What We Do
READ International is a student-led charity that works to improve access to educational resources in East Africa. Through a national network of Project Leaders we collect disused books from schools, general public, and businesses.
We sort the books using innovative ISBN recognition technology. We send the most relevant, up-to-date, and high quality books to schools in Tanzania. Any books collected which are not relevant or appropriate to send are sold online or recycled to generate funding.
Our work is led by students who inspire and encourage other young people to get involved. Our Project Leaders travel to East Africa each summer to distribute the books directly to students and teachers in over 300 schools in Tanzania. Our Project Leaders spend time in the school working with the school students to unpack books, introduce our curriculum matching guide, promote reading, and renovate the school library.
In the UK our Project Leaders coordinate volunteer teams in their university to collect and sort the books, fundraise, and work with local secondary schools to raise awareness of global citizenship, recycling and student volunteering to UK school children.
Tanzania follows a secondary school syllabus almost identical to the UK. Schools often lack the resources needed to teach. In Tanzania the average pupil to text book ratio is 5 to 11. Under their Secondary Education Development Plan (2004 – 2009) student enrolments have increased and thousands of new schools have been built. However a lack of teachers and teaching resources remain a key obstacle in delivering effective education.
In the UK newer editions of books inevitably replace the old (very often only a couple of years old), which makes for good quality, but technically ‘out of date’ textbooks filling up school store rooms or ending up in landfill. We send them to where they are really needed, improving access to education to thousands of children in East Africa.