WEA Book Discussion Scheme Charitable Trust

WEA Book Discussion Scheme Charitable Trust

Help us create a fairer, kinder, happier NZ through promoting book groups as places where all people can connect, learn, and be inspired.


About BDS

Book Discussion Scheme (BDS) is a registered charitable trust and non-profit serving New Zealand book groups and clubs since 1973. We are a member ofthe FWEA which promotes accessible learning opportunities for all people at all stages of life.

Our Mission

Our mission is to create a fairer, kinder, happier New Zealand through promoting book groups as places where people can connect, learn, be inspired, and grow together. We believe that 'Open Books Open Minds' and that literature has the power to act as gateway to compassion, hope, love, understanding, epiphany and empowerment. Book groups are unique in that they take reading from a personal pastime to a shared experience that encourages real-world action and positive change.

How Funds Will be Used

We run a sustainable organisational model where our membership fees cover most of the operational costs of running BDS, however if you would like to make a donation in support of our mission funds will be used to:

* Purchase new books for the catalogue

* Improve the functionality and accessibility of our website for both members and prospective members

* Support the BDS Social Agenda: Variations of our programme provided at a reduced cost for groups focused on diversity and community — Prison groups, library groups, school groups, men-only groups, rural groups, Māori groups, and ESOL/Intermediate English groups for migrants.

More about us

Promoting the personal and societal benefits of book groups for a fairer, kinder, happier New Zealand since 1973.

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Latest update

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Book groups make us better humans  12 January 2021

Today we just wanted to share with you a message from one of our staff members, who was profoundly moved by one of the books recently added to the catalogue. We think it shows how reading and book groups can genuinely teach us how to be better people by increasing our understanding and sometimes confronting uncomfortable feelings.

By supporting BDS, not only are you contributing to a fairer, kinder, more accepting society, you're helping those least-likely to engage with reading and book groups to reap those benefits too. Thank you to all our members, donors, advocates and supporters.

Husna's Story by Farid Ahmed

Reviewed by Kirsty Grant

Ok, so I admit it. When this book first came into the scheme I thought I didn't want to read it.

I had heard the sirens that day [15 March 2019], I had felt the shock and disbelief, I had taken flowers to Hagley Park, I had cried. I didn't want to revisit those events.

And yet I really wanted to understand more about how the Muslim community, and Farid Ahmed in particular, were so forgiving and spoke of love and peace — not hate. So I went to hear him speak at the Word Festival in Christchurch and was so moved I had to read the book (yes, more tears).

This book is about so much more than the events that day. It is about being an immigrant, the Muslim faith, Farid and Husna's love for each other and their community, and the journey to peace and understanding after 15 March. Most of all it is about love for humankind. There is so much we can all learn from Farid — his forgiveness, grace and humility.

This book really spoke to my heart and gave me hope that (corny but true) the world can be a better place if we all try to love — not hate — and accept other people for what they are. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

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Who's involved?

WEA Book Discussion Scheme Charitable Trust's avatar
Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, WEA Book Discussion Scheme Charitable Trust (Charity)
Registered Charity
A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit
Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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