Books impart knowledge

Making learning fun through reading

Children sit five to a desk, many have to sit on the floor, and several children share one book – in Tanzania, class sizes sometimes exceed 100 children. Schoolbooks, however, are in scarce supply. This is why we produce child-friendly and high-quality books in the local language, Swahili.

  • Challenge

    Poor-quality schoolbooks or none at all

  • Measure

    Libraries and books for children aged 5 to 18

  • Aim

    Improving literacy

Number of children supported


Project duration from 2011 to 2019


Library, Books, Stories, Reading, East Africa

Project activities

The Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation runs its book project at 45 schools. The number of books lent out from school libraries has increased. 85% of children now have better reading and writing skills


Schoolbooks are a scarce commodity

Children learn the alphabet at school. Something that goes without saying in Switzerland is rarely the case in Tanzania. Although the school enrolment rate is high, many children cannot read or write after completing their education. Large classes of over 100 children make teaching difficult, and the lack of schoolbooks means that children barely have an opportunity to practise and apply what they have learned.

Teachers are trained to handle large classes

In cooperation with our partner organisation Children’s Book Project, we ensure that children in education receive books that are tailored to their needs. We work with local book publishers, authors and illustrators to produce high quality schoolbooks. These include both study books and reading books that contain stories. For the teaching of large classes, we organise the production of especially large books so that several children can read a book at once.

For older schoolchildren, the focus lies on borrowing books from libraries so that they can read independently. To provide further incentive, writing competitions are held for children and adults. These are intended to further promote the enjoyment of reading, writing and storytelling.

We show teachers child-friendly, innovative methods for creating interesting lessons and making optimum use of the books despite large class sizes.

«Teachers in our region are better trained thanks to the Foundation.»

Agatha Mnaranara
Academic Officer of Kongwa District