Normandy Charity Reports Rise in Demand for Unwanted Books

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Normandy based charity that sends unwanted books to schools and libraries in poor French speaking countries around the world wants to expand.

Since it was founded 17 years ago the charity Books Without Frontiers has collected millions of books which have been sent to 27 countries.

But now the charity, based in Notre-Dame-de-Bondeville in Seine-Maritime, needs extra funds so that it can send even more books to needy countries as demand is rising.

‘Today we could send more books regularly but we lack the financial resources and specific communication and logistical skills needed,’ said organiser Benoit Valentin.

He explained that there is an increasing demand for the books. In January a shipment of 20,000 books were sent to Cameroon, around three months late because the charity did not have the resources to get it ready on time. It had tens of thousands of more books to ship in the first three months of this year.

The charity was able to send more books than it had expected to in 2012 which turned out to be an exceptional year with 30,000 books sent out compared with 8,000 in previous years, mostly to schools. They went to Chad, Senegal, Congo, Rwanda, Gabon, Algeria, Palestine, Togo and Mali.

There are 30,000 books planned for shipment this year to a variety of countries including Togo, Ivory Coast, Haiti and Madagascar. The books will go to primary schools, colleges and universities in Cameroon, five libraries in Haiti, a school and a military college in Togo and a lycee in Ivory Coast.

But the charity if already looking ahead to 2014 and with the poor economic outlook in France is it not slowing down its fund raising efforts. It is looking at finding new partners and encouraging the public to continue donating books.

Mr Valentine said that it is private donations that can make a big difference and the charity needs to look ahead and plan for 2014.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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