Build on Books is a Registered Charity Number 1158201

Registered address 38 Oak Tree Road, Marlow, Bucks,SL7 3EE   Contact: +44 (0)1628 476 041






 Build on Books is a Registered Charity Number 1158201

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Build on Books, 38 Oak Tree Road, Marlow, Bucks SL7 3EE

Our Bank details are Build on Books 20-40-71 13757374

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Build on Books

By Lori Spragg

Written For Commonwealth Education Partnerships

Build on Books is helping to rebuild the decimated education system of a country which was once celebrated as the Athens of West Africa.  The story goes that the success of her classical scholars, proficient in Greek and Latin, attracted students from all over the region.  Schools had well stocked libraries and children were encouraged to read for pleasure and education.

Sadly, war put a brutal end to these halcyon days.  During the rebel conflict (1991 – 2002), schools and libraries were looted, or went up in flames; precious books were turned to ash.  In the mayhem, teachers were maimed or fled and the hopes and dreams of children went up in smoke. 

A decade later, many school age children are losing hope for a well-rounded education.  Schools are often dreary and overcrowded, and lack sufficient learning materials.  Community libraries are rare. Without books, students are unable to gain the subject knowledge and study skills necessary for the next stage of their education.

The Commission of Inquiry Into the Poor Performance of Pupils in the 2008 Basic Education Certificate Examination And West African Senior School Certificate Examination,  Chaired by Sahr Philipson Thomas Gbamanja said that ‘Lack of adequate engagement with books and other learning material is a major reason for poor performance’  Furthermore, the commission found that ‘libraries did not exist in many schools and a many pupils did not have access to reading materials at home.’

On the other hand, it seems that we have an over-abundance of books in the United Kingdom. As a nation of voracious readers, we habitually purchase newly published books, and dispose of those we no longer have a use for, even if they are still current. We try to give them away where possible, but millions of books end up as pulp every year.   Additionally, huge quantities of brand new, overstocked books languish in the warehouses of publishers, authors and book promoters. 

Sierra Leone and the UK are two countries linked, not only by a shared history, but by language too.   As English is the language of education in both countries, Build on Books is attempting to redress the imbalance by collecting and ship vast quantities of books to Sierra Leone. 

In less than three years, more than a third of a million books have been collected, sorted and shipped to Sierra Leone. Those books have now been distributed and are currently being read by knowledge-hungry students. More than 150 schools and two community libraries have received books in the past few years.  More than 50,000 students now have plenty to stimulate their developing minds.   Schools receive about 2,000 books each which includes a wide range of reading materials, especially selected for the students they serve. Many other communities are now eagerly waiting for their turn to receive books.

The number of books we are able to send  in the future is only limited by the funding for shipping.


Please help us send more  good quality, textbooks for mathematics, the sciences, humanities and languages plus dictionaries, encyclopaedias, classic literature, all sorts of reference books, fiction and non-fiction, poetry and primary school readers. 



Commission of Inquiry into the Poor Performance of Pupils in the 2008 Basic Education Certificate Examination and West African Senior School Certificate Examination


Presented to: HIS EXCELLENCY DR. ERNEST BAI KOROMA, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone








“I love to read Snow White and Rose Red by Vera Southgate.

It is an interesting story. I love Snow White and Rose Red because they were devoted to each other and loved their mother who was a widow.”


Aged 10 years, Waterloo


I love to read Funny Bones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
This book teaches me. It lets me know that all living things have


Ibrahim Age 13 years ,St. Raphael Primary School , Waterloo

"One thing I have to admit is that we now have plenty of books in our community as compared to the past years. These books have many impact in my life and the life of many, especially children. During the past years children were afraid of books especially text books. But now almost every school you go to you will see pupils reading text books. The primary children are no more afraid of books. The books are also reducing the quantity of writing [copying out] pupils do now. As for my younger brother, every day the teacher would give him one story book to read at home. The text books are really widening our knowledge, the way we think, taking reference from books etc . . . We in waterloo we highly appreciate the good work you are doing for us.

Mohamed  J.  Bah (Waterloo)

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