STUDENTS from the outer islands will begin the new school year with library books donated by the Latter Day Saints Church.
The church collected close to 50,000 books during a book drive in New Zealand and donated the book to the Ministry of Education yesterday as part of its initiative to assist the needy children in the outer islands.
LDS Church public affairs director Willie Kwansing said their contribution was inspired after a visit to the Fiji High Commission in New Zealand.
"The acting Head of Mission in New Zealand, Mere Tora, informed us that students in the outer islands needed library books and this message has encouraged us to have a book drive," Mr Kwansing said.
"Various communities in New Zealand took part in the book drive.
"There were parliamentarians, mayors, rugby players, people from different communities and different denominations.
"We managed to collect books for early primary school students to 18-year-olds and these books range from pictorial, reading, reference and encyclopaedias."
Ministry of Education permanent secretary Dr Brij Lal said that the LDS church's compassion for students in Fiji has led them to donate books to the needy students.
"I wish to thank the LDS church group for showing us the actual sense of community which is caring, sharing and giving to the needy and the less fortunates.
"Although the books travelled thousands of miles to reach our shores, we are all one community on this planet earth."
Eighty-two primary schools from five education districts will benefit from the donation.