The Isle of Man Family Library is spreading the word of books far and wide – with a gift to help set up a library in The Gambia.
It has made the donation through the International Black and White Association, a non-religious and non-political charity, which stands for respect between different races and cultures. The charity helps people who are disadvantaged and exposed to intolerance via link ups with local charities around the world.
Books donated by the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library have been donated for a children’s library in Kololi in the Gambia.
The Family Library and Mobile Family Library are run as a charity under the auspices of the Manx Educational Foundation and the link-up with the International Black and White Association came through a meeting with foundation director Kurt Roosen.
Jennie Thompson, IBWA vice-president, said: ‘I was impressed and saw what a vital service the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library is for the community.
‘They needed a good place for their redundant books to go and the IBWA in Spain has sent many thousands of books to Africa so we thought that here, where we are a Manx-registered charity, we should see what we could do.’
One of the Island directors of IBWA Martin Freestone has business interests in the Gambia.
‘It was through his contacts that we realised we could set up a local library and make the books available to schools,’ said Jennie, who is also secretary of the Manx charity.
The books range from those for young children to large print editions for adults.
‘This is a wonderful donation and one that will make a real difference to people in The Gambia,’ said Jennie.
Mary Cousins, librarian in charge of the Family Library, said: ‘We are more than happy to donate books we no longer have need for to such a worthy cause.
‘Having met Jennie, we were impressed the aims of the charity and more than happy to help.’
And the meeting between the organisations will also benefit others. Mary inquired whether medical instruments left by her father would be of any use and through IBWA contacts with the One World Centre, a woman from Sierra Leone who wanted help her country through the ebola crisis was found and she will make sure they go to the right place.
More details about the IBWA can be found at http://www.ibwassociation.com
For more information about the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library, visit http://www.familylibrary.im
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