African Library Project

Chapters for Change

10/09/2014 to 11/21/2014
Kamloops, BC, Canada

The African Library Project brings gently used books to an African community that has lots of eager readers but very few books. Please help by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It only takes 1000 books and $500 to start a single library (and a little elbow grease!)

This book drive is organized by ...

We, Amy and Sam, are two high-energy, driven undergraduate students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. We are currently in our third year of studies, both majoring in microbiology.

We stumbled upon the African Library Project and felt compelled to contribute to such an admirable cause. Chapters for Change was founded while procrastinating studying for our final exams, ironically enough... At least we were being somewhat productive!

Our website link:
http://www.facebook.com/ChaptersforChange

We want to start a library in Africa because...

From a young age, we were both fascinated with reading. We grew up on opposite sides of the country; Amy went to english school in the West and Sam went to french school in the East. Upon discussing our favourite childhood series, we discovered that we were talking about the SAME books! We were on this adventure together, despite the fact that we were in different parts of the world, reading books in a different language. Books have an amazing way of bringing people together. We owe much of our childhoods and the people we have become to the books we read.

However, as students, we do not get to always get to read for pleasure; we spend much of our time with our heads in textbooks. Despite the fact that textbooks are not our first choice of literature, they're essential to our education as science students. We've realized that having access to learning resources is a privilege because globally it is less common than we thought. Chapters for Change is the perfect opportunity to provide resources to the eager students who do not have the same privilege.

Growing up, we were always told that we could be anything we wanted and to pursue our passions, whatever they may be. Because of the resources we have been provided with, there really is nothing holding us back from attaining our goals. All children have the potential to achieve such amazing things, however, in many parts of Africa the students do not have access to the resources they require to pursue these goals. Upon hearing that many classrooms do not have a single book and that the teachers are often obligated to teach from memory alone, we were astonished and knew we had to do something to try to help. So, we decided to fill not one, but TWO libraries in Africa!

About our African Partners...

Both of the libraries we have been lucky enough to be matched with are in Lesotho, Africa. Lesotho is a small country only 28 square kilometres, with a population of 2 million! It has one of the highest literacy rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. Eighty-nine percent of the population is able to read! This makes us very excited to provide the learners with books that we know they can appreciate. All children in Lesotho are able to attend primary school for free since 2000.

Our first library is for a community library located in the primary school of Waterfall Village. They describe their school as a "child-friendly school, inclusive and rights based; gender sensitive; practice effective teaching and learning; healthy and health-promoting; safety, protection and community engaged; and participatory. The leadership, planning, management and monitoring is effective. There are projects like water conservation as well as tree planting."

Our second library is a primary community library called Masopong Library. Our book drive partners describe their community in the following excerpt "The people spend their day just moving and working on the fields and on gardens. The students here [use] their teachers as their libraries, as they do not have enough materials to use. Due to lack of reading materials, our school does not perform well. It is in [a mountainous] region, and mostly in rural area. But it is about 2-3 kilometres from the [tarred] road. It has got enough classrooms but the reading materials [are] the great problem."

Please contribute these kinds of books...

For both libraries, we are in need of pre-school to 8th grade North-American reading level books.

Specifically, for the educational aspect we need:
Encyclopedias (15 years or newer)
Science
History
Math
English books: poems, novels, grammar tools, dictionaries etc.
Health books
Social Studies
Home Economics
Agriculture

In addition, the children just LOVE to read! So, donate the kinds of books you yourself would have liked to read. Keep in mind that the reading-level does not necessarily correlate to age, as adults will be reading these books too. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to answer them!

If you have the following books, as much as we appreciate the effort for contribution, African Library Project does not accept them. A better alternative would be to donate them to a local library or other cause!
Books focused on appliances or electronics
Adult romance novels
Books about US or Canadian history books or government (books about Africa/African-Americans ARE welcome!)
Books about North-American or Religious Holidays (Ex. Christmas/Halloween/Easter etc..)
Books about Religion
Magazines aside from National Geographic and children's educational magazines

Here's how you can contribute your books...

Until November 21st 2014, you may drop off your gently used or new books at:
NAPA Auto Parts located in Kamloops across from the KXA at 476 Chilcotin Rd. The books may be dropped off Monday-Friday 8am-5:30pm or Saturdays 8-5pm.

Kamloops Crossfit Mon-Fri 7 am - 7 pm and Saturday mornings 9-11 am

Valleyview Secondary School : During school hours

We currently only have these drop off locations, if your business would be gracious enough to let us leave a bin with you for community drop off, please contact us at chaptersforchange@gmail.com. Thank you in advance!

We need to raise funds for shipping the books...

Chapters for Change needs to raise $1500 to cover the cost of materials needed to package the books and to ship the books across the border and subsequently, to Africa. (Books are very heavy - shipping gets expensive, especially when you live in Canada!)

We appreciate any donations from you or your business! Donations can be made through a secure, online fundraising website we have set up for convenience or through email transfer!

Simply copy and paste this address into your browser: http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/chapters-for-change-african-library-project/245950

If you are more comfortable with email transfer of donations, they can be sent to chaptersforchange@gmail.com

Here are some ways that you can help...

We are going to need sturdy, packing boxes (like moving boxes) and a whole lot of helping hands to organize the books into those boxes. If you are able to or interested in helping with the packing process please contact us at chaptersforchange@gmail.com and we will give you more information! We appreciate the help!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Amy Watters or Sam Gagnon
Email: chaptersforchange@gmail.com
Phone:

Progress Report

Our Goal 2000 books $1500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: October 9th 2014)
250 books $670 fundraising

We've got 4 weeks to reach our goal; we need your help! We want to get the community involved as much as possible and we look forward to working with all of our supporters!

Acknowledgements

We are SO grateful for the support we received from the community. To everyone who has been donating books or is currently collecting their books to donate we want to thank you! You've been fundamental to the success of this book drive!

We want to send a special thanks to :
Valleyview Secondary Leadership Class for their amazing support and willingness to help! They are lifesavers.
Stewart Mortgage Corporation for their very generous donation to the project! They donated 1/3 of the necessary funds for shipment.

Shaw TV Channel 10 News for shooting a story and interviewing us about our project. This will really help get the word out and hopefully bring in more books and donations!

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About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at http://www.africanlibraryproject.org.
You can 'like' us at http://facebook.com/africanlibraryproject - get updates, inspiration and more!