“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” – Joseph Addison

Learning and literacy has always been close to the Rotary Club of Newlands’ heart. As the world recognises World Literacy Day on Monday, 08 September, 2014, the Club reminds all schools and interested parties who are in need of books for their facilities, about their “Books for the World” project.

Mike Walwyn from the Rotary Club of Newlands explains how “Books for the World” came about, “Essentially, school books in the USA are given a three year life cycle, after which they are ‘retired’. At that point the books are taken into book depositories and from there shipped to South Africa. Before this project was launched, the books were pulped for recycling purposes. Now they are collected and shipped to South Africa and other countries for distribution in needy communities.

“What makes the system even more attractive is that the books are shipped in second-hand 12 metre containers, and once the books have been extracted and sorted, those containers are also made available to projects where they can be used as libraries, classrooms, toilet blocks and for many other purposes.”

The Rotary Club of Newlands has for the last several years operated the Cape Town Distribution Centre, which is based at the LEAP School in Pinelands. When new consignments arrive, a notice is sent out to around 400 schools and other institutions in the area, and they are invited to visit the centre and make a selection of books.

There are regularly new consignments and the Club is encouraging any school or facility that needs books for their libraries to contact the Club. “The majority of the books are school books, but there are also books that would be relevant for adult literacy purposes,” says Walwyn.

“This year’s World Literacy Day theme is Literacy and Sustainable Development, which is in tune with Rotary’s main goals of education and sustainability, and we believe it has made a real difference in terms of literacy in many of the Western Cape’s disadvantaged areas,” continues Walwyn .

Since the project’s inception just over nine years ago, over 500 000 books and around 20 containers have been received and distributed in the greater Cape Town area.

To find out more about the Books of the World project please contact Mike Walwyn on 083 3004363 | mike@nexlog.co.za

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