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Books to Cameroon

Olivia Darby

Last summer we were able to send around 100 books on a variety of topics to our partners in Cameroon.

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This followed discussions with the women leading projects there and showing us how hard it was to get books there. This was in Douala, a large city and the financial capital. Even a poor-quality paperback new costs around £10, in a country where most people earn around $2 a day. Even if you have money, there is little choice, and unlike the charity shops or libraries we have here, bursting with books, Cameroon has few options. e-readers are also out of reach - expensive and needing to be recharged. 

I am learning English and was looking for books to read without much success. I am very grateful for this donation as I now have access to a variety of books which will help me develop my language and broaden my outlook.-  Diane

Magda, a teacher working with our partner project, explains what the book donation meant to them: 

"Cultural Reading books are a treasure in Africa and in Cameroon. Through reading one gets to travel and discover other cultures some similar and others very different from one's own.  The imagination is stimulated through the discovery of different places and experiences and the mind sharpened through the encounter with different ways of being and of facing situations.

"For many people here in Africa the only books they read are their school text books which are compulsory. Reading other books is viewed as a luxury for the elite as the majority have no money to buy them. Cameroon being a predominantly French-speaking country, cultural English books are a rare possession. There are very few shops if anywhere one can buy cultural reading books. With no public libraries, books are inaccessible to most.

"Yet we need them as the world we live in is a global village and they will help us understand it better, interact with others showing greater comprehension as well as find other ways of solving our current problems based on others experiences and new insights. For the youth, not only do they develop the English language, one they need to communicate in this century, but also to enrich their ideas which will help them contribute positively in their world."

I loved the books we received. They were very interesting and instructive and good. I would like to read books on adventure. Ashley 13 

There are still many children in Cameroon who have no access to books. In this bilingual country (French and English) books in both languages are needed and we would particularly love donations of books in French! If you would be interested in organising a collection of new or lightly-used books for young people (things like Dorling Kindersley books and children's classics would be particularly welcome!) we would LOVE to hear from you! Please contact engagement@wonderfoundation.org.uk for more information. We are also fundraising for shipping and you can send us a donation for that! 

The English books I read were very interesting because they had a lot of facts. Also they had a lot of interesting stories and morals that you can learn from. I would like to read more animated books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid - I really enjoyed it! - Juliana 12