During September this year, Biblionef hosted a function in celebration of our work over the last 19 years. Our Executive Director, Jean Williams, used this opportunity to highlight some of our major achievements to date. Biblionef has been working in South Africa since 1998 and below is a look at what we have achieved thus far:
- We have donated 1,640 000 new books to children’s organisations throughout South Africa
- Our donations have benefitted 9 500 organisations across the country
- The books we donate have reached approximately 3 900 000 South African children!
- We have assisted 63 schools and communities with informal libraries which included shelves, cupboards and containers, steel trunks and roller boxes
SUPPORTING VISUALLY IMPAIRED LEARNERS
We have provided new home language Braille books, large/ bold print books and tactile books to 21 schools that cater for needs of blind and visually impaired children. A total of 155 popular children’s storybooks have been commissioned for publishing into Braille by Biblionef. This has been done in a number of South African languages.
SUPPORTING EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
We have worked with more than 60 ECD Training Centre’s to bring only the best resources to their ECD Centre’s. Biblionef has supported more than 1 324 ECD Centre’s with storybooks, educational toys, puzzles and posters. In addition, over 120 Family and Community Motivator Programmes have been supported with book bags containing important educational resources. The Motivators visits families in the areas who cannot afford to attend a formal ECD Centre. The book bags make it easier for the Motivators to travel from one home to the next.
BIBLIONEF IN AFRICA
Biblionef is aware of the great need for home language storybooks in the Lesotho area and we are fortunate enough to have a number of titles available in Lesotho Sesotho. As a result, since 2003, we have made a concerted effort to support the Lesotho area with quality home language storybooks. We have commissioned the reprints of 30 titles into Lesotho-Sesotho and over 17 000 new storybooks have been donated to over 625 schools and children’s organisations in Lesotho.
For the last 17 years, Biblionef has also been entrusted to carry out the Beit Trust’s book project in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each year our staff selects appropriate books (fiction and non-fiction) to donate to High Schools in these areas.
Biblionef has commissioned the publishing and/ or reprints of more than 90 appropriate children’s storybooks into a number of South Africa languages. Some of these titles include Our Story Magic by Gcina Mhlophe; Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe; Kgalagadi Tales by Hanneke du Preez; Some of us are leopards, Some of us are lions by Mike Kanty and Fly, Eagle, Fly! by Christopher Gregorowski to name but a few. These titles are extremely popular amongst our beneficiaries as they are able to relate to the stories told in books.
SUPPORTING HIV/AIDS AWARENESS THROUGH STORIES
One of our earliest publishing projects is that of ‘Brenda has a dragon in her blood’ written by Hijltje Vink. This true story is about a little girl called Brenda who has a dragon in her blood; the dragon is HIV. The HIV dragon is present in each illustration, mainly asleep, just as HIV is always present in Brenda’s life but doesn’t affect her day-to-day activities. Only when she is sick or when her mother’s death is mentioned does the dragon become more prominent.
The book has been received with great acclaim by those working with children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. 12 years later, Biblionef has already reprinted the book several times as it is still in high demand and is acknowledged as one of the most important books in South Africa on HIV/AIDS.
The medical and social work community and teachers use the book as an educational tool to encourage children to talk about HIV/AIDS, accept children with HIV/AIDS without any prejudices and raise children’s awareness of HIV/AIDS. Children who are HIV positive themselves feel empowered by Brenda and feel encouraged to speak about their feelings and experiences.
SUPPORTING OUR WORK
All of the work we do cannot be done without the support of our donors (corporate, trusts and foundations and individuals). We are unable to carry out our work without your amazing support! If you would like to continue supporting our work, click on the “donate now” button to bring the joy of reading to children in South Africa! For other ways to support, click here.