Giant book sale sends Rwandan sisters to school

Gena Yeo holds a photo of two sisters, Aline and Emima, at her Giant Book Sale in Hampshire on Oct. 8, 2016. Yeo holds regular book sales to fundraise the cost of the girls’ education in Rwanda. Alison Jenkins photo.

By Alison Jenkins

Oct. 12, 2016

The Hampshire hall was filled with books for sale for $1 on Saturday, Oct. 8.

With a warm welcome, Gena Yeo and her mother-in-law, Fairley Yeo, hosted a book sale to send two sisters in Rwanda to school.

Yeo and her husband, Larry, met the girls, Aline and Emima, then aged eight and nine, while on a mission trip to the country in 2014. They were part of a group of volunteers building a school.

She remembers putting her arm around one little girl who was wearing a green velvet dress. Yeo said the velvet was smooth, it was so worn, and there was a rip in the shoulder. Embarassed, the little girl pulled her sweater up to hide it.

“I could cry.”

She new then she had to help.

It costs about $500 each to send the girls to school. She and her husband decided to have a book sale.

Yeo held her first book sale at the Knutsford Community centre in 2014. They made $800 and knew they’d be able to make a difference in the girls’ lives.

The Yeos have been collecting and storing books since.

They host about two sales a year.