eBook charity bid to assist vulnerable during lock-down
Andrew Goss, whose book publication is delayed by the Coronavirus crisis has made a novel bid to beat the lock-down – and help vulnerable communities at home and abroad.
The author of The Humanitarian has launched an immediate online charity version of his novel to raise cash for “some of the most vulnerable in our society to help them come through this terrible time”. All the author’s proceeds from the ‘emergency’ eBook edition will be divided between Action Homeless in the UK and desperately poor communities in Pakistan, where he worked and drew inspiration for his book.
The novel is set against the backdrop of a devastating natural disaster, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, which killed 80,000 and left millions homeless. Those desperately poor communities in the mountains of northern Pakistan are now facing a fresh disaster.
Andrew said: “My contacts across the Black Mountain region, which features in the novel and which lies in a remote mountain area of Pakistan, tell me communities there face a new, equally devastating catastrophe - the prospect of starvation during the current pandemic. I’d like to make the book available online worldwide to anyone to read who may find themselves isolated at home - and do something to help, with all my proceeds going to support vulnerable people at this terrible time.”
And he believes the novel holds lessons for us all during the pandemic, which will need to draw people together as they battle to win through the crisis.
“The Humanitarian is as relevant as ever. Disasters bring out both the best and the worst in human nature. And there are lessons to be learned,” he adds.
“Obviously there is a degree of frustration. I’d like to help.
This seems a practical solution to get the book out there – and to assist some of the most vulnerable people who are close to my heart.”
Andrew, who is based in Leicester, in the UK experienced a short period of homelessness himself on his return from overseas aid work and adds: “I was lucky and received immediate help from Action Homeless. But I still see very vulnerable people out on the streets, facing even greater risks and hardship during the current Coronavirus crisis.”
The publication of his printed novel has been postponed until at least the summer, with all bookstores now closed across the UK. But his special charity eBook version of The Humanitarian, published by The Book Guild, launches online on 25 April, 2020 and is available across the usual platforms worldwide.
James Riverere, from Action Homeless, commented: “We are very grateful to Andrew for this initiative. We are working to ensure every person we support has safe accommodation and the means to live there as they self-distance and isolate.
"Every penny raised is needed at this critical time.”
Similarly, Syed Latif, who heads Pakistan charity BES, reports the sudden loss of livelihoods across remote mountain communities is causing severe hardship for those already desperately poor.
Latif said: “The loss of income for food is hitting the poorest hardest. With little supportive infrastructure – including healthcare – I fear the pandemic could become a catastrophe.”
His organisation is already distributing food parcels and protective equipment to the most vulnerable households. He says some of the poorest are facing the stark choice between contracting Covid-19 or starvation
Andrew’s royalties from the online publication will be divided between Action Homeless in the UK and local NGOs operating across the Black Mountain in north-west Pakistan.
'The Humanitarian is as relevant as ever. Disasters bring out both the best and the worst in human nature. And there are lessons to be learned'
Action Homeless is a UK charity assisting those affected by homelessness. It helps individuals and families from across the East Midlands. Last year alone, it provided emergency housing and specialist support to more than 400 people.
BES is a charity which supports education and healthcare initiatives for the poorest in Pakistan. It runs a school in the southern port city of Karachi and additional programmes in some of the most vulnerable communities in north-west Pakistan.