Wednesday, July 24, 2024
July 24, 2024

Book Bus campaign for Zambia underway

Salt Spring’s Margriet Ruurs is the author of more than 40 published children’s books. One of those is called My Librarian is a Camel, which features mobile libraries around the world.

It’s fitting, then, that she and family members are heading to Zambia later this month to volunteer with a unique mobile library called The Book Bus, and hopefully bringing lots of books for the library with them.

A few years ago, Ruurs and her husband Kees travelled to Zambia to volunteer with The Book Bus. This year, Ruurs decided to take her two grandsons and their mother along to do the same.

“I think it is important for the boys to experience life on a different continent, but also to engage in volunteer work,” Ruurs said.

The Book Bus program is a not-for-profit organization based in the U.K., which runs literacy programs for children in Zambia. Ruurs, grandsons Nico, aged 14, Aidan, aged 12 and their mom Hannah will all be working as volunteers in the town of Kitwe in northern Zambia.

“We expect to be helping children discover the joy of books by reading to them, doing crafts based on books and running a summer program,” Ruurs explained.

Aidan Ruurs is a well-known young skateboarder who rides in Kanaka Park most days. His goal is to share his love of skateboarding by teaching kids in Zambia to ride. His sponsor, Nanaimo-based Vault, as well as Salt Spring’s Axe & Reel, have generously donated skateboards and equipment that the family will take along.

They have also started a GoFundMe Campaign in hopes of bringing the gift of books from Canadian friends and supporters. Many Canadian children’s authors have already contributed to the cause. Any Salt Springers wishing to help reach the goal of sponsoring a shelf full of books and teaching materials for children in Zambia are encouraged to check out the page. Ruurs’ fundraising goal is $1,750.

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