Francis Jones sorts books for the second container.
The Costa del Sol-based International Black & White Association (IBWA), which aims to “promote understanding and appreciation of different peoples”, has this week re-launched its appeal for the donation of second hand books that will be distributed in schools, colleges and libraries in Africa.
The not-for-profit, non-political and non-religious organisation, established in 2011, has to date sent more than 10,500 books to sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project (BBALP), an international body that promotes literacy.
“We sent over 10,000 books in our first container and now we’re more than half way through filling our second. We currently have about 7,000 that have already been donated to us, which is amazing, but we’d like another 4,000 to fill the container to the brim before it heads off to Africa,” IBWA’s Wendy Van Der Veen tells SUR in English.
“The majority of the first shipment of books went to Equatorial Guinea because they were Spanish books, and Spanish is the national language there.
“However, most of the books in this second container that we’re now working on are in English, and will be sent to Nigeria for distribution. Therefore, we’re really appealing for more English books this time around.
“Books of all descriptions – novels, non-fiction, dictionaries, encyclopedias, children’s books, and adults’ books – are all very welcome and will be gratefully received.”
The official IBWA drop-off point is the ‘W and M’ shop in Fuengirola (Calle Feria de la Cremá).
Wendy continues: “Sending books to Africa might seem like a simple idea but it really is transformative for those who receive them.
“By being literate, by being educated, people in these poor parts of Africa have a future. So, giving a book is, really, giving hope - where there could be none, or very little, at the moment.”
The International Black & White Association, established to help unite people of different races, religions and backgrounds through art, music, culture, sport and supporting charities, is the brainchild of its president, Nigerian-born Fuengirola resident, Francis Jones Ezeileoba.
In January 2012, during the first committee meeting, he told this newspaper that he had dreamed of setting up an organisation of this kind for more than 15 years due to the racism he had experienced whilst travelling around different parts of Europe.
Today, says Wendy Van Der Veen, the IBWA is “going strong and has gained unswerving support” from prominent public institutions and brands, including the Fuengirola Town Hall, the Embassy of Nigeria, Fundación Málaga, Central Ciudadana and Málaga Club de Fútbol.
Both the Mayor of Fuengirola and the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain have been awarded as ‘Members of Honour’ of IBWA in recognition of their support.
For more information you can email the association at email@example.com or find IBWA on Facebook and visit their website: www.ibwassociation.com