Books for Uganda
We are committed to fostering a love of reading and stories in Ugandan communities. Books for Uganda was founded to bring much needed diverse and inclusive literature to Uganda gifting them to families and communities. We want to be able to provide both fiction and non-fiction books from picture books, board books, children’s books, young adults (YA) and even adults books.
We are committed to gifting books by people of colour and that feature people of colour, particularly ones that celebrate the Black lived everyday experience.
Books for Uganda Pilot Phase
In January 2022 we started our six week pilot phase of the Books For Uganda programme in Nalufenya A, Jinja.
Working with the Local Chairman 1 of the area, seven families were identified who could attend all six sessions. Our families have a mix of literacy levels and all have been negatively effected by the last two years of school closures.
Each session has been thoughtfully created with a blend of Ugandan folklore, interactive games and activities and multilingual book readings. Local languages are encouraged and all families take home the copies of the books – no strings attached!
We are really excited to be shaking things up in the Book Aid world by championing family literacy, full accessibility to books and representation and inclusion in the books read.
Why? Aren’t there already book drives in Uganda?
When Taata Musa grew up in Uganda, the books he had access to were received by schools without much thought for the people who were going to read them. They were often inappropriately matched to the reading age or English level of the children, were old with outdated ideas and were physically worn. We want Ugandan communities and schools to access new books with innovative ideas that champion diversity and inclusion. Representation is incredibly important. Ugandan communities need to have books about people who look like them.
Why gift to families and not just schools?
Stories started off at home in Uganda – entire communities would sit around the fire taking it in turns to tell folktales and stories. Gifting books to individual families helps include families back in to storytelling time. Additionally, with COVID-19, many Ugandan schools shut since for two full years. The doors of libraries shut for two years with no access to books. Encouraging families to share stories at home will empower communities to take up their role in promoting literacy.
Will Ugandans be able to read in English?
English is an official language of Uganda. Schools teach nearly all subjects in English so most Ugandans will have a basic understanding of English or know someone who will. That also goes for being able to read. However, stories are more than the words written. For children, they are about sharing time with another person, looking at the illustrations as well as discussing what they can see and interpret. We have a brilliant team of storytellers and translators who guide our families on the books content and teach them simple skills to share the stories with their children.
What do you mean by diverse and inclusive books?
We want books that feature and celebrate all different lived experiences, whether that’s relating to race, class, gender, sexuality, health and ability. We especially want to promote books set in African countries that honour the everyday lived experiences of Black people.
Want to donate?
We welcome monetary donations big or small. This will cover the costs of buying books and the transportation of books to communities. We want to ensure all authors, illustrators, book sellers and Ugandan people involved are paid fairly for their time and efforts. Full transparency will be published on our page.
If you would rather donate a book we will be collecting new and lightly used books to ship to Uganda.
Want to partner with us?
We are currently seeking companies, businesses, publishers, authors, charities, booksellers and schools who would like to work with us.
Please get in touch if you would like to be involved.