Have you ever stopped to think what it means when you reach to your bookshelf for a book? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to not be able to go into a local library and find the books you wish to read?
Books play a very important role in our lives: we need them for school, to learn new things and for entertainment. However, for so many other young people around the world, the story is very different indeed. In many places books are not readily available and have become a rare commodity. Wouldn’t you like to help someone your own age to be able to read and discover through books?
Each year, during World Day Against Child Labour celebrations, hundreds of initiatives and activities are carried out. For the past 3 years, children in Geneva have gathered in the Place des Nations, in front of the United Nations building, to show concern for and solidarity with children who have to work, sometimes in very dangerous situations, instead of playing, going to school or enjoying a good book. A book donation was organised and the children brought favourite books of theirs with their personal messages inside to share with children less fortunate than them. In 2008, over 900 books were collected and sent to two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Senegal. Two notebooks containing messages and drawings from the children in Geneva and responses from their peers in Senegal were also prepared. This donation has allowed the NGOs (ENDA GRAF and ASEM), to create small libraries in two community centres, giving local children access to the books and to specially planned activities.
Why not get active in your own community? A lot more than you might think can be accomplished by simply sharing a book!
If you want to organize a book donation, we suggest that you:
- Find out more about the problem of child labour and how we are all affected by globalisation. You can search the web and/or go to your local library.
- Involve others. Talk to your friends and peers about these issues. Brainstorm ideas for book donations and raise funds for sending the books to their final destinations.
- Decide where you want your books to go. Identify a country and destination for the books. Contact the ILO Office or organization you would like to send the books to and start communicating with them.
- Register on the 12 to 12 Community Portal on child labour and upload information/photos on your activities.
Book donation for the World Day Against Child Labour 2008:
- Notebook containing messages and drawings from children in Geneva and Senegal (available only in French)
- Exhibition panels
Book donation for the World Day Against Child Labour 2009: