Woking District Rotary is supporting the locally based African Revival organisation to enlarge a significant project in Sub-Saharan Africa to improve literacy amongst school children.

African Revival is a charity headquartered in Send which works in South Sudan, Northern Uganda and Zambia. In 2020, it strengthened its commitment to providing schools with reading materials through a partnership with Book Aid International.

Each year, it receives over 6,000 books for distribution to some of the most remote rural community schools in Uganda and Zambia. In early 2023, it received its first shipment of 2,000 books to Maridi, South Sudan, and, once established, it hopes to extend the Read Together Project to more schools in all three regions.

The Read Together Project aims to support the distribution of reading books by providing Read Together Libraries on wheels, which ensures that books are stored correctly on shelves and are easy to access, but can also be locked away at the end of the school day for security.

The Read Together Library, a storage trunk made of steel to repel rats and termites, can be moved between classrooms or outside into the school grounds, to display more than 200 volumes of fiction, non-fiction or reference books.

Abi Dar, programme fund manager for African Revival, came to talk to Woking District Rotary and left impressed by what she saw.

“Rotarians could immediately see the value of our work,” she said, “and soon afterwards they pledged £2,250 to add towards our project total cost.”

Keith Millard, international team lead for Woking District Rotary, said: “We have supported primary schools in Woking in recent years with literacy projects for underprivileged children, so it is great that we can now provide some much-needed support to children in Sub-Saharan Africa too. Working with a locally based charity is also important to us.”

Some 12,000 pupils are expected to benefit overall from this current programme.