After his retirement from Commodities Brokerage, Canadian Philanthropist William (Bill) Burt started to think about how to give something back to the world in a way that might make a significant impact.
Bill went to Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time in November 2007, through a CODE-organised trip, “Seeing is Believing”, to Ethiopia. The trip was eye-opening and caused Bill to reflect on his own upbringing in a home full of books with good quality schools nearby, where he had positive role models and was encouraged to have ambitions and dreams.
This inspired him to work with CODE to create the Burt Literary Awards, a unique readership initiative which was present in four African countries and now in the Caribbean and Canada.
Bill Burt passed away in October 2017. He is eulogised for his role he played in developing young adult African contemporary literature.