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Read to Recovery expands its reach; Needs donations for school books

The Read to Recovery Project, established in Austin and which provides reading material to Swaziland hospital patients in Africa, has expanded its reach to Swaziland schools.

Founder Barb Houle said donations are being sought in order for the group to work with Books for Africa to help obtain the books needed for the project.

“Our goal is to raise $19,000 which will cover shipping the books to Africa, as well as delivering them to the health facilities and schools in Swaziland,” she said.

Books for Africa collects, sorts, ships and distributes books to students of all ages in Africa, in an effort to end the “book famine.”

Swaziland, located in southern Africa, has struggled with the impact of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and limited resources.

Houle and her friend, Lindiwe Sibisi, who lives in Swaziland, started the Read to Recovery project in 2010 after visiting at Mbabane Government Hospital in Swaziland where they found people had nothing to do while recovering from illness.

The program gives books to patients to read during their stay at the hospital. The books are wheeled around on a cart to each patient in the ward and signed out as people choose them. They then sign the book back in when they either finish reading it or are being discharged from the hospital. This ensures the books stay at the hospital for future patients to enjoy.

Now, the circle has been expanded for schools which, if successful, will result in books used for the establishment of libraries in two schools.

If you would like to donate to the project, go online to: https://www.booksforafrica.org

Click on “Donate” and then click on “Donate to a Project” on the left-hand side of the page. Scroll down the page and click on “Swaziland,” to read more about the project and follow the remaining steps.