Giving a gift of books
LISMORE resident Sarah King doesn't take Lismore City Library for granted.
Sarah was born and raised in Sierra Leone and walked kilometres to school each day.
At high school, a rat-infested library was inadequate for the number of children crowded into the overflowing classrooms.
Her homeland has just 38% literacy, with a rank of 174 out of 194 countries.
Now Sarah is dedicated to empowering the children of her home country with the gift of books.
She has collected more than 2000 books for disadvantaged schools and communities throughout Sierra Leone.
She has been assisted by the Richmond Tweed Regional Library and is now seeking donations to ship the books to Africa.
"To have access to a functioning library is a necessity," Sarah said.
When Sarah learned the PEN Centre Sierra Leone was establishing small libraries in schools and deprived communities across the country, she was inspired to set up The Sierra Leone Book Project Australia.
The books collected by Sarah's project will support disadvantaged children in their reading and writing programs.
At a glance
The Sierra Leone Book Project Australia is still seeking donations of books, especially children's books, and welcomes other educational materials and equipment, such as computers, to help the new libraries function.
Donations of books can be dropped off at the Lismore City Library on Magellan Street on Saturday, August 31, from 9am to 3pm.