UK Scouts help Bookbridge library centers in Cambodia
This summer, the UK Scouts started a nationwide campaign to collect children books for Bookbridge to establish teaching libraries in Cambodia. Bookbridge is one of the four charities supported by UK Scouts.
The book collection campaign allows children and young people in Cambodia to have an access to education. UK Scouts set-up 28 collection centres across the country and collected 75,000 books – far surpassing the 30,000 target. Over 40 volunteers helped in sorting, packing and delivering the books to Cambodia. “This was a magnificent effort,’ said Daisy Charlton, International Adviser at The Scout Association. ‘It was humbling to see the generosity and hardwork of many Scouts who made this project successful.”
“We didn’t expect anything like this at all. People even came to the campsite on weekend to sort and to hand over more books,” Martina Knittel from Bookbridge said.
Within two months, Scouts and Bookbridge established two libraries in Takeo, in the northern part of the country and in Siem Reap, about 60km southwest of Phom Penh. Many volunteers took part in unloading boxes, sorting and stamping books and even setting up colorful shelves donated by 15 different schools, in southwest of Germany.
In just a matter of two weeks, over 1,000 children registered for the libraries and both Bookbridge Cambodian Scouts were overwhelmed by the throng of children who came on a regular basis.
Education is highly valued in Cambodia and families pay big part of their income to send their kids to school.
Next year, Bookbridge and Cambodian Scouts agree to continue setting up more libraries across the country.