Wherever I go, I always come back to Sweden

Reading helped Safete settle into Sweden when she arrived aged 13 after fleeing the Kosovo War with her family. Now she's co-founded a non-profit to promote literacy in her home country.

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards NewsMavens, Sweden
Wherever I go, I always come back to Sweden - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

As Safete Binaku argues, reading is a democratic right. Books help children process difficult emotions, build empathy, learn about other cultures and countries, and escape from any difficulties in their daily lives -- but reading comprehension is also essential for people of all ages in terms of being able to scrutinize texts and identify misleading or biased information.

She know what it's like to grow up in a tough environment with limited access to books, having fled her home country as a teenager. Now her non-profit helps children in her old school.

"The school is very empty, and books were always a comfort to me," she explains in the interview.  "Seeing the look in (the children's) eyes gives me a good feeling and a hope. Maybe they don't have so many different tools to feed their imagination but I think these books can take them to different places."

Details from the story:

  • Around one million Kosovans were displaced during the Kosovo war
  • According to Library Project Kosova, the average 15-year-old Kosovan has the same reading ability as a 9-year-old in many other countries
  • The project has organized 2 trips from Sweden to Kosovo, taking books for the children and organizing a seminar for local teachers
  • Currently, the project is working with 4 different schools and is aiming to build a library for the local community
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