If you can read this paper, chances are, you’ve had the privilege of learning how to read, or write. And if you’re lucky, then both. You might be thinking, “what? I’m lucky? To have the ability to simply to read and write?” The answer is yes, according to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are still 750 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women (“International Literacy Day 2017.”). Although, worldwide, literacy has improved drastically, it continues to be a major problem. Evidently, data shows that there is a strong positive correlation between literacy levels and opportunities, “It’s said that people struggling with literacy are more likely to be poor, lack education, and miss out on opportunities to participate fully in society and the workforce… (Gunn, Jennifer).” Therefore, it is imperative that we start investing our time and money into literary charities, specifically, Books Abroad. “Books abroad is a charity which aspires to support education in developing countries worldwide by redistributing carefully chosen, second hand books (Hedderwick and Meres).” If given the opportunity to help change these shocking statistics by directly donating to those who aren’t fortunate enough, why wouldn’t you?
First, when choosing a charity to invest your time and money into, you should consider three things; the outcomes, the values, and lastly, the transparency of the charity. To begin with, Books Abroad formally known as ‘LINK’ was founded in 1982, by a teacher named Keith Brunskill. Mr. Brunskill had gone on a trip to Nigeria, where a missionary mentioned the lack of books in their schools. This inspired Mr. Brunskill to start raising funds to send books to Nigeria, and from then on, the charity has blossomed. Currently, [Books Abroad supplies about 125,000 books per year. Additionally, they have supplied over 3 million books worldwide, to 95 countries and 2,300 establishments (Hedderwick, and Meres)]. Although Books Abroad is a smaller charity, their outcomes have been substantial. Nevertheless, comparable to the larger well-known charitable foundations.
In addition to the outcomes, the next step would be to delve into their values. In this case, it is easily accessible on their website. Stated online, the values of Books Abroad include “authenticity, charity transparency, and accessibility to all races/ religions/ cultures (Hedderwick and Meres).” The goal of Books Abroad is to supply books to educational establishments, while building relationships that can aid in learning for all. This charity really values doing good in all aspects. An example of this would be their “Green Promise,” which states “Books Abroad aims to rescue and re-use good quality used books that may otherwise be disposed of as waste…and other books considered unsuitable are industrially shredded, which is then used locally for animal bedding or composting (Hedderwick and Meres).” Not only are they reusing books, but they are being economically friendly with the books that are no longer usable. Along with their Green Promise, Books Abroad is constantly searching for ways to furthermore reduce their dispatch costs and ensure that books are reaching their intended destinations.
Lastly, the third requirement for a good charity would be transparency. As stated previously, Books Abroad values charity transparency. If you were to look on their website, you would find that they proudly display their operational costs and follow up audits, along with their annual accounts. It is stated that “The Books Abroad office is manned by one part-time administrator, with all other members of the organization working on a voluntary basis (Hedderwick and Meres).” Moreover, Books Abroad does not receive any government funding. The main source of income is through private donations and fundraising events. As a result of their transparency, you know exactly what your money is going towards and what it’s being spent on, unlike many other organizations. In sum, Books Abroad prides themselves on their transparency, their website has all the information that you will need and if you still have questions you can easily contact them through phone, email, or their website. They’re an open book when it comes to their charity.
To conclude, many people take for granted their ability to be able read and write. Although globally, efforts to change the statistics have shown tremendous change, there are still 750 million illiterate adults in the world. By supporting Books Abroad with your time and money, you too can be a part of the change. Books Abroad firmly believes that “…education is what is required to help solve the world’s problems. With the power to read and write, the children of today will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding them (Hedderwick and Meres).” So let’s help make the world a better place by aiding in the education of people who are not privileged enough to have the same opportunities as us.
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