Book Aid International began sending books to Somalia in 1969. Since 1991 the country has been riven by internal conflict and without an effective central government. While the literacy rate is very low, at 24%, Somalia has a strong poetic and literary tradition and schooling is highly valued. Book Aid International are now working in the autonomous and relatively stable regions of Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland. In 2014 we sent 21,026 books to Somaliland. Supported by our books, local communities are making real progress on rebuilding their damaged educational infrastructure. We have been working in all three territories with the Africa Educational Trust.
Very few statistics exist for Somalia. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 51.2 years and under-fives mortality rate, 180 deaths per 1,000 live births. These are amongst the lowest and highest, respectively, in the world.
Population of Puntland: 2.4 million
Population of Somaliland: 3.5 million
Gross enrolment in education: 16.6%
Why we work in Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland
The civil war of the 1990s left libraries and schools burned to the ground and a country divided. Whilst much of the country remains highly unstable there are two areas, Somaliland and Puntland, which are relatively stable and are rebuilding their educational infrastructure. Most importantly there are local partners who can use our books to develop their societies.
Along with local languages and Arabic, English is an official language so that the books donated by British publishers are greatly appreciated.