African Library Project

Ruby's Three Lesotho Book Drives

12/01/2017 to 05/15/2018
San Diego CA

We are working with the African Library Project to provide books to eager readers in Africa who have very few books. Please help us by collecting and delivering gently used books or by raising money to help pay for shipping to Africa. It takes only 1000 books and $500 (plus a little elbow grease!) to start a single library and make a huge difference in children’s lives.

This book drive is organized by ...

My name is Ruby and I have completed two libraries in Malawi and two libraries in Lesotho. Now I am working on three new libraries in Lesotho. One of the libraries is a primary school library and two of the libraries are secondary school/community libraries. I live in San Diego, California. I am in the sixth grade and I am very lucky to have great teachers and a passion for learning. I love reading, playing outside, gardening, polynesian dance, visiting National Parks, archery, playing with my friends, and learning. My favorite book series are Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Hunger Games, Fablehaven, and the Chronicles Of Narnia. My favorite books are Bridge To Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, Walk Two Moons, Number The Stars, Project 1065, Ninth Ward, and I could probably go on forever. Right now I am reading the Narnia series, Freak The Mighty, Lyddie, and Jip: His Story. I really love reading and school, and I want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be able to love them as well.

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

I have always loved books and exploring the different stories of different people. I love school, too, and always work my hardest to get good results. It is hard for me to imagine a place without books. Without books, you don't have access to vocabulary and different types of stories. You also don't get the experience of suspense, sadness, relief, and happiness that you would get out of a book. A library is something every community in Lesotho should have. This is what I want in the world. I think that this library will open opportunities for people in Lesotho, and most importantly, create a love of learning.

My Mom was a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho and she has promised to take me on a trip to Lesotho once the libraries are set up to experience the beautiful country and its people, and see the library full of the books we have collected with your help.

About our African Partners...

Our books will be used to create a primary school library and a secondary school/community library in Lesotho. The schools are- Tabana Tsooana Primary School in Mazenod, Tsoana Mantata Secondary School in Mafeteng, and St. Joseph High School in Maseru. The following link contains a video about how the African Library Project works in Lesotho:

Lesotho is a tiny country nestled in the middle of South Africa. Founded as a kingdom in the 1820s, Lesotho was a British protectorate for almost 100 years (1868- 1966) before regaining independence in 1966. Today, the country is one of the world’s smallest constitutional monarchies.

Lesotho is known for its beautiful mountains, horseback riding trails, fishing, and hiking. The country’s economy is based primarily on subsistence agriculture, tourism and notably, textile production. Lesotho exports more garments to the US than any other sub-Saharan nation; American companies like the Gap, Levi-Strauss and Wal-Mart have factories there. Overall, Lesotho is very underdeveloped; it has little industrial production and very few natural resources. Many people of Lesotho (the Basotho) rely on employment in South Africa to support their families .English and Sesotho are Lesotho’s official languages but Xhosa and Zulu are also spoken.

In general, public schools in Africa charge tuition at all levels of schooling but since 2000, primary school education in Lesotho has been free and as a result, enrollment has increased. Unfortunately, students and parents face many issues paying tuition at the high school level. Only about a third of high school-age children attend school due to lack of funding and space.

Lesotho is the home of the first African Library Project in Malealea Valley, begun in 2005. Since then, ALP has partnered with the U.S. Peace Corps, the Ministry of Education, and local citizens to start/ improve more than 363 community libraries; this includes libraries in schools and hospitals.

Quick Facts

• Lesotho measures about 11 k square miles (roughly the size of Maryland) and has a population of 2 million.

• The UN estimates that 49% of the population lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25 a day. Migrant labor is the top money earner for the country

• Life expectancy in Lesotho is about 53 years.

• It’s estimated that about 23% of adults in Lesotho are living with HIV/AIDS- the 2nd highest prevalence in the world. There are over 73,000 orphans due to AIDS living in Lesotho.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

Baby Board Books
Children’s picture books
BIG books
Children’s fiction and non-fiction
Early readers
Teacher's resource books for school libraries
Textbooks in math, English, geography, health, and science at appropriate level (kindergarten to 8th grade).
Books with universal themes (friendships, animals, love)
Children's books teaching life skills about health, hygiene, adolescence and careers
Accurate up-to-date atlases
Educational children's science and literary magazines in good condition
Brain teasers, flash cards, educational games and puzzles
Juvenile literature-8th grade level and below
Books about Africa or African-Americans

Examples of good books to donate that you might find on your children's bookshelf at home include: Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, Harry Potter series, Ramona the Pest, Cam Jansen, Nate the Great, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Who is Michelle Obama, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Encyclopedia Brown, Henry and Ribsy, Pancakes, pancakes!

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

You can mail books cheaply through the United States Postal Service using the "Media Mail" rate. Collect the books in your house you are finished with, collect them from friends or co-workers, or find some in a used bookstore or at a yard sale. Box them up and send them to us using the media mail rate. Except for teacher resources, books should be at the 8th grade reading level or lower.

The Galbraith
PO Box 749
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

If you live locally, let us know and we will come and pick them up.

We need to receive your books by mid-April, 2018 in order to meet the deadline for the shipping container that is leaving for Lesotho with our library books on it!!!

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

Consider donating funds to cover the costs of shipping the books to Africa.
The Galbraith
PO Box 749
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Here are some ways that you can help...

Donate your gently used books to our book drive. You can mail them to us inexpensively using the "media mail" rate of postage at the US post office.

Donate money to help pay for the cost of sending our library books to the port in New Orleans, as well as the shipping costs for the books to travel from New Orleans to Lesotho.

Spread the word about this book drive!!!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Ruby

Progress Report

Our Goal 2000 books $500 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 02/01/17)
950 books $0 fundraising

Check out the following link for a brief slideshow about Lesotho


Thank you to Kathleen in Florida for the book donations!
Thank you to Sharon and Diana for their book donations and for helping to take all the boxes of books to the post office.
Thank you to Katrina and Stacey and Mary for their help and donations!
Thank you to the Rancho Santa Fe Book Cellar for their donations!

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About the African Library Project

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