This project will help provide books in Arabic and Farsi to refugees in Athens, isolated refugee camps on the islands, and in shelters across Greece. It will help set up new libraries and make books accessible to over 30,000 refugees and migrants who up until now have not had access to educational materials, literature, children's books and their written heritage.
There are currently over 150,000 refugees and migrants in Greece with limited or no access to books in their own languages. Our multilingual library is able to serve those in Athens but we frequently receive requests from camps all over Greece to supply books in Arabic and Farsi. This project will allow us to make books available for thousands of refugees in the camps, provide more for those in Athens and help rebuild in a new location the library of Moria which was burnt in a fire in September.
Purchasing books will enable our multilingual library to launch a lending offering in 2021 to support the broader refugee community in Athens. The books will be in Arabic and Farsi, for children and adults. This lending offering will allow us to better serve our community, especially in the light of COVID 19, as being able to take books home will limit our borrowers exposure to danger. We will also be able to provide books to refugee camps across Greece.
Empowering refugees to set up libraries in the refugee camps and supplying them with books will make books accessible to more than 10,000 people in the refugee camps. In Athens, our lending scheme could reach more than 20,000 refugees and migrants who are living in isolation because of COVID 19 restrictions. Books cultivate a love for education, improve mental health, increase empathy, provide solace and reconnect us with humanity. They empower us, enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.