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Supporting Education

Never mind COVID-19, a charity’s work goes on

Never mind COVID-19, a charity’s work goes on

Literacy in a Box is a charity formed as the result of Forbes Watson, a member of Roborough Rotary in Plymouth, which has been helping to improve the lives and education of children in Africa. Despite COVID-19, they have been creative in finding solutions to continue their work.

We’re adjusting, and so is the rest of the world. But life goes on and the need for children to be educated could not be greater,” explained Ian Parker, chairman of Literacy in a Box, which began in 2006 by sending a box of educational supplies to a state school in Zambia.

“We are still raising funds and still filling Literacy Boxes for the orphans and poor children who require an education and would not get one without our help.”

Today, the charity’s work in Africa continues.

Their core programme is SchoolAid4Zambia. They have two centres for our work in Zambia and have sent literacy boxes to 45 schools in and around the capital, Lusaka, and to the Eastern Province in the South Luangwa Valley.

The Philippines has also received literacy boxes through their SchoolAid4Philippines programme.

Over the years, individuals and Rotary clubs have also sent literacy boxes to support projects in Nepal, Ghana, Kenya, The Gambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa.

For a small charity operating on low revenue streams, every penny Literacy in a Box receives in donations is treasured and spent wisely.

Boxes are filled by volunteers in the Plymouth area and then the charity relies on their logistic partners to get them safely to their intended destinations.

They work closely with Operation Sunshine and the National Police Aid Charity to do their work.

Operation Sunshine has been offering humanitarian support in Africa for over 30 years,

Literacy in a box

Over the years, individuals and Rotary clubs have also sent literacy boxes to support projects in Nepal, Ghana, Kenya, The Gambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa.

In 2004, Literacy in a Box started a collaboration with their Tavistock branch resulting in the literacy boxes being transported to Zambia.

Ian Parker explained: “We would not be where we are today without the insight into Zambia given by Operation Sunshine or their logistics support for the literacy boxes we have sent.”

Unfortunately, in 2015 the Tavistock branch of Operation Sunshine closed, but their Folkestone branch stepped in to support the project sending literacy boxes to orphans and poor children in the communities served by them in Zambia.

Operation Sunshine has been sending humanitarian aid to Africa for over 30 years.

We would not be where we are today without the insight into Zambia given by Operation Sunshine or their logistics support for the literacy boxes we have sent.”

It continues to grow with 40-foot containers heading out to Africa every two or three months. At the moment, they are restricted with sending containers to Zambia.

In 2015, with the closure of Operation Sunshine’s Tavistock office, Literacy in a Box teamed up with the National Police Aid Convoys charity.

This was started in 1993 when a group of police officers used their influence, networks and negotiating skills to deliver huge amounts of humanitarian aid to places which other NGOs couldn’t reach.

Twenty-five years later, they are now an enthusiastic and experienced group of people who come from all walks of life to deliver development and emergency aid all over the world. Smaller charities often share their transport to get their supplies and donations to their own projects.

It continues to grow with 40-foot containers heading out to Africa every two or three months. At the moment, they are restricted with sending containers to Zambia.

The National Police Aid Convoys provides the logistics, paper trail and auditing, to help them use the charity’s economies of scale.

Literacy in a Box chairman, Ian Parker, added: “Without these two very supportive charities, we would struggle to send our literacy boxes.”

Despite COVID-19, Literacy in a Box has been continuing to support children in Zambia with educational equipment. Ian pointed out that COVID-19 does not stand still for the children, so they have to plough on.

“Our logistics partners are vital, but equally vital are the partners who help at the other end,” added Ian.

Despite COVID-19, Literacy in a Box has been continuing to support children in Zambia with educational equipment.”

“Literacy Boxes need to be unpacked from their container and distributed to the recipient schools.

“Grace, our ambassador in Lusaka, has strong links with Operation Sunshine and runs her own Ministry.

“Grace will have provided the names of the schools in Lusaka for which the literacy boxes are destined and in packing them, ready for transport, we will have labelled them accordingly, along with donor labels.

“On arrival in Lusaka, Grace will ensure that every literacy box finds the right school and supplies us with feedback photos and videos.

“The feedback confirms with donors that their boxes have arrived. This is essential to maintain confidence in supporting a charity that does what it says.

“We also use the pictures to help to increase awareness of literacy boxes thus encouraging future donations.”

https://literacyinabox.org.uk/