Big Bad Books are a bonanza for Badisa

Friso, 11, and Max, 10, Hoogduijn with some of their books and the Bulletin article about Badisa Wynberg.

Two Steenberg brothers have written, illustrated, published and printed books to sell for an NGO that helps abused children.

Max, 10, and Friso, 11, Hoogduijn, decided to do a project on book sales by selling what they had written, illustrated and published themselves.

The project is part of their home-schooling. Wanting to donate the proceeds of the book sales to a local charity, they set up Big Bad Books publishing. They chose BADISA Wynberg after reading about the organisation in the Bulletin (“Fund-raiser for Badisa Wynberg,” Bulletin June 3).

Badisa helps children who are being abused, exploited or abandoned. It also helps with adoption in some cases.

This child-protection NGO does not get a full state subsidy and has to raise about R400 000 annually, according to Diep River Community Police Forum chairperson Fiona Schwimmbacher, who is also a board member of Badisa Wynberg.

“That’s a lot of money to raise alone, so we decided to help,” says Big Bad Books manager Friso, who also illustrates the stories.

In June, the boys set up a stall outside Olympia Bakery in Claremont. Their goal was to raise R400. Three days later, their sales, at R20 a book, plus donations, added up to R315, which they deposited into the Badisa bank account.

“Our first customer came twice, others were local residents and people working in offices. They were more impressed that we were selling the book than fund-raising for Badisa,” says Friso.

Max says he was more concerned that someone would snatch the books and run off with them.

The boys thanked everyone who has supported Big Bad Books, which enabled them to support Badisa Wynberg.

Teacher Jaine Hannath says the boys have also been studying alliteration. She adds that Max can write about anything. At the age of 5, he wrote his first book, Little Penguin. “At the moment, he is planning to write about the interview. We spent the morning preparing and learning the five Ws – what, where, when, why, who,” says Ms Hannath.

“And an h for how,” I tell them, adding how the interview was almost cancelled when security would not allow access to the wine estate on which they live.

“Big Bad Books will be back in business in November,” says Max. He did not elaborate on their project except to say, “Watch this space.”

Ms Schwimmbacher says she has have never met the boys, but the CPF and Badisa Wynberg cannot thank them enough.

“For us, it is such a humbling gesture that these young boys thought about how they would like to help other children in the community – true meaning of ubuntu.”