it has made, it does make and will continue to make, it is so rewarding.”
The charity’s aim is to provide good quality books to under-resourced libraries in the remotest parts of Africa. It won funding from Vodafone’s World of Difference campaign to encourage volunteering.
However, the charity does rely on people donating money to make a difference in the second biggest continent and if you would like to make a donation, please visit www.bookaidforafrica.com. If you would like to attend please e-mail email@example.com