The Secret Garden. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. David Copperfield. Oliver Twist. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. What do these stories have in common? Their main Characters. Children who are Orphans. Orphans who suffer mistreatment, abandonment, and are considered the “Others” in society. Simple characters in literature. But, powerful and inspiring, because all these children overcame these major obstacles in their quest and were triumphant in the end. They are the Heroes in these Stories. It is THIS Story, the story that everyone can be a HERO that Bookwallah wants to give to the real orphans of the world. Real orphans such as the ones we met during our journeys . Children like Anurag who lost his parents to Aids, Juhi whose stepmother didn’t want her, CITE who was discovered in the streets of Indonesia and rescued by a policeman, children who lost families in the tsunami such as in Bande Aceh Indonesia where 50% of the population is wiped out.

Bookwallah is a U.S. based non-profit organization that believes all children deserve the hope of a happy story. We bring the magic of storybooks and safe inspiring havens to orphans and children of trauma where their sense of possibility, hope and imagination can come to life. bookwallah helps to heal, empower and transform these children so they too can believe and rebuild their lives.

We have simple story that grew from an idea and a passion. Founder & CEO Seena Jacob conceived the idea of the Bookwallah Organization with her desire to spread the joy of reading to children of orphanages in developing nations across the globe. Bookwallah was inspired by events in Founder & CEO's Seena Jacob’s own life where the solace of great books available in United States public libraries helped her get through some hardships. In 2010, partnering with her two co-founders, G. Riley Mills and Ranjeet Nambiar, the team visited several orphanages near the outskirts of Mumbai and Pune, India. They quickly discovered that many of these orphanages did not have adequate resources, proper funding and expertise to establish libraries for their children. However, there was clearly a need and desire. The team soon witnessed firsthand the joy and appreciation that spread across each child’s face after receiving the small gift of a book.

There are 153 million orphans in the world. That’s half the size of the population of the United States. Even though Bookwallah is a young organization, we are beginning to see that our programs are having an effect, are making a Transformation.

Transformation is girls like Kavitha, who was orphaned and rescued from child labor. She has been positively influenced by the reading sessions and now wants to continue to study. We hope one day she can speak about her experience.

Transformation is like Aarti whose mother was a commercial sex worker and she was found in the streets. She is now one of the most regular participants in our reading sessions. We do not believe she will be reliving her mother’s life.

Transformation is like boys like Balram who’s parents died and grandmother is old and frail and cleaning vessels. We heard boys like him are gaining more confidence and have been naturally inquisitive for knowledge.

We are truly transforming these children’s futures by raising their literacy rates, building their self-esteem, and introducinthem to the endless possibilities that await them. Books like Winnie the Pooh, Lion King, and Cinderella really bring about wonder and smiles. Great stories truly cross all borders!

Bookwallah’s greatest value is something very fundamental. It’s about giving hope, courage, and opening up eyes to a world of possibility. It is providing all of this to a group of kids that normally have great social stigma attached. It is ultimately telling that the stories of their lives to date — prostitution child labor, abuse, parentless, beggars in the streets– does not mean this is the story they will end up with.

It’s telling them that they too can become the HEROs of their own life. It’s telling them that they matter. All of this by “Sharing the Gift of Imagination”.

With your help, we can move forward and make this wonderful, inspiring concept into a reality for many orphan children throughout the world.

Please JOIN us in “Sharing the Gift of Imagination“.


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