Kalimat, BAI shaping future of refugee children in Africa, ME

June 30, 2021

The agreement formalising the partnership was signed recently, on the sidelines of the ongoing London Book Fair 2021.

Under the joint project, Kalimat Foundation will deliver 15 libraries, each containing 100 Arabic language books. The project will be mobilised by Kalimat Foundation’s ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative which aims to provide libraries to refugees and forcibly displaced children. BAI will contribute English language books to support their library partners in Africa and the Middle East where there is a growing need for a rich resource of multilingual collection of children’s books.

Commenting on the partnership agreement, Amna Al Mazmi, Manager of Kalimat Foundation, said: “The Foundation is committed to ensuring the basic right of every child to read and have access to books. Especially so in conflict areas, where there the need to provide vulnerable children with adequate reading material is far more pressing, and is a crucial way to empower them with knowledge, and boost their literacy.”

Al Mazmi added: “Kalimat Foundation is pleased to align with a like-minded partner such as Book Aid International to ensure that lifelong learning can flourish even in the most difficult environments. Apart from the educational impact, the variety of books included in our libraries will enable deprived children in trauma-affected regions of Middle East and Africa to reconnect and strengthen cultural ties with their Arab homeland.”

Welcoming the new agreement, Alison Tweed, Chief Executive, Book Aid International, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Kalimat Foundation to support its ‘Pledge a Library’ initiative and work together to give children access to books. Our organisations share a vision of a world where all children - especially those affected by conflict and living in refugee camps or displaced within their countries - have the opportunity to read.”

The Chief Executive added: “BAI will connect Kalimat Foundation with dynamic African organisations in communities where Arabic is spoken, such as Unique Foundation in The Gambia which works with at-risk children, and Windle International, an NGO working with refugees in the East Africa region. Similarly, Kalimat Foundation will connect BAI to communities in the Middle East where there is a need for children’s books in English. We are responding to this need with the wonderful donations of brand-new children’s books in English that we receive from UK publishers.”

“The partnership is in its early stages, but there are many opportunities for our two organisations to join forces to bring the joy of reading - both in Arabic and in English - to children who would otherwise have no books to read,” she concluded.

Established in 2016, the Kalimat Foundation (KF) aims to fulfil the basic right of every child to read, have access to books, and to cater to the literacy and developmental needs of children, especially in trauma-affected regions. Since 2017, the "Pledge a Library" initiative has delivered 112 libraries and distributed over 11,000 books to more than 60 refugee camps, community centres, schools and universities, institutes, public libraries, hospitals and NGOs worldwide.

Close Bitnami banner