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We want your books for 50K South Africa book project

50K books logo

Three co-operative schools – Campsmount Technology College near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, South Axholme School in Epworth, Lincolnshire and Aire Valley School near Bradford, West Yorkshire – are asking for your help to meet the challenge of collecting 50,000 books for children in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

Makhasa High School, Kwa Zulu Natal

The books will stock the libraries of three schools near Hluhluwe in the Kwa Zulu Natal region, a poor area with high unemployment and HIV/AIDs infection rates. The schools form one end of a linking project established to strengthen global education both at home and in South Africa.

We are collecting books which can be read by all ages, though books for young people aged 11-18 are particularly suitable. Our partner schools in South Africa teach in English so language is not a problem. We recommend donating the sort of book you would give a child or young person for their birthday or Christmas, for example story books, children's novels, factual books, reading scheme books, dictionaries (especially illustrated ones) and encyclopaedias (although these should not be more than ten years old). Children can also donate the books they no longer read. Books should be in good condition. Although we welcome both fiction and non-fiction, unfortunately text books are not accepted as they are unlikely to fit with the curriculum in South Africa.

The books will be shipped to South Africa by the charity Community Heart which works with local people and organisations to provide self-help solutions to help overcome the legacy of post-apartheid racism. Community Heart aims to give access to books and foster a love of learning, because about 20,000 schools in the country, with 10 million pupils, have few books and no libraries. The project is also supported by the Co-operative College and the Co-operative Group.

How to donate

You can take books along to Campsmount, Aire Valley and South Axholme Schools, as well as local collection points nearby, including Epworth Library (South Axholme), Askern Co-operative Food and Askern Petrol (Campsmount) and Saltaire Co-operative Food and High Park Drive Co-operative Food (Aire Valley). We also welcome deliveries to the Co-operative College. If you have any books you think may be suitable please contact Julie Thorpe on 0161 246 2958 or at to arrange delivery.

About the schools in South Africa

Malabela High School

Makhasa High School at Mduku

Makhasa High School is a modern school in a former Bantustan area where many people are unemployed and live only on government grants. There is a very high teenage pregnancy rate and there are very high rates of HIV and AIDS infection.

The school has 478 learners in grades 8-12 (aged 12-18, although there ar e other students in the school aged between 18 and 27). There are typically 50-60 students per classroom.

Kwa Giba High School, Kwa Zulu Natal

Kwa Giba High School

Kwa Giba High School is in an area of subsistence farming. There are 1,192 students from grade 8-12 spread across 18 classrooms. All classes are overcrowded as the school has only 33 staff.

Malabela High School

Malabela High School is a senior secondary school with 480 learners, of which eighty have lost both parents. There are twenty teaching staff and three non-teaching staff.