BOOKS ABROAD - ABOUT US
Books Abroad promotes literacy, education and understanding, which provide the means of a sustainable escape route from the plight of poverty.
We recycle used books by sending them to schools and other institutions in developing countries.
We should aspire to meet the worldwide demand for recycled books, whilst maintaining a quality level of service.
EDUCATION FOR ALL
Books Abroad believes that, in the long term, education is what is required to help solve the world's problems.
With the power to read and write, the children of today will have a better understanding of the issues surrounding them.
Better communication skills will help them to avoid conflicts and resolve disputes of all kinds by negotiation.
BOOKS ABROAD was founded as LINK in 1982 by Keith Brunskill, a teacher at Banff Academy. Derek Joy, a Missionary from Nigeria, came to speak at the Academy in 1974, and mentioned the great lack of books in his school in Africa. This prompted Keith to start organising pupils to raise funds, and to parcel books for posting to Nigeria, and eventually to form the charity.
Originally based in a cupboard in the Brander Library, Huntly, LINK was later granted the use of space in the former Caretaker's Flat in the same building, Increased space, kindly provided by the North East of Scotland Library Service, thus allowed the development of proper storage and selection systems for donated books. However, in 1991 Gordon District Council (now Aberdeenshire Council) kindly gave us the use of a suite of offices in Rhynie where we have been able to expand our service even more. The name LINK was changed to BOOKS ABROAD at this time.
Books are mainly donated by local schools, colleges, universities and private individuals. All the work is carried out by volunteers and we support developing countries worldwide. Over the years considerable experience has been built up through feedback from overseas schools, the main recipients of this greatly appreciated aid. Funds are raised locally through Book Sales, Plant Sale and Coffee Mornings, Musical Evenings and various other activities which are held regularly throughout the year. Larger amounts are raised by direct appeals to Trusts and Companies.
Most of the work is carried out by volunteers although we do have a part-time paid employee in the office. The chairman and a few of the Trustees have taken on the day to day management of the charity. BOOKS ABROAD sends carefully selected parcels weighing approx 8.5kgs each (approx 45 books), direct free of charge to the educational establishments overseas. Emphasis is upon quality, good condition of books and of appropriate content for the institution involved, rather than upon quantity. Parcels are small enough to be carried to even the most remote sites without roads. Great efforts are made to respond to requests made by schools and other institutions, and when no appropriate books are available from our second-hand stock new ones are purchased as funds permit. In addition to this we supply atlases, dictionaries, health books, eg, "Where There Is No Doctor" and "Where There Is No Dentist". The parcels are wrapped in clear polythene which speeds passage through customs. When appropriate we send parcels via containers to contacts within our countries for onward distribution to our schools.
The Books Abroad Team with Alex Salmond, Former First Minister of Scotland.
To date (2015) we have sent out around 3 million books and helped over 2,100 schools and educational establishments in our 33 years in operation.
Our Schools Liaison work continues in local schools,offering assemblies and talks on the Developing World to school children, as a result of which we receive donations of books and money.