SURINAM, READING PLEASURE FOR 75,000 CHILDREN
Biblionef has had a children's books storage library in Surinam since 1996, established in the Dutch Embassy in Paramaribo. Meanwhile 175 primary schools and 75 secondary schools have found their way to Biblionef. They are dispersed all over the country, in the poorest neighbourhoods of Paramaribo, in the disadvantaged areas in the country and in the jungle. Biblionef distributes new books to 35 other organizations, such as orphanages, crèches, hospitals, youth libraries, reception centres for youngsters and other foundations in Surinam. In this way we reach groups of children who would otherwise never have reading books in their hands. The number of children that has come into contact with reading pleasure by Biblionef has now grown to 75,000!
Institutions indicate themselves what they need
The schools and children's institutions in Surinam receive new Dutch children's books and youth literature on request. The condition is, that the requesting parties can prove that the children's books are regularly read and lent. The volunteers of Biblionef Surinam regularly check this. The supervisory staffs of the schools selects themselves what they need, based on the list of the publishers of Dutch children's books. With the acquired gifts and donations of sponsors and friends Biblionef buys the books at a large discount, while regularly beautiful batches of children's books are donated free of charge. Biblionef also distributes children's books and stories by native Surinamese authors.
Quid pro quo
The children from the schools and homes have to do something in return for the new books received. For instance, they clean, e.g. the school playground, go and visit senior citizens with beautiful drawings or help with gardening.
Sustainable help to some 300 projects
Every school or institution in Surinam receiving children's books from Biblionef is actually a separate project, the aim always being to promote reading at an early age. All these almost 300 projects supported by Biblionef are therefore of a structural nature. Books as such have a restricted lifetime and regularly need replacement or renewal. Meanwhile, thanks to Biblionef, 75.000 Surinamese children have access to material they can read or look at, but for sustainable reading children need a constant stream of new children's books.
Books are expensive...!
Even in the Netherlands reading is stimulated by means of subsidies. All Dutch children can subscribe to public libraries free of charge and school libraries too are for the greater part dependent on state support. So far no such support can be expected in this field in Surinam, and this may remain so for some time.
Wanted: faithful donors
This is why Biblionef needs faithful donors, who will donate regularly. Only so can we continue doing the good work and guarantee the continuity of our projects. Also, there are interesting exchange programmes possible for Dutch schools with schools in Surinam. We have a whole list of schools.