Book Aid International support IBBY appeal for Lebanon with 10,000 books
IBBY UK work with Book Aid International and LBBY to support restocking libraries in the Lebanon
On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing over 200 deaths, injuring thousands and leaving catastrophic structural damage, with an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
IBBY Lebanon (LBBY), with its years of experience in helping traumatized children and re-building libraries, soon got to work, together with UNESCO, to help local schools rebuild and repair their libraries, providing new books and training librarians. The renovation work proceeded rapidly and has transformed the libraries into bright, welcoming rooms but books were still desperately needed.
When LBBY announced their appeal at IBBY’s General Assembly in September for quality books to replenish the destroyed libraries, IBBY UK approached Book Aid International to see if they could help with the supply of books in English.
Pam Dix, Chair of IBBY UK said: “We hope that this will be the start of a new and important partnership…”
Book Aid International’s mission is closely aligned to IBBY and they have been providing books around the world since 1954. Every year the charity sends books to public and community libraries as well as libraries in prisons, refugee camps, hospitals, schools and universities. The charity works in close partnership with libraries and also helps libraries develop their services through its library support projects and programmes. Its refugee programme provides extensive support in Kenya and Uganda as well as with various camps in Greece. Recently 5500 books have been sent to eight organisations in Greece. The explosion in Beirut not only impacted the Lebanese community but many Syrian refugees.
A container of 10,591 books has now left for Lebanon and is due to arrive at the end of November. It contains 5,473 books for LBBY (to support five schools damaged by the August port explosion and one school for deaf children) and 5,188 books to re-stock three public libraries damaged in the explosion, working with Assabil.
Shereen Kreidieh, President of LBBY said: “The project will depend on the generosity and dedication of IBBY friends across the world. We would appreciate your support since if we have access to quality books for our libraries then we can reach more libraries to fix. We have partnered with UNESCO in Lebanon and we will be working on doing workshops for librarians and teachers to use the books and to work on bibliotherapy to get over the trauma they have faced.”
To further support libraries in Lebanon and other Children in Crisis projects, visit: https://www.ibby.org/awards-activities/activities/ibby-children-in-crisis-fund