a new dawn - a vision of hope

100th box for Zambia

On Saturday 3rd October, the Literacy in a Box Trust sent the 100th Literacy Box of its programme School Aid 4 Zambia. The Trust have now sent enough materials for 2,500 children in 11 schools.

100thbox-2 (19K)

The photograph shows the 100th Box being loaded by Ian Parker, Chairman of the Trust and Felicity Derry-Thomas, the Co-ordinator of the SW region of Operation Sunshine. This box was one of 16 Literacy Boxes loaded in an Operation Sunshine container, along with all their equipment and supplies, collected to help villages in Zambia. The container is now being shipped and after its sea journey it will arrive in the Tanzanian port of Dar-es-Salaam, before travelling by road to Zambia and customs in Lusaka. Having cleared customs, the contents of the container are split up and taken to the communities in their destination villages, while the Literacy Boxes are taken to their target schools in Zambia.

Part of the development of any community in the poverty stricken Third World, as it strives to be self-sufficient, is the need for education and two Rotarians, Forbes Watson and Ian Parker, had seen that educational materials, the basics of schooling, were virtually non-existent in the parts of South Africa they had visited some five years ago. They came home intent on doing something to help the children they had seen, but a conversation with Operation Sunshine changed their focus.

box-packing (18K)

Operation Sunshine is a Christian charity formed by Kathy Harding and registered in 1984. It sends practical aid directly to people in parts of East Africa who are struggling against starvation, deprivation and disease, in conditions of desperate poverty. Kathy now works in Zambia and it was suggested that if we did anything, "could we please help schools in Zambia?" Supported by Rotary colleagues in the Rotary Club of Roborough, Forbes Watson organised two literacy boxes to be sent as a pilot in May 2006 and following the rapturous response, a charity, the Literacy in a Box Trust, was formed.

The Literacy in a Box Trust has now taken space in seven Operation Sunshine containers to Zambia and sent 100 boxes of school materials, helping 2,500 children in 11 schools. To continue to send boxes the Trust must rely totally on charitable giving and as cash flow improves, the Trust can consolidate support in existing schools before widening its activity to the donation of text books and even offering bursaries to support children through secondary education.

Although the object of the Trust is "To support children and their teachers in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve their educational aims" the reality is that in Zambia alone, it would need 250,000 boxes, just to give every child some paper and a pencil. This means that the School Aid 4 Zambia programme will be needed for many years to come and hopefully grow from strength to strength. If you feel that you wish to support the work of the Literacy in a Box Trust, please phone Ian Parker on 01752 787058 or e-mail the Trust.

Plymouth Herald press article.

Times press article.