BY LORRAINE MUROMO

THE Zimbabwe Rural Schools Library Trust (ZRSLT) will officially launch its bibliotherapy project targeting child survivors of Cyclone Idai at its annual fun run and walk to be held in Hamilton in New Zealand on March 7.

Bibliotherapy is a process that entails healing through reading books or listening to books being read.

In a statement, ZRSLT said books provide the opportunity for escape and can be strong coping mechanisms in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorders.

“Cyclone Idai hit southern Africa in March 2019, causing widespread destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, in Zimbabwe, more than 130 000 children were affected. Support has been provided by many local and international organisations in the form of food, shelter, but many survivors still suffer post-traumatic stress disorders,” the statement read.

“ZRSLT believes that books will help heal post-traumatic stress disorders in child survivors of school-going age, hence the bibliotherapy initiative.”

The run, which is the sixth for the ZRSLT (New Zealand), was initiated by twins Shefali and Shivani Sinha in 2015 and has raised funds to buy new books and ship them from New Zealand to Zimbabwe.

Over 100 schools have benefited from the ZRSLT efforts.