Charity to send library to South Africa

A PORTISHEAD charity hopes to ship a container full of books to South Africa and then convert the structure into a community library.

Za Foundation was set up two years ago to help children from the Nkomazi region in South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world.

The foundation provides funding for Zakhele, a drama group that provides education about HIV through drama, dance and music both in schools and in the community.

The charity also works with children in North Somerset and every two years a new Zakhele group from South Africa comes over to run workshops on subjects such as HIV awareness, cultural diversity, dancing, singing and drama.

Za’s latest aim is to fill a 40ft container with books and ship it over to South Africa before turning it into a library for the community.

Charity director, Lisa Penney said: “The Nkomazi region is extremely poor and there is no library within a 30-mile radius.

“Books are just out of the reach of ordinary people. We want to change that.

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“When it arrives we will convert the container into a library by cutting out windows and a door, adding solar panels for power. We will also provide funding and training for librarians.

“We want people from North Somerset to donate books knowing that people will be able to enjoy them at the other end. We would like to get the whole community involved.”

The charity is appealing for books, in good condition, for all ages from children to adults. Books by African authors or with an African theme would be a bonus as would the donation of a sea-worthy container.

As well as donations of items, staff estimate they need to raise �10,000 to fund the project.

Anyone interested in helping can find out more at or by calling the charity on 01275 848775 or emailing

Donations by text are also welcome. Donators should text ZAZA11 and the amount to 70070.

Books can be sent directly to Za Foundation, 36 High Street, Portishead BS20 6EN.

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