Over 2,000 books collected for children and youth in Guyana and Trinidad

Barrels of Books

The Books for Back Home Drive saw a record number of donations enabling a large shipment of books in support of literacy in the Caribbean.

The Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association (“ICCA”) is proud to announce a successful book drive supporting local community-based literacy initiatives in

Guyana and Trinidad. The Canadian based community-led organization raised over 2000 books that were recently shipped to Guyana and Trinidad.

The program was developed to provide children and youth in those countries with new or gently used reading materials.

“Many communities in the Caribbean are underserved and we came together to do our part to ensure that more young people back home have access to proper and updated reading material, “said Ryan Ramdin, the lead coordinator for the Books for Back Home drive.

Happy packers books for Guyana and Trinidad

Over 14 drop off locations were established across the Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener-Waterloo Region to ensure accessible drop off locations for donors. A mixture of Caribbean-led restaurants, small businesses, and Hindu Mandirs, offered space to ICCA to host a donation box. With that, ICCA raised over $1000 from generous donors to ensure that shipment and duty costs were sufficiently covered.

“It is amazing to see how the community can come together to support a great cause like this. The response has been phenomenal,” said Ryan Singh, Chair of the Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association. He continued, “after the devasting impacts of the pandemic, it makes me proud that we received this level of support from our community for an important cause. Our group will continue to work hard to unite and serve Canada’s Indo-Caribbean community.”

In total, six jumbo barrels of books were sent to the Caribbean: three to Guyana and three to Trinidad. In Guyana, Pandit Biswanauth Gossai will use most of the books to create a library for the Enmore Shiv Mandir. The remaining books will go to the Little Library located in Beehive. In Trinidad, the Secretary General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Vijay Maharaj, will distribute the books to students in over 40 schools.

“As a new volunteer with the Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association, I was excited to participate in this initiative,” said Cindy Ugrah, a volunteer leader on the book drive. She added, “it was rewarding packing all of these books in to jumbo barrels knowing that they will be soon be in the hands of children in the Caribbean, many who currently can’t easily access reading materials. I know these books will inspire and bring joy to children in Guyana and Trinidad.”

The Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association was established in May 2021 to amplify Canada’s Indo-Caribbean as well as to call for action to fill the gap and ensure that community’s needs are heard and addressed. The organization will continue to seek new projects to help serve the community for more information on the organization, please visit: www.indocaribcdn.com