African Library Project

Anastasia Valimaki's African Library Project

03/01/2018 to 08/31/2018
Lantana FL

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 ...

Anastasia Valimaki, Lantana, Florida
I am a biomedical engineering student at the University of Florida. I dedicate time to volunteer and make a change in the community in any way I can. Currently, I am America's Elite Miss 2018! This title gives my platform a voice, and an opportunity to hold a book drive. Help me support a new library in Africa!

Our website link:

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

Ever since I was a little kid, reading has been an integral part of my life, from teaching me life lessons to helping me unlock my imagination. Reading has opened my mind to worlds I could not have discovered otherwise. Reading keeps me aware, enlightened, and feeds my curiosity. Reading fosters personal growth. I wish this magic for every child in the word. I know many in my local community have tons of books and instead of having them end up in a landfill, I am working on giving these books a second chance in sharing their magic with children in Africa. Please consider donating age-appropriate children's books for my book drive or funds to cover the shipping cost for these books to reach Sierra Leone.

About our African Partners...

Sierra Leone
The republic of Sierra Leone is located in West Africa. It borders Guinea, Liberia and the Atlantic Ocean. It is known for its gorgeous tropical climate. According to archeological findings, people have been residing in the country for at least 2,500 years.In 1492 Sierra Leone was named Serra Leoa, meaning "Lioness Mountains", by the Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra. In the sixteenth century Sierra Leone was a very important center for the transatlantic slave trade. However the
country’s involvