Sakala's dream: How does The Book Bus transform lives through reading in Zambia?

On World Book Day, The Book Bus launched a campaign to send 10,000 quality books from the UK to Zambia. This blog imagines Sakala, who needs quality books to help realise his big dreams of being a pilot.

2022 update: Following our successful campaign in 2021, The Book Bus launched a campaign to send a further 10,000 books to children in Zambia. You can donate to our 2022 JustGiving campaign here. The JustGiving links in this post have been amended to point to the 2022 campaign.
Update: On April 15th 2021, The Book Bus hit our goal of £1,500 on JustGiving. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed! Your kind donations will support our goal of sending books for over 3,200 children in Kitwe. If you would like to support The Book Bus, you can continue to do so via our Donate page.

Sakala is 7 years old and is the eldest of 8 children. He lives in Kamatanda, a small village near the Zambezi, located some 40km from the nearest big town of Livingstone. The family tends a patch of land on the edge of the village and sell their produce at a small market at the crossing point on the Zambia/Botswana border.

Sakala dreams of being a pilot and flying the planes he sees carrying tourists over the village on their way to Livingstone; they come from all over the world to see the mighty Victoria Falls and view the wildlife in the nearby National Parks.

An outdoor classroom in Kamatanda.

Neither of Sakala’s parents can read or write but they are keen that he and his siblings gain an education. The village school is basic: it has 4 classrooms, a few desks, and no electricity or running water.

At the moment, Sakala is learning in Tonga, one of Zambia’s seven official languages. Next year, however, he and his classmates will move up to Grade 4 where all lessons are conducted in English – the country’s formal language of government, business and education, but a language that is barely spoken in the village.

Sakala’s teachers, like teachers all over Zambia, face the challenge of converting their pupils into English speakers in under-resourced schools with very few books.

Share the joy of reading with children like Sakala

Children like Sakala are why The Book Bus is committed to providing quality reading resources in Zambia.

Eager school children in Kamatanda await a delivery of books by The Book Bus.

We have been supporting schools in Zambia since 2008 with books that help children develop their English language skills. These books help fill libraries, reading corners, and our mobile Book Buses. Today they support thousands of children attending primary schools throughout Zambia.

We take great care in selecting books that reinforce the school curriculum and supply text in both local language and English to help young learners make the transition from one language to another. Our books come from many different sources; our in-country team make best use of the limited supply of locally produced books, but for quality books that inspire children to read we often have to import material from outside the country.

Because of this need for books in Zambia, The Book Bus is asking for your help. On World Book day, we launched a campaign to send 10,000 books from the UK to Zambia. These books and quality resources will support over 3,200 children attending 20 schools in Kitwe.

A Kamatanda Head Teacher with Book Bus staff, with one of our six Book Buses in the background.

Thanks to the incredible support received so far, we’ve already raised 82% of the £1,500 we need. That means that less than £300 is now needed to ensure that thousands of children like Sakala will have access to the books that will inspire them to read and write and progress with a quality education that will help their dreams get off the ground. You can donate via JustGiving to help us reach more children like Sakala.