Journalists Mariella Frostrup and John Simpson have helped to raise funds to support library development charity Book Aid International at the ICAP Charity Day yesterday (10th December). Altogether £7.5m was raised for 200 charities around the world.
The annual event hosted by ICAP, a markets operator and provider of post trade risk mitigation and information services, sees 100% of revenue and commissions generated globally donated to more than 200 charities worldwide including Book Aid International.
Simpson said: “I am proud to be a longstanding supporter of Book Aid International and to represent the charity here today because I believe that reading offers people the chance to change their own lives. It’s easy for us to take reading and access to books for granted, but for millions of people in Africa, the future is nowhere near as bright as it should be because of a simple lack of books and reading materials.”
Frostrup said: “I’m proud to be here supporting Book Aid International. Like millions of other people in the world books have played a huge part in my life. They've given me a place to escape, an education in empathy, a tour of the universe and the human heart. In a world where we have too much of everything it's hard to imagine life for the far greater number of us with not enough. For millions of people in Africa, the simple lack of books creates further impoverishment and denies access to the rich education in stories we take for granted."
The charity will use the funding to establish five "Children's Corners" in public libraries in Malawi. The Children’s Corners will be refurbished to create "bright and welcoming spaces where children can read, play and learn."
Altogether 2,500 new books donated by UK publishers will be sent to each Corner as well as a small grant to purchase locally published books. Training will be provided for two librarians from each library to help them run engaging activities for children in the library and help children to make the most of their new collections. A digital component will also be included - each Children's Corner will receive 20 e-readers, pre-loaded with around 200 titles. This is the first digital project of its kind in Malawi.
Hannah Watson, head of fundraising and development for Book Aid International, said: "We believe every child should have the opportunity to read and we are absolutely delighted to be one of ICAP Charity Day's supported charities this year so that we can provide this opportunity for children in Malawi.
"It has been a brilliant event and we're proud to be supported by Mariella and John, who did sterling work on the dealing floor in ICAP's office. The money raised today will help to change the lives of thousands of children in Malawi who, for the first time, will be able to access print and digital reading resources in their very own area of the library."
Book Aid International works in 11 African countries and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to distribute books and learning resources and to train librarians. The charity partners with local library services and communities to provide safe, engaging spaces to access books and reading.
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