Arnav and Emma, alumni of the University of Cambridge, UK started a non-profit charity, called Books2All. This charity focussed on reducing the rising levels of educational inequality in the UK through a modern and efficient method of connecting book donors to schools in need. Surprisingly, roughly 1 in 8 schools in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland do not have a library. This disparity is even more pronounced at schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged students.
The founders believe that every student, regardless of their background, must have the opportunity to access resources to further their education. By connecting local book donors to schools in need, they aim to provide resources to improve educational performance and literacy rates nationwide.
"Throughout my life, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had ample opportunities to access books and reading resources. They have helped me not only achieve academic goals but also widened my perception. As I came back home during the nationwide lockdown, I found my room littered with the books that shaped my childhood. I immediately thought about donating them to schools and children in need but found this hard to do, particularly in a pandemic" Arnav shared while speaking to You Humanity.
Inspired by app-based businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo, Arnav adopted this model for altruism in Books2All.
Emma adds, "I have witnessed firsthand the importance of reading books in early stages of development. Upon researching, I was shocked at the statistics that we found. Over 380,000 children do not own a single book, and therefore, are likely to be at an educational disadvantage to their peers who have access to books. Reading is not only crucial for information but also crucial for the development of imagination, curiosity, and memory."
Founders with a Science background decided to jump in the charity sector and started a non-profit from scratch. This had its own challenges and experiences.
"We have been actively recruiting volunteers in order to expand the organisation and have received a lot of positive feedback about the organisation and our aims, which has been incredibly heartwarming," Emma adds.
In the years to come, the aim is for the Books2All to be used extensively nationwide to connect book donors to schools in need. There is a vision to expand the service to other organisations such as foster homes, youth organisations, prisons, and any other groups that are in need of books. On a broader scale, the founders wish that this would be the start of using a more technology-based approach in the charity sector.
"Humanity and kindness are all about helping strangers - people you may never even meet. It is likely that I will never meet any of the students who would benefit from the books donated through Books2All, but I hope through this venture there will be a positive impact on their lives from afar," Arnav said. According to Emma, "Humanity and kindness are about empathy. If you can put yourself in the position of others and recognise how they may act or feel then I believe that you are less likely to judge them, more likely to help them, and generally become a more rational, compassionate individual."
You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Arnav and Emma for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.
If you know someone who is working for others, please share the story https://www.youhumanity.com/share-your-story