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The Literacy Ledger Reflections, findings, stories and the lowdown

Mighty Humble Bundles Make a Huge Impact

August 25, 2016 By

Humble Bundle is based on an innovative, but simple, premise: they assemble bundles of digital content (games, e-books and audiobooks) and let users pay what they want for them. What’s even better is that buyers are allowed to allocate a chosen amount of their payment to a charity attached to the Bundle. These incredible Bundles raise significant funds for different causes across the globe.

humble bundle send kindle e-readers to worldreader e-reading program

In a world of set prices where the assumption is that if people can pay less for things they will, Humble Bundle operates on the opposite assumption: if you treat people with respect, they will be generous.

Through these small but mighty e-book and audiobook bundles, Humble Bundle and its customers have raised over $442,000 for Worldreader since 2014 – $146,00 from 2016 bundles alone. While this funding has been instrumental in supporting many of Worldreader’s major e-reading initiatives over the past two years, it is the story of one Humble Bundle-sponsored school in particular that we want to shine a light on today.  

Al-waleed Basic Comprehensive school serves the biggest slum community in Accra, Ghana called Nima. It’s a tough environment that does not actively encourage formal education – but Al-waleed has a committed headmaster and passionate teachers who are willing to help the 600+ students achieve their dreams. With the sponsorship from Humble Bundle, Al-waleed received a Worldreader BLUE Box containing 50 e-readers and 5,000 books earlier this year.

humble bundle send kindle e-readers to worldreader e-reading program

When a few members of Worldreader staff dropped in on the school a few months ago we were inspired by what we saw.

The program launched less than six months ago and yet here was a classroom, with 45 primary 4 students, comfortably using the e-readers for an English reading session. Andy Mensah, the Al waleed project manager, was running group reading sessions with students reading different levels of books. Three titles were being read across the groups: Kofi Has Malaria, Go Girl Sister Spirit and Lami’s Story. Apart from the fact that these stories targeted different levels of readers in the class, the students found the characters and themes of these books relatable to their own lives.

Almost every student had been sick with malaria before, so they could relate to Kofi’s unpleasant experience. Recently, there has been a wave of female empowerment movements throughout Nima, fighting against the practice of child marriage, and Go Girl Sister Spirit highlighted this female strength through a strong girl protagonist. Lami’s Story was also a beloved favorite: the girls could relate to Lami’s community and all the characters as the story was written by a Ghanaian author, Kwaku Osei-Bonsu. While simple storybooks on the surface, these stories with strong characters and sometimes mature topics, are instilling important values in the minds and hearts of these students.

humble bundle send kindle e-readers to worldreader e-reading program

After class, Andy noted, “the students are doing really well. I have seen them improve tremendously in their reading ability. Children are using new vocabulary in the classroom, which is very impressive. They are always excited to have the readers in their classroom.” With every passing day, the reading culture is growing stronger at Al-waleed, and with it, turning this school of young readers into leaders in their community. These e-readers are paving the way to unlock the potential of the hundreds of students, one e-book at a time. And that’s why these Humble donations have proven to have huge impact.

Like Humble Bundle, Worldreader is built on a simple, but powerful, idea: books have the power to change lives. We are thrilled to have found such a strong partner among Humble Bundle and their community of users– we are floored by the generosity, and with it we will be able to impact more schools like Alwaleed in the future.

Are you a company interested in partnering with Worldreader? Contact Alexandra Bornhoft at alexandra@worldreader.org

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