Woman reading a book to group of refugee children

What we do

In April, 2022, several weeks after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, we launched the first of our projects to provide refugee children with books in their native language. Within a year, 20,000 full-color picture books were printed and distributed among Ukrainian refugee children in 7 countries, in schools, shelters, and families.

But that was only the beginning. There are millions of refugee children from other parts of the world who have limited or no access to books in their native tongue: children from Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Myanmar, Eritrea… the list, unfortunately goes on.

With that in mind, we developed our second project, Sunbird, which provides books for refugee children from Afghanistan and Iran. Plans for the (near) future include a follow-up to the Ukranian project and an exploration of the possibilities for a Syrian project.

Each of our book projects focuses on a specific language group: the choice of language is determined by urgency (how and where can we be most effective?) as well as availability of suitable books and/or book files. There are other important factors: what, if anything, is already available to these children? Will a particular book have cultural or political repercussions? Fortunately, we have a wide community of educators, reading specialists, translators, publishers, and native speakers with whom we can exchange ideas and discuss new options.

The process that follows is both challenging and exciting: we search for publishers in the land of origin, negotiate fair and reasonable prices for the use of their material, work together with Ten Brink Publishers here in the Netherlands to produce affordable books of the highest possible quality, and oversee the entire distribution process.

Of course, none of this would be feasible without funds. Much of our work consists of crowdfunding and application to potential grant-givers. Members of our team receive no financial compensation. It is truly a labor of love -- and learning!



Next: Why it matters

Get the newsletter

Please wait...

Thank you!

Follow us