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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Thursday, 15 July 2010 16:54 UK

Plymouth literacy charity is boxing clever

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By Howard Johnson
BBC Spotlight

A Plymouth-based charity is reaching out to some of the world's most disadvantaged children by supplying them with vital educational equipment.

The Literacy in a Box Trust sends brightly coloured containers, full of reading and writing material, as far afield as Africa and South East Asia.

Each box costs £250 and contains a range of equipment including exercise books, pens, pencils, backpacks and footballs.

So far the charity has delivered 117 boxes to schools in Zambia. A further 26 boxes are en route to a squatter settlement in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

Ian Parker, Chairman of the Trust says that the project is all about helping children to help themselves: "Once you've fed and watered people then they start to look to other things to improve their community.

"If you teach people to read and write, they've got the basics then to work their own way out of poverty."

The charity's current ambition is to deliver 250,000 boxes to Zambia, meaning that every child in the country, under the age of 15, will have access to pens and paper.

Use the video link above to watch Howard Johnson's report for BBC Spotlight where we hear from Ian Parker, chairman of the Literacy in a Box Trust, and Felicity Derry-Thomas of Operation Sunshine.

Pictures of Zambia courtesy of The Literacy in a Box Trust

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