'Bringing books to the bookless'
This is the core of Biblionef's activities in South-Africa: to provide deprived children with new children's books in all eleven of South-Africa's official languages. We believe it important for children to be able to read for pleasure in their mother tongue, to stimulate their curiosity and their desire to learn. This enables them to lay a solid foundation of knowledge and awareness for their future. The patron of Biblionef South Africa, Professor Njabulo Ndebele emphasizes this with the following encouraging words: 'Children represent the future of countries. Training tomorrow's adults and teaching them to appreciate reading is to preserve them from a hollow existence by increasing their choices in life, thus securing a solid foundation for their future countries. This is the challenge behind Biblionef's existence: fighting ignorance and illiteracy and developing a love of reading among children. Through Biblionef South Africa a greater number of citizens have developed a better awareness of the need to develop children's literacy skills'.
See movie about the work of Biblionef in South Africa.
In Botrivier about 100 km from Cape Town, the first Container Library from the Biblionef foundation is opened. An initiative to promote literacy. Children are curious by nature. They want to discover and are eager to read and to learn. In South Africa there are many places without access to children's books and libraries. So whatever literacy skill's these children achieve, it will be lost because a drought of books. For many reading is an impossible luxury. One of the most important reasons's why illiteracy in this part of the world is so high. Without books in their mother tongue, the doors of knowledge and progress will remain shut for these children.
Container Library in township
By placing a library in a container full of children's books, a lot of children in under deprived areas in South Africa can be reached. Children lend books themselves and make their own choice. Their sound hunger for reading and learning is satisfied and their curiosity gratified. By the pleasure of reading you open up the world of these children. They get the chance to develop themselves and by that the community and country they live in.
Books in their mother tongue
The languages in South Africa mostly spoken are: English, African, Sotho, Xhosa en Zulu. The other official languages are: IsiNdebele, Sepedi, SiSwati, Xitsonga, Setswana en Tshivenda. Biblionef is currently playing an important role in stimulating the production and the distribution of books in these languages. Which language is provided depends on the demand of the local communities.
As much as possible Biblionef likes to work with local suppliers and craftsmen. Out of volunteers involved in the community a library committee is formed. Biblionef cares for training how to manage and run a library.
Expansion by success
An article in the local paper in Africans says that the container library in Botrivier 'een groot geskenk is vir die arm gemeenskap van die skool'. (A big present for the poor community of the school) A success! Meanwhile a second container library is settled in the nabourhood of Milnerton and a third one in township Steelport, province Mpumalanga. There are 20 more locations indicated for such libraries in townships.
Adopt a library
For 17.500 Euro you can adopt a library. The money is needed for the purchase, the transport and the placement of the containers, the inventory, (racks, shelving, lending desk, carpeting, paint, carpentry and isolation), security system for doors and windows, electricity, locks, books (reading books, thrilling books, picture books, dictionaries, atlas and encyclopaedia for children and teenagers), training of the library committee, information and of course for the opening ceremony of the library.
Help Biblionef, be a sponsor or donor,
Currently 10 schools in South Africa are supported, for children who are blind or visually impaired, with Braille and Large Print books. One of these schools is the Rethamaleng Special school. Four funders in the Netherlands responded to a special proposal to help this group of especially disadvantaged children and supplied the funding for this project The schools have now received their Large Print books in both English and Afrikaans as well as in the relevant African languages and orders have been placed for English language Braille books with the various Braille publishers. The second phase of this project will be to commission Braille storybooks in the African languages. This seems to be a growing project as more schools with blind and visually impaired children need this service and more funders are willing to support this project.
We are looking for donors and sponsors who like to financially support these kind of projects.
The Sizanani village near Bronkhorstspruit in the area of Pretoria has three centres caring for children who are disabled, neglected, as well as suffering from AIDS. The Henri Nouwen Stichting, a Dutch foundation has been involved with the village for some time and is financially supporting it.
Parcels adapted reading books
Biblionef has been asked to put together parcels with specially adapted reading books for these very needy children. It was decided to create three libraries at the centres in the village as well as at three community centres in the surrounding townships that also care for children in similar circumstances. Two of these centres care for orphans and a third runs a feeding programme for a large number of children. Besides books the centres without library facilities are provided with bookshelves or lockable suitcases to help keep the books safe and clean as well as accessible for the children.
3B. SOUTH AFRICA / MAKING HIV/AIDS DEBATABLE
Since Biblionef South Africa has an extensive network of schools, libraries and all kind of institutions for childcare at it's disposal, it enables Biblionef to pay attention to special projects. Biblionef aims for distributing special reading books to make the HIV/Aids issues debatable in the classroom. Especially in the townships and in disadvantaged communities in the big city's and poor and rural areas Biblionef has it's contacts and it is just here where this problem is most urgent. We started with a book titled: 'Staying alive: Fighting HIV/AIDS'.
