It is well over 10 years now since the Tsunami, caused by an earthquake in the Indian Ocean, led to the deaths of thousands of people and the destruction of whole communities.
Since then many charities have helped the Sri Lankan people to rebuild their lives and their communities. Lions International, in particular, provided funds to help build new schools.
Representatives from Minster Lions Club visited Sri Lanka to see how the rebuilding was progressing and to investigate further means of help. They discovered that the schools and libraries were extremely short of children’s books because most had been destroyed by the disaster.
PDG Lion George Bennett, on his return, decided to initiate a project to collect children’s books in the UK, collate them and send them to Sri Lanka. On arrival in that country, local Lions Clubs would distribute them to areas that needed them most.
He named this project Library in a Box.
The project has been incredibly successful over the years that it has been in existence. Well over 79,000 books together with pens, pencils and other stationery have been collected and sent, but many schools, particularly in remote areas of Sri Lanka, are still short of books and the project is continuing.
Many children from Sri Lanka have written letters to schools in the UK, thanking them for their generosity.
The target is to collect and despatch over 100,000 children’s books for 4-16 years old, and we urge you within your Clubs to collect from your local schools and libraries those books that the staff want to dispose of and to look out for other sources that want to dispose of books.
Many schools have fetes at this time of year and afterwards are very keen to get rid of their unsold books.
We know that some of the Lions Clubs within the district have been collecting books for the project for years; however, there may be some that could be interested to start collecting themselves.
We prefer books to be packed into old banana boxes (complete with their lids), because these have been tried and tested over many years now and are tough and secure.
It helps enormously to count the number of books on packing, them thereby saving us many hours of repacking to obtain figures! Write the number on the outside of the box.
If you find that transporting them to Minster Lions’ site at Murton, York, might be a problem, please get in touch either by phone or email. We have members who have suitable vehicles and may be able to help.
Please contact Lion Rob James, Minster Lions Club of York, on:
01904 693586 (Voicemail)
or email to:
Lion Robert James
Minster of York Lions Club