THE County Library, Castlebar, is supporting UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s book-reading campaign being run in partnership with Children’s Books Ireland.
Centred around World Refugee Day on 20 June, the book-reading campaign is an opportunity to salute the strength and courage of refugees; the solidarity of those countries, including Ireland, who assist refugees; and the contribution refugees make to countries around the world.
“With the world facing the worst refugee crisis since World War II, there has never been a more important time for people to listen to refugees’ stories. Reading allows us to learn from within another person’s perspective, in a way that no other media can capture,” said Enda O’Neill, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland.
“Reading a refugee book reminds us of the great contribution refugees make to the countries that offer them protection worldwide, including Ireland, which has admitted over 1.800 persons under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme since 2015.”
This year, bestselling Irish Children’s author Dave Rudden is signing up with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Children’s Books Ireland to launch the campaign.
“The scale of the refugee crisis is staggering, but stories have always been used to find the personal in the gigantic, to give children the tools to understand what's happening in their world, to find common ground where you can hear and be heard” said Dave Rudden.
“I'm really honoured to be a part of that, in whatever way I can.”
Over 200 participating bookshops and libraries across the country can advise on what books are written about refugees. Popular titles include ‘The Kite Runner’, which documents the boyhood friendship of two friends in Afghanistan and ‘A Dangerous Crossing‘, a story about a Kurdish boy and his family in Syria, who were forced to flee their home. There is a free UNHCR bookmark with each title bought or borrowed.
The book-reading campaign will be taking place in participating libraries and bookshops across County Mayo and nationwide from June 18-30.. A range of events will be taking place to mark World Refugee Day 2018. For a full list of events, visit: http://www.unhcr.ie/