FC Barcelona Help 1 Million E-Books Reach African Children


Worldreader, a non-profit organisation, has kicked off a campaign to get 1 million e-books in the hands of African children with the help of FC Barcelona, one of the world’s most popular sports teams.

To date Worldreader has donated 100, 000 books to 1,000 students in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. With this campaign they wish to expand its reach and the players of FC Barcelona (Barça) can help them do that.  They believe that the popularity of Barça and its players will help inspire students to keep reading.

The organisation plans to include personalised messages on e-readers from some of the team’s biggest stars such as Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Eric Abidal and Seydou Keita; which they hope will encourage students to continue their education. David Risher, CEO and co-founder of Worldreader, said in an interview with website Mashable, “When a student sees the image of a player he idolises, it brings a whole new culture and habit, associating reading with a hero. Using these tricks we can get kids to read more, making it more fun and a bigger part of their lives.”

The donated e-books include class literature, local African textbook and storybooks, and newspapers from around the world.

E-Readers Have Big Impact

Worldreader first began delivering books to Ghana in 2010. At the same time, they launched a study, funded by USAID, to measure this implementation of the e-readers in classrooms in the developing world. The study found that the students’ performance in tests jumped between 12.9% and 15.7%.

These results are encouraging for the organisation and the reason for the results may be in the technology itself. E-readers excite children because they’re more interesting than books; they feel like a gadget that children can play with. Not only that, but they also have the ability to change settings on the books from the font size to contrast which can aid students who would have difficulty reading a book otherwise due to improper eyewear or none at all.

Currently Worldreader mostly distributes books on Amazon Kindles, mainly due to the technology working around the world and also because Risher is a former Amazon executive, but the organisation is also looking into using feature phones.

At the cost of $5 dollars to donate one e-book, Worldreader is proving that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to make a difference in a child’s life and education.

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