Book Dash, a South African literary non-profit, wins the 2021 Nedbank Private Wealth Innovation Award.

Founded by Arthur Attwell, Book Dash collaborates with writers and artists to create free children’s books. They have so far distributed over one million books. During the lockdown, they not only continued book creation efforts virtually but also distributed books along with parcels of food and educational items to families.

For their “resilience and an innovative response to the Covid-19 crisis,” they were awarded the 2021 Nedbank Private Wealth Innovation Award valued at R600,000.  Sponsored by the authorized financial services provider Nedbank Private Wealth, the award is “a once-off initiative to recognise innovation and resilience demonstrated by South African non-profit organisations (NPOs) during the Covid-19 crisis.”

Winning this award is recognition for the impact of their work on fostering early reading among children.

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Read the Judge’s comments on the impact of Book Dash below:

“Book Dash believes that every child should own 100 books by the age of five, and that this will uplift these children and eventually our society as a whole. Its innovative publishing model reduces the costs of publishing by approximately 80%, which means that it can offer books to donors and partners at R10 a copy. Book Dash was not deterred by the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic – in fact, 2020 marked the distribution of their one millionth book.

Book Dash has meticulously recorded its innovative model for book publishing from the onset so that other organisations can publish their books in the same way. Under the strict lockdown conditions, Book Dash decided to move its book-publishing model online, adapting to a virtual environment that allows volunteers from all over the country and the world to participate. They added this new model to their manual so that others could iterate on this approach. There have been at least 10 instances of organisations using the Book Dash model to publish new books. 

In addition to continuing with its innovative content creation methods, Book Dash collaborated with its distribution partners to donate books to families that were receiving food parcels and learning packs through these partners.”

We’re thrilled for Book Dash for a well-deserved recognition. Here’s to more accolades.

Go here for more details.