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our solution

traditional approach

Giving food, water supplies and so on is great, it saves many lives. But it has one basic problem: the amount of resources it would take to lift a billion people out of poverty is vast, and simply not available. In fact not even 0.01% of the needed resources can be obtained by any known means.

What do you think it would cost to solve one person's poverty problems, and what would it cost to keep them out of poverty for life? Multiply this by a billion people... the cost is north of a trillion pounds . That's 1,000,000,000,000, more than the entire economic output of some countries! No-one can lay their hands on that. (If you do win a million on the lottery a million times we'd love to hear from you!)

* 1000 per person would cost 1 trillion or 1,000,000,000,000
* 10,000 per person would cost 10 trillion or 10,000,000,000,000
* 100,000 per person would cost 100 trillion or 100,000,000,000,000

Even raising 1 million would only provide 0.1p per person in poverty. Clearly the traditional approach is never going to solve the world poverty problem.

penny library approach
why books
Books can teach people:

* How to grow potatoes on barren land
* How to clean used water for reuse, reducing time spent fetching water
* How to sterilise water, reducing the huge toll of disease & death
* A wide range of skills for work
* How to make practical items to use & sell
* Reading skills
* Children's education
* How to make blankets from garbage, tackling deaths from hypothermia at night
* How to reduce cooking fuel use, saving people money & time
* How to make practical tools from scrap, making it possible to earn a living
...and much much more

The big deal about books is the multiplier effect. 1 spent on books that teach practical skills can yield many times that in resources in people's lives. 1 spent on the right books can yield 1000s of benefits in people's lives. The right books are a huge asset in the fight against poverty. The Multiplier effect
children's education

Many children are forced to forego even a basic education to help provide for the family.

Children's education is a very important part of Penny Library. Our educational materials are steadily growing to cover a wide range, from learning to read to the skills of making a living.

Education makes it possible to escape the poverty trap.

There's a lot more to write - you can help.

Upto 1% of our budget is allocated to researching innovative methods to turn what is available into useful resources.

One thing available aplenty in many countries is garbage. Much of our research focuses on the use of this free resource.

This research opens up new possibilities for people trying to survive, and ensures that practical books are based on proven fact & experience.

Our research embodies the multiplier effect too.
multiplier effect

We want to do something about that

A small school pack costs 40
A large school pack costs 100
Can you help us?


Together we can

Penny Library is a non profit organisation producing a library specifically for people in poverty around the world.

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