By Iminza Keboge
Published October 25, 2017
Despite the devastating attack which killed more than 276 people and injured 300 others, a British charity that donates books to sub-Saharan Africa is sending 11000 books to the city where its local partner’s office was destroyed in the bomb attack.
Book Aid International, a book-donation and library-development charity based in Britain, has announced that it is sending the books to Africa Educational Trust (AET) to support the latter’s work in the region as planned.
The AET office in Mogadishu, Book Aid says, has been supporting examinations and curriculum development in Somalia since 2011 and that much of the equipment destroyed was integral to the running and provision of the secondary school examinations for the region.
“We were shocked and saddened to hear of the destruction to AET’s offices, but also very relieved that there was no loss of life. At Book Aid International, we believe that everyone should have access to books and education. There are few places in the world where the barriers to reading and learning are higher than in Somalia, and we are very proud to be supporting AET’s vital work as well as the efforts of our other partners in Somalia despite the recent violence in Mogadishu,” says Alison Tweed, chief executive officer of Book Aid International.
On her part, Julie Polzerova, Executive Director of AET, says, “AET has been providing education solutions to the people of Somalia since the mid-90s and we are committed to continue this important work. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to learn and this is the best way for people to improve their lives. We support all the people affected by Saturday’s events and applaud our staff who continue to work in difficult conditions. We would also like to express our thanks for all the goodwill and kindness shown to our organisation and our people at this time.”
Said to be supporting education systems that ‘give all children the chance to learn as well as providing educational opportunities for people who have missed their chance to go to school’, AET says it is providing education to 250000 children and adults affected by conflict and poverty in Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya every year.