Aussie Books for Zim is an Australian registered charity with deductible gift recipient status (ABN 13462778021). We collect books and stationery from Australian communities, schools, families and individuals to set up school libraries in rural Zimbabwe. The organisation seeks to improve literacy in these communities, in order to empower children with knowledge and the confidence to contribute to shaping the world they live in. Connecting communities.
The idea for the project emerged after founder Dr Alfred Chidembo observed the large volumes of excellent condition books that were annually discarded in Australia. Australian libraries send at least 5 million books that could otherwise be ‘upcycled’ and used in libraries of disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe to the landfill yearly. The Aussie Books for Zim project was subsequently launched to address this gap.
According to Dr. Chidembo, “The sight of discarded books immediately brought to memory the children in disadvantaged and rural communities in my home country of Zimbabwe”. Dr Chidembo’s passion and appreciation for books came about when his father moved him to the city from the rural school at seven years of age and registered him at the local library as a personal investment in his future. This move granted him access to books, which were scarce to non-existent in the rural school he had formerly attended. “My father’s investment propelled me to pursue knowledge and science and as a result I am currently a PhD graduate from the Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials at the University of Wollongong, Australia. It would have been nearly impossible for me to dream big in a rural setup without access to books. . I am grateful for the chance I was afforded to read, dream bigger and not only pursue but realize those dreams!”
Board of Members
At Aussie Books for Zim (ABZ) we collect new and gently used books, stationery and library furnishings and ship them to Zimbabwe to set up libraries in rural disadvantaged communities. We seek to improve literacy in disadvantaged communities—to empower children with knowledge and the confidence to help shape the world they live in.
The idea for the project emerged after the founder, Dr Alfred Chidembo, saw how many books were discarded annually in Australia. The idea of ‘turning trash into treasure’ gave birth to the ABZ project. It’s a win-win situation. Zimbabwe gets the books—a gift that keeps on giving—and Australia has a little less landfill.
Dr. Chidembo was born in Zimbabwe, where he went to a rural school for the first two years of primary school. His family moved him to the city when he was seven. This move granted him access to books, which were scarce to non-existent in his previous school. His father enrolled him at a local public library and he became an avid reader. This eventually led to University and a PhD in Materials Engineering. He says, “It would have been nearly impossible for me to be where I am today without access to books. I’m grateful for the chance I was given to read, to dream bigger and to realise those dreams!”
Through Dr Chidembo’s personal experience, ABZ knows how books can transform lives and wants other children to follow in his footsteps. We can’t take all the children to the city libraries, but we can bring the books to them. Our team of passionate, multidisciplinary volunteers hopes to give children in rural Zimbabwe the opportunity to create a brighter future through books. We’re about HOPE, LIFE and BUILDING COMMUNITIES.
Aussie Books for Zim is an Australian registered charity with deductible gift recipient status (ABN 13462778021).
To create brighter futures through books
To create a reading culture, improve literacy in disadvantaged communities, and empower children to learn as much as they can about the world they live in. We believe that by improving literacy, we enhance critical skills and open up channels for learning to reduce poverty and assist communities to solve their own problems.