School donates over 400 books to libraries in Kenya

L to R: Just Be A Child's Lenka McAlinden, Purwell Primary's head Richard Cano and Suki Barhey

L to R: Just be a Child's Lenka McAlinden, Purwell Primary's head Richard Cano and Suki Barhey - Credit: Richard Cano

A Hitchin school has donated more then 400 books to a Stevenage-based charity which helps build libraries in Kenya.

Generous donations came flooding in from the parents and pupils of Purwell Primary School for the drive, as many parents (and kids!) took the time to have a much-needed clear-out during the multiple lockdowns this year.

In recent years, Purwell has supported Stevenage-based charity Just Be A Child, which works with Kenyan communities to operate libraries and learning centres, while supplying the contents - such as books - to keep them running.

Members of the Purwell School community have donated games, puzzles and toys in recent years and, thanks to the phenomenal responses and sheer volume of donations, decided to run the successful incentive again this year.

Purwell Primary's head Richard Cano alongside Lenka McAlinden, founder of Just Be A Child, with the donated books

Purwell Primary's head Richard Cano alongside Lenka McAlinden, founder of Just be a Child, with the abundance of donations which will be sent to Kenya - Credit: Richard Cano

Richard Cano, Purwell Primary's head, said: "Purwell School are delighted to support the Just be a Child charity.


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"Our parents have been wonderfully generous in donating lots of well-loved children's books from home. It's such a nice feeling to think these books will be enjoyed and loved again, by children in Kenya."

Donations came pouring in, with books from a variety of genres and age ranges donated to the scheme. In line with coronavirus guidance, donations were left in quarantine for 72 hours before sorting them.

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"There were some wonderful books like the Gruffalo, Winnie the Pooh and encyclopaedias with beautiful pictures inside," Richard added. 

"The thought of a child in Kenya enjoying those books and imagining a world beyond their horizons makes it all worthwhile."

Dr Lenka McAlinden, chief executive of the charity said: "We are delighted with the continuous support by Purwell School, their teachers, pupils and their parents. Purwell School has donated wonderful books to us ever since our very first Kenyan library in 2015, and we cherish every book from them.

"We were worried about the continuous impact of COVID on our little charity, but thanks to the long-term supporters like Purwell School and new donors that find us via our social media or through friends, we are well on the way to send over 35,000 books to Kenya later in July."

To find out more about Just Be A Child, visit their website.

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