Books Abroad promotes literacy, education and understanding to provide a means of sustainable escape from the plight of poverty in developing countries. This is achieved through the collection and redistribution of good quality, second hand books to educational establishments worldwide, whilst also building sustainable relationships for further liaison and learning for all concerned.
A registered charity operated by a Board of Trustees and a team of volunteers, Books Abroad, formerly known as ‘LINK’, was founded in 1982 by Keith Brunskill, a teacher at Banff Academy, following a visit to the school by Nigerian Missionary Derek Joy who 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.
Good quality second hand books are donated by schools, colleges, universities and private individuals from across Scotland and some parts of England, and are brought to the Books Abroad base in Rhynie where they are checked and sorted by a team of volunteers. The books are carefully selected into parcels in response to direct request for support from educational establishments abroad.
Over 300 requests for books are received from abroad per year, of which around 20-30 projects are supplied with books. We aim to help anyone in need who asks, from any country in the world, regardless of race or religion. We currently have an output of over 125,000 books per annum. To date, over 4 million books have been despatched worldwide. The charity’s target is to send parcels to each institution once every 3 years. Where no appropriate books are available from the second hand collection to satisfy requests, funds may be used to purchase new books, for example atlases, dictionaries and health books.
There is no cost to the recipients for the provision or delivery of books being sent abroad. Where possible, Books Abroad tries to send the parcels to established partners for onward distribution, which ensures accurate delivery to the requesting organisations and dramatically reduces delivery costs. Partners include Rotary Clubs abroad, Diamond Bank Trust and other similar established organisations.
Books Abroad receives no government funding, depending entirely on successful funding bids from trusts and companies, as well as monies raised during fundraising events in local communities and from donations and membership subscriptions by our supporters.
Books deemed unsuitable for redistribution are resold locally to raise funds for Books Abroad, or are industrially shredded and used locally for animal bedding or composting.