Bookwallah is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose vision is to transform the lives of children who have undergone hardship by sharing the gift of imagination. Our mission is to collect and distribute children's storybooks, set up libraries, and spread the joy of reading to children of orphanages and children's homes throughout the world. The origin of the name of the organization comes from the Hindi translation "bookwallah" which means "book peddler". We believe by opening a child's world to imagination and exploration, we can greatly improve their lives and the lives around them. We also believe that the magic of stories can help foster creativity and innovation within a society.
Bookwallah has a simple story that grew from an idea and a passion. Founder Seena Jacob conceived the idea of the Bookwallah Organization in 2009 with her desire to spread the joy of reading to children of orphanages in developing nations across the globe. 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 143 Million orphans in the world whose lives can change through the power and magic of storybooks. As we evolve as an organization, our programs and partnerships will be designed to encourage and enable storybooks reading within the orphanages and children's homes. Currently, Bookwallah has three core programs which we believe will yield tremendous impact.
Bookwallah Book Program: We provide children's books in English and local languages. The books donated in English and local languages are organized in existing bookshelves and reading spaces. This is the Bookwallah Organization's core program.
Bookwallah Reading Rug Program: We create child-friendly, comfortable reading areas for the children within the orphanages, if there is a need or a desire. The relationship between physical space, continued interest in reading and use of imagination are highly correlated.
Bookwallah Reading Services: We provide reading sessions to engage the children in fun reading activities and to help evaluate progress.
The Bookwallah Organization is committed to offering its services to children of orphanages around the world. Our growth will be dependent on three factors: screening of orphanages for certain set standards, establishing local presence and strong leadership to ensure books get into the hands of the children, and leveraging our network to deliver services efficiently and cost effectively.
LATIN AMERICA & CARRIBEAN - In 2010, we began screening orphanages in Jamaica and are currently seeking donations of books, funds, and shipping.
AFRICA - We began preliminary research to donate books to orphanages in Ghana in 2011.
Our long term growth is 300 orphanages in the next three years.
Bookwallah is interested in receiving recommendations of orphanages, countries of residence, and people who can lead volunteer efforts within those countries. Please contact Bookwallah at
+1 312 957 8558 if you have any recommendations or please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.