DMU academic smashes fundraising target to get children's book translated into Gujarati


She aimed to raise £5,000 to get her children’s book translated into Gujarati – but Dr Katie Laird has smashed this target.

The De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academic has worked with Professor Sarah Younie to produce A Germ’s Journey, an interactive book aimed at teaching young children the importance of hand washing.

After donating copies to UK schools and community centres, the Reader in Microbiology hoped to have the book translated into Gujarati and distributed throughout the Gujarati region of Ahmedabad, India.


With the help of Nick Ballard in the Advancement Office and a crowdfunding page, Katie has raised £7,500 from 31 donors.

She said: “With the funds we raise, the team can now supply the book, A Germ’s Journey: Health Education for Children, in Gujarati and other free educational resources to children in heavily deprived areas of the Ahmedabad region in the state of Gujarat, India.

“It is vitally important that the book will be in Gujarati with a cultural context that the children will understand.

“The understanding of germs, the spread of infectious disease and the importance of hand-washing can be a lifesaving skill for children in these areas.”

Katie approached Nick, alumni development manager, for ideas on how to raise the money for the book’s translation.

“I knew the Advancement Team had contacts with the old DMU students and we thought they may want to give back to the project.”

Nick suggested setting up a crowdfunding page. Within a week, they had raised £5,000.

Katie said: “It was a fantastic idea, we exceeded our target.

“Next steps are to instruct the graphic designer to redesign the images,” added Katie.

“We also want the children in Ahmedabad to start painting, so their artwork can be included in the book.

“Lastly we want to instruct the web designer to start creating a brand-new Germ’s Journey website in order that all the resources we are creating can be accessed by children/teachers and healthcare workers free of charge around the world.”

Nick said: “This is our first crowdfunding project for the Advancement Team and we would like to encourage more staff and students to use it.”

“This has been a great success story, with Katie far exceeding her goal.”

The Advancement Office look after the university’s alumni relations, development and #DMUforlife activities. Through the creation of global networks and alumni clubs, the team help build a community of alumni and friends, supporting the strategic aims of DMU.

Posted on Friday 18th May 2018

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