The Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum welcomed Vinay Ruparelia and John Calder of local charity ‘Books Abroad’ as guest speakers at the club’s most recent meeting.
Books Abroad was founded as LINK in 1982 by Keith Brunskill, a teacher at Banff Academy. Based in Rhynie, the charity now has around 50 individuals involved in the running of the organisation. It has around 300,000 books stored in its warehouse, sending out approximately a quarter of a million books each year.
Books, which are mainly donated by local schools and libraries, are shipped to local contacts for onward distribution. To date, over 1,600 schools have benefited from the charity’s support, with in excess of 2.5 million books being sent out since the charity was founded.
John and Vinay, who are both members of the Rotary Club of Banff, told the club of a recent trek which they had taken through Nepal, where the charity had been working together with the Scottish-based Nepal Schools Trust.
The men undertook the trek in order to see where some of the books donated by the charity had gone, and shared some of the pictures they had taken of the schools which had benefited from the charity’s work, as well as of the spectacular Himalayan landscape.
While in Nepal, they had also, they said, taken the opportunity to visit some facilities operated by ‘First Steps Himalaya’, a charity which Oldmeldrum Rotary has been supporting. The club was shown photographs of some of the facilities which Rotary funding had helped to provide to the charity, which was, said John, doing a “Sterling job” in providing educational opportunities for pre-school children and their families.