In Liberia and Sierra Leone, there is an immense shortage of children’s books, contributing to staggering illiteracy rates. Books are basic, yet powerful. By providing a simple book, you can help girls and boys learn to read, complete their education, and build a better future. Please donate today to help develop, print and distribute 55,000 copies of 12 brand-new locally written and illustrated books.
Sallay’s smile stood out to us as we approached a group of children in Allen Town, Sierra Leone. Her energy shone through the curious faces that had gathered to greet us.
Sallay, aged 11, is one of the thousands of children who you can directly support through this year’s CODE #Giving Tuesday Campaign!
Sallay was forced to leave home to go live with her Auntie when she was just seven years old, moving over 350 kilometers away for a chance to go to school.
Even still, she walks nearly an hour each day – through rough terrain and facing the threat of violence – to reach her school.
Sallay’s teacher told us he can always hear her coming because of the distinctive sound of her old, broken school shoes.
Because Sallay is a girl, she’s burdened with responsibilities that get in the way of an education. Worldwide, UNICEF estimates that only 49 per cent of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education.
While living with her brother, she was expected to miss classes to do chores. Now that she lives with her Auntie, school attendance is a priority, but chores and caregiving still come before homework.
Sallay’s family depends on the meagre income from her Auntie’s porridge sales. In this household, tummies are often empty because there simply isn’t enough money or food to go around.
Their home has no running water or electricity, meaning that Sallay does her homework using a flashlight after the sun has set.
Despite being 11 years old, Sallay struggles to read – and it’s not for her lack of trying. Like so many other children, she’s at high risk of falling through the cracks!
The guidance of a well-trained teacher and access to books could go a long way toward building her literacy skills.
Learning to read without books, is like learning to ride a bike….without a bicycle. This campaign is all about books, books, books – a critical tool in helping children learn to read.
You can help children like Sallay learn to read, complete their education, and build a better future. Please donate today to help develop, print and distribute 55,000 copies of 12 brand-new locally written and illustrated books. For just $320, you can help print 400 books and for $3,184, you can provide a school with an entire mobile library!
Four out of five children in Sierra Leone sadly don’t have the foundational reading skills they need to build a solid foundation for learning in their adult life. This learning crisis looks very similar in neighbouring Liberia.
Learning to read without books is like learning to ride a bike… without a bike. Books are basic and universal tools for learning, yet so many children are struggling to learn without them. In fact, when we measured how many classrooms in participating schools had sufficient print materials for teaching reading, an astounding 94% did not.
We urgently need your support to help stack the shelves of classrooms and libraries with books, so kids have the tools they need to learn to read. Every dollar will go directly to our Teaching and Learning in Fragile Contexts (TLFC) program to help develop, print, and distribute 55,000 books.
Thank you for helping us reach our Giving Tuesday goal and funding libraries for 26 schools!
Campaign Fundraising Goal: $83,680
Watch now and see why CODE books are so special:
You can give the gift of literacy this holiday season!
Gives classroom learning materials
Provides books for a classroom
Creates a teacher’s guide
Provides a mobile library for a school
Together we can make a difference! Your gift will help create 55,000 great books that:
- Go to schools that are in dire need of books
- Are locally authored and illustrated, supporting local talent
- Support local publishers and distributors
- Contain culturally relevant content that kids can relate to
- Tell empowering stories and highlight gender equality
- Help 22,000 children on their way toward becoming confident and capable readers
Even though we all generally agree that books are important, we often underestimate just how much they can define our entire life. When a child is literate, they are more likely to complete their education and have better health outcomes, increased social participation, and higher-paying jobs.
For girls, literacy and education means they are less likely to marry early or against their will, and less likely to die in childbirth. They are also more likely to have healthy babies and to send their children to school. Simply put, books and education can break the cycle of poverty – what better gift is there than that?
*All gifts will be matched until our goal of $83,680 is reached. Gifts beyond that will go towards providing books and libraries for additional schools in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Books are critical to reducing staggering illiteracy rates
In sub-Saharan Africa, alone, 88% of children (ages 6 -14) – or 202 million – are not meeting minimum proficiency levels in literacy
274 million primary school children worldwide are not learning basic foundational skills necessary to lead productive and healthy lives
Research conducted at participating schools in Sierra Leone showed that 94% of classrooms don’t have sufficient print materials for reading
(Source: CODE TLFC baseline assessment, 2023)