This year I decided that my focus was going to be getting out of debt and giving back. I figure both are things that will make me feel better & are important. I am someone that loves to read and travel so when I was looking at a way I can physically give back and make a difference I learned about African Library Project.
I feel education is a sure fire way out of poverty and let’s just be honest books are way to educate and stimulate the mind.
You can read more about what they do here
The African Library Project changes lives book by book by starting libraries in rural Africa. Our grassroots approach mobilizes U.S. volunteers, young and old, to organize book drives and ship books to a partner library in Africa. Our method makes a concrete and personal difference for children on both continents.
Their approach taken from their website:
In the United States, our volunteers collect, sort, and pack gently-used children’s books to ship to specific African communities. They organize book drives in local schools and neighborhoods and raise modest funds to ship the books to our African partners.
In Africa, our partners range from Peace Corps volunteers to school administrators. They receive the books and organize them into libraries to serve local African communities. Along the way, the U.S. donors learn about Africa and develop closer connections to the people in the recipient communities.
One of the things I have learned in my travels is that books are really expensive in a lot of developing countries, it is baffling to me, they also don’t have access to free services like libraries. Books are expensive in general and while I have been fortunate my entire life that I or my parents could buy books for me, I understand that often that is not the case with a lot of people, especially in developing countries.
I was laying around the world pondering the universe when I realized that I could host a book drive and maybe just maybe make a difference in Africa, even if that difference is for one child. So I quickly googled book drives and African Library Project popped up, I read reviews, stalked their twitter account, facebook… anything to confirm it was not a scam, and decided it was time to host my book drive.
SO why am I writing this post? I am writing to help spread the word because I am hoping to get approx 1000 books and $250 to send the books to my partner in Africa. If I am able to obtain more books I can send those books to another library, so don’t think I just want to collect 1000 books I want to collect as many books as I possibly can to help change the lives of rural Ghana.
Details of my book drive.
I chose to help Remember Day Care and Primary Library in Ghana. My goal is to increase books on a preschool to 6th grade reading level and I am the only person matched with this school so obtaining the 1000 books is very important.
Why did I choose Ghana?
- Ghana is a country that has always fascinated me and I suspect when I FINALLY make it to Africa it will be the first country I will visit when I finally make it to Africa. Plus the first person I met from Africa was from Ghana and I remember being fascinated when he spoke about his village.
- Click here for facts about Ghana
What type of books am I looking for?
- Baby board books
- Children’s picture books
- Children’s fiction and non-fiction
- Early readers
- BIG books
- Teacher’s resource books for school libraries
- Children’s dictionaries/picture dictionaries
- Encyclopedias less than 15 years old
- Children’s encyclopedias/picture encyclopedias
- Children’s thesauruses
- Paperback textbooks in math, English, geography, health, and science at appropriate level (kindergarten to 6th grade). Send no more than two copies of any texbook; these will be used for teacher resources.
- Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
- Children’s books teaching life skills about health, hygiene, adolescence and careers
- Accurate up-to-date atlases
- Books about Africa or African-Americans
- Educational children’s science and literary magazines in good condition
- Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzle
What can YOU do to help?
-Send me books!!!! If you have books you no longer want send them to me, if you are close to me have me drive and get those books out of the way! Let me take them off your hands and give them to a community in need!
-Spread the word if you know someone in the Dallas area let them know. I have until March 20th to collect 1000 books and I am really wanting this to be a success.