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Our History and Success

The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation, better known as Duffy Books in Homes is a literacy programme aimed at breaking the cycle of booklessness amongst children at low EQI schools throughout New Zealand.

The programme was developed following a visit by Alan Duff to Camberley School in Hastings in 1992. He found that the majority of those children came from bookless homes and showed little, if any, interest in reading. From this grew the key concept of book ownership prompting an interest in reading and a love of books. This would also create the opportunity to share the books with other family members.

The programme was initiated in Camberley School in 1993. Christine Fernyhough set up an office sponsored by Mainfreight (this arrangement continues today) and in 1994 The Alan Duff Charitable Foundation Books in Homes programme began.

The Foundation is registered with the Charities Commission (registration number CC30965) and more information can be found at

Since the official launch event in 1995 with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors, the programme has grown to encompass over 520 schools and over 280 early childhood centres, more than 100,000 students and more than 200 funding partners, supporters and donors in 2018. By October 1999, more than one million books had been distributed. The two millionth book milestone was reached in June 2002. Now that figure has surpassed 14 million and the Duffy Books in Homes programme has inspired offshoot programmes in Australia and the USA.