The Book Bus Foundation

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The Book Bus aims to improve child literacy rates in Africa and South America by providing children with books and the inspiration to read them. The Book Bus is currently working to improve literacy rates at a community level in Zambia, Malawi and Ecuador. Our library work, book donations and assisted reading programme is helping strengthen the reading culture in schools resulting in a more confident reading population that is better equipped for the future. Thanks to the support of our generous donors and enthusiastic volunteers the Book Bus has been able to make a real difference to more than 20,000 children since we began in 2007
Member since: 31 Mar 2015

How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...

Economic responsibility

- Local employment generated by the Book Bus Foundation is increasing with targets to grow this in the next few years. For those that we do currently employ we provide a secure source of income for them, their households and extended families.

- The Book Buses operating in Zambia and Malawi also purchase the majority of their daily consumables i.e. food for volunteers, from local small and micro enterprises, while visiting volunteers also buy from local businesses. We also source as many books locally as possible. There is thus a net injection of money into local economies.

- Finally through the donation of books, teaching and learning resources, and support for better facilities in schools, the Book Bus Foundation is contributing to improved education provision in partner schools. We directly employ two people in Malawi and one full time post in Zambia and one in Ecuador.

Environmental responsibility

- Positive impacts can be seen in Ecuador where, through partnership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust, we are delivering the “Discovering Galapagos” programme to schools at our project sites.

- At our Project in South Luangwa we work with partners such as the Chipembele Wildlife Education School to champion the cause of wildlife preservation within a local context that promotes positive attitudes to conservation from the local communities.

- In Malawi we are developing a programme with CISER, a local NGO on conservation around the Great Lake Malawi and Liwonde National Park.

Social responsibility

- The Book Bus Foundation employs local staff in Zambia and Malawi while its programme in Ecuador is run by an independent NGO. Those that are employed are paid a locally competitive wage, with benefits for them and their dependents in terms of income, opportunities and choice. We are part of the community wherever we operate buying food locally and involving ourselves in the wider community where we are invited to.

- We are about sharing skills and this is where our international volunteers can have a positive impact by sharing knowledge, skills and experience with local communities.

- Donations of books and teaching and learning materials, and funding for the construction of classroom reading corners, are a second major strand of the Book Bus Foundation’s activities. This more material support has the potential to positively impact on teaching and learning outcomes in recipient school in the short and longer term.

- The Book Bus Foundation invests in capacity building through local employment, teacher support workshops and hands on training of local volunteers. We collaboratively devise ways in which Book Bus Foundation activities can more effectively complement and be integrated into teaching and learning programmes in the projects' schools.

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