Books for Hope is a not-for-profit organization with the aim of changing lives of children in remote and poor villages in Southeast Asia through education. We work with local communities to build bi-lingual libraries where children are introduced to the outside world through books. The aim is to:
- Intercept the vicious cycle of poverty by instilling a passion for reading and lifelong learning
- Solve local social and community problems through books
- Provide villagers global knowledge to narrow the urban-rural gap
We want to enable and encourage these children to read – because knowing more is the start to achieving more.
- Give 10,000 children in remote villages access to libraries in one year
- Increase interest in reading and literacy rate in each village by 50%
- Facilitate better education by providing local teachers with adequate teaching resources
What We Do
Bi-lingual Libraries: Together with local communities and villages, we set up bi-lingual libraries in remote villages. Through these libraries, we bring poor children into a world of colorful pictures, words and numbers to inculcate a liking for reading and a passion for lifelong learning.
Weekend Enrichment Workshops (WEW): We have Teacher Volunteers who conduct WEW in the village on weekends. Through these, we hope to:
Stimulate childrens’ learning through interactive games and advanced pedagogical methods
Assist children with their homework
Improve local teachers’ teaching methods
Scholarships: Often, children from poor families drop out after primary school because they lack the financial ability to enroll into high school. Through our Scholarship Program, we will identify students with high potential in each village to be enrolled into high schools and local universities. We believe that these bright students, if given a chance and an education, will one day be able to better the lives of their families and communities.
Our First Country – Indonesia
In Indonesia, much of the government’s development efforts have only been for the capital, Jakarta and other main cities. All the rest of the 250 million population are marginalized and denied even the most basic opportunity – education.
As a result, more than 30 million people are still illiterate (that is Australia and Singapore combined- unable to read or write). Out of those who attend primary school, only around 50% of them continue on to secondary school and from this, only 8% enter Universities. With a GDP per capita of USD150 per month, education is a luxurious item accessible only to the fortunate (Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2006).
Within 3 months of inception, Books for Hope has set up 6 Libraries in 6 villages ranging from West Sumatera to Central Java Island to East Java Island.
The rural Indonesian people are a resilient group. Amidst their poverty, parents are trying hard to provide basic education for their children. They believe that a brighter future for their children and themselves lies in getting their children to school. In Indonesia, Books for Hope aims to reach out to as many marginalized remote and poor villages as possible.
Grace Sai, the Founder and CEO of Books for Hope is a graduate from one of Asia’s top three Business School – the Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Whilst her work has her based in Jakarta, Grace has first-handedly observed how impoverished the local education standards are – and how glaring the disparity is as compared to the wealthier neighboring countries of Singapore and Malaysia. Propelled by two dreams re-inspired by an Oprah episode on John Wood, Grace bravely launched Books for Hope in May 2008, equipped with nothing but human compassion and a strong education.
In just two weeks, she has gathered a team of competent young leaders under her ‘Leadership Team’. They come from different backgrounds having careers in notable companies such as Accenture, DBS, P&G, and Sampoerna Foundation. In less than 3 weeks, Books for Hope had a commitment of 3000 books, USD1000 and book collection points from donors and supporters ranging from Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, UK and USA.
Books for Hope continues to strive for results by partnering with for-profit and non-profit organizations. We are also expanding our field teams to bring about better results from our projects.