Brenda heeft een draakje in haar bloed
A new project is the publishing and distribution of a book called 'Brenda heeft een draakje in haar bloed', ('Brenda has a dragon in her bled'. This children's book is written by the Dutch author: Hijltje Vink and is translated in many languages all over the world. Biblionef has received unlimited rights from the publisher of this book to publish it in South Africa in all the 11 languages. A publisher in South Africa, Garamond Publishers in Cape Town will have the book translated into all the 11 languages and will then publish it in 35.000 copies.
The aim of the Brenda project is to distribute the book amongst children in poor rural areas in South Africa, in their own languages, with the emphasis on the minority languages. At this stage, there are almost no children's books on HIV/Aids available in the African languages. A few books were published recently, but mostly English titles are available. There is a huge need at present for such a publication.
The book is very suitable for children to read themselves. It presents a story they can easily relate to. It is also suitable for reading and discussing in the classroom or in a group, to stimulate the acceptance of people affected by HIV/Aids and to prevent prejudice. Discussing HIV/Aids problems in the mother tongue with the aid of this book will yield positive results in the field of prevention and awareness. It is an extremely useful aid to try and overcome taboos.
We are still looking for sponsors for this project.
Many of the problems South Africa faces today are due to illiteracy coupled with a lack of opportunities for education. 66% of South African schools have almost no storybooks and an even bigger percentage does not have books in their own mother tongue language. Research strongly suggests that when children begin reading (and writing) in their mother tongue, literacy learning is more effective, as is the learning of other languages. The children of South Africa need books to read in order to become literate, to succeed educational and to lead more fulfilled emotional lives. Moreover these books need to be in a language that is known to them. Biblionef aims to provide books to make this possible and plays a leading role in this. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Except in the big languages English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Sotho and Zulu, there are hardly any children's books available in the minority languages, IsiNdebele, Sepedi, SiSwati, Xitsonga, Setswana en Tshivenda. And publishers are not encouraged to publish in marginalized languages because of the lack of book buying power people have in the disadvantaged communities. The requests made for this kind of books at Biblionef South Africa is substantially growing. One of the titles published in seven South African languages is the book 'Miffy goes to school', from the famous author Dick Bruna. Biblionef is stimulating that even indigenous authors write down their stories and that the collected work can be published. Biblionef cooperates closely with South African publishers to realize this.
A unique picturebookproject based on the Universal declaration of the children's rights. Kwela Books a South African Publisher, in conjunction with Lemniscaat publishers, Dutch, are publishing a book titled: 'The rights of a child'.
An alarming high percentage of the children of South Africa live in dire circumstances, in violent families and neighbourhoods, without access to basic education or healthcare. Children's rights are violated on a daily basis. Our experience with donating books to the underprivileged children's organisations has shown us that books can change the children's perception and bring lots of joy.
It is therefore that Biblionef supports the endeauvour of publishing this book on the right's of the child in the eleven official languages of South Africa. Biblionef believes strongly that children can best be educated about their rights with appropriate books, tailor-made to their needs and in their own mother tongue. Biblionef wants to distribute 10.000 copies via it's network. We allready got one big donation. For this project is still needed a sponsoring of Euro 17.500
World Champion-soccer 2010, children learn to read with it!
Fun of reading with soccer
Worldwide interest in soccer makes that a record amount of people have focused their attention on South Africa. Several organizations see the World Championship as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between Africa and Europe. And South Africa gets a chance to give a boost to her growth and development. A first and very important requirement to be able to do so, is to dispose over information and be able to read this information.
Learning to read is part of children and their development. In many areas in South Africa this is not evident as there are hardly or no (children’s) books at all. Biblionef is one organization that provides these children in developing countries with new books. Beautiful picture books, with which children can dream away, make that reading for them becomes fun.
Children in their own way follow this soccer tournament. They act it out, they copy the moves and want to know more about it all. Biblionef now is going to publish a children’s book titled ‘GOAL’ in the eleven native tongues of South Africa in order that many children can learn to read through the soccer.
Initiative from Biblionef
Round about the World Championship soccer 2010, Biblionef will publish children’s books about soccer and distribute them in the eleven official native tongues of South Africa.
In other words, bringing books and the fun of reading to children who otherwise would never have a chance to do so. It is our aim that as many organizations, institutions and private persons as possible will sponsor the publishing and distribution of these books. You can be a sponsor as well!
Being a sponsor will be possible soon, in two ways:
1. Buying copies of the book “Goal” for distribution in South Africa. The books will be distributed directly from Biblionef South Africa to the schools and libraries.
2. Buy the copies of the book “Goal” in English or South African, for your own use. For example to distribute to your contacts or hand-out at (soccer)events which you attend.
More information will follow soon.
Would you already like to have more information about “Goal” and Biblionef’s initiative? Please mail your question to Biblionef@kb.nl
PanSALB requested Biblionef books for schools and crèches that took part in their Mother Tongue Reading Competition. Nine boxes containing 1250 books were handed over at the Makopane College in Mahwelereng.