With over 70.8 million displaced people worldwide, the world is experiencing the most significant displacement crisis since WWII. Due in part to constrained international budgets, many refugees and displaced communities are faced with a severe lack of services and support.
This is particularly acute when it comes to education.
Despite the fact that over 31 million children are currently uprooted from their homes, humanitarian actors allocate only 3.6% of their budgets to investments in formal and informal education programs. To compound this problem, many conflict zones and refugee camps can be classified as "book deserts". These areas are environments where it is difficult or virtually impossible for families to access reading resources.
For displaced families, this reality is particularly dire. Early access to reading materials is critical in the development of children's literacy skills and socio-emotional development. A growing body of scientific evidence also suggests that reading can play an important role in healing from trauma. Without adequate access to books and other reading materials, adults can also suffer. In addition to missing out on the personal benefits of reading, they may face a lack of information on sensitive topics such as domestic violence or addiction. Millie’s Bookshelf seeks to fill this gap.