Some of you might recall the children’s reading space we helped set up and continue to support on the island of Ovalau in Fiji. The space continues to draw children and young people in. On a recent trip I popped in to take stock of what we needed to do and I found two young men sitting comfortably engrossed in books. This demonstrates the lack of ‘third spaces’ (outside of the home and the school) for children and young people. Patrick and I have quietly supported the space financially and by donating items and we will continue to do so but one of the best ways to help the children and young people is if we got more people involved. The space isn’t just a reading space, it’s a creative space and the staff are quick to organise activities (craft, games and book readings) to keep the children engaged.

I thought I’d reach out to you to see if you could help. Below are some items that tend to reappear on the request list we get from the space:

  • Books. Libraries in Fiji are often inundated with old, ex-library books and while they are still valuable our children are missing out on the latest titles and developments in children’s literature. I’d love to get a couple of copies of new-ish titles like the Harry Potter series and Roald Dahl books in there.
  • Art Supplies. During the school holidays there is often very little to do on the island. Organised art and craft activities keep children engaged and offer a creative alternative to routine holiday games and chores. The staff use what they can get their hands on: paint, crayons, paper, felt – anything.
  • Legos. Last year we got a request for Lego building blocks for after-school and holiday activities.
  • Furniture. We have been looking and looking for little comfy (but easy to move around) sofas/stools or child friendly furniture for the space. Right now the kids have mats and carpets with large cushions and they love it but we’d really like to spruce the space up a bit.

If you’re in a position to help us out please do get in touch and we can have a chat. I know shipping to Fiji and then getting things across to the island is tricky (trust me, we know) but hopefully we can figure out ways around that. Patrick and I are so thankful for the encouragement and support the readers of A Life Un-Styled offer us and all the philanthropic projects we support.

You can find more photos of the children’s reading space here.

One comment on “The Children’s Reading Space: Can You Help?”

  • Rowena says:

    So easy to get good books but try getting them to Fiji from Australia – the cost is exorbitant. I had a system set up where Lifeline gave me 30 to 90 children’s books in a carton (in good condition) for the princely sum of $2.00. I delivered these to Brisbane where they were shipped f.o.c. by a business owner in Suva who regularly sent over a container. F.I.R.C.A in their wisdom fined him for doing so with $FJ3000 and put on their own price for the books, totally disregarding what I had purchased them for. Naturally the very kind shipper was no longer willing to send the books over.
    How stupid and short-sighted was this of the Fiji Government? I could have sent thousands of books this way and equipped many villages with their own library. Fiji children will read if there are books, I know from my personal experience of living in Levuka.

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