Book club at Bosnian orphanage

Orphanage book club
An orphanage helper shares a book with a young reader
A friend of mine is a humanitarian aid worker in Banja Luka, Bosnia. In one of her recent newsletters she mentioned that she had started a book club at a local orphanage. I thought Crafty readers would be interested to hear how books and the love of reading are helping to touch lives. And if you are touched enough to give financial aid to this worthy project, all the better! So without further ado, over to Belinda:

Book Club at the Banja Luka Orphanage

One of the projects that I am involved in is running a Book Club at the local orphanage.  Our Humanitarian Aid Organisation “MOST” (Bridge) has done various projects, including teaching English and helping with homework, since 2008 when we started working with the home.

Last year, I asked the home what they really needed us to do and they suggested that we run a reading club for the 2-6th grade children, starting in September last year. As I am a voracious reader and caught the reading bug when I was their age, this was something that I was more than happy to do!

The children go to the library every other week to get their books, and then we go in the intervening week and talk with them about the books they are reading. We use a form and fill out who the characters are, what happened, and whether they liked it or not. This is also our record as once they read 5 books, they get a reward as an incentive to read. There are 12 children in the group, and usually there are enough volunteers that we can work one-on-one or one-on-two with the children. This aspect is fantastic, as the children really crave this kind of individual attention and it is a great way to facilitate local young people who want to volunteer.

We also read to them as a group and individually, and have taken them all to the zoo as a fun outing. As it is our hope that they will become life-long readers through this project, it is encouraging to see that some of the children have caught the reading bug and are now reading because they want to, not just to get the reward. Long may it continue!

Belinda ChaplinBelinda Chaplin is a local aid worker, Banja Luka, Bosnia Herzegovina.

I have been working in Bosnia Herzegovina for 10 years, almost eight of them in Banja Luka, which is the capital of the Republic of Srpska, the predominantly Serb part of the country. My work includes English Teaching and Business training, as well as working alongside the local church. For more information see my blog  or contact me on beechaplin at

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  5. Book Club: The Interpretation of Murder

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