IBBY-Yamada 2018: New Zealand

IBBY New Zealand: Home language books for refugees

IBBY New Zealand proposes to collect books, mainly picture books, graphic novels and non- fiction books for younger readers in the home language of refugee children. These will be donated to the classroom libraries at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre where, at the moment, most of the materials are in English. The selection of the books would be made with academics in the field as well as consultation with IBBY National Sections and bookshops in the relevant countries. 

During 2018, 150 books, predominantly picture books, graphic novels, and non- fiction books for younger readers, were procured and donated to the classroom libraries at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. The focus on these genres was because they could be shared by young people of all ages and their families.

The home countries of the refugee children in 2018 were Afghanistan, Myanmar/ Burma/Rohingya, Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Syria. While it was not possible to obtain children’s books in the home languages of all children in residence during the period the books were given to the Centre, books in the following languages were presented: Arabic, Burmese, Karen (Myanmar), Chin (Myanmar), Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Punjabi, Spanish and Tamil. Books were procured through a range of sources: international bookshops and distributors, agencies and individuals and gifted to the project by National Sections of IBBY.

The project will be continued to meet the needs of a new group of refugees that arrived in early 2019. In this group are children whose home language are, Amharic Javanese, Kinyawanda, Punjabi Rohingyan, Somali,Tygrinya, Swahili, and Urdu, , in addition to the languages of the earlier groups.

A full report of the project can be read here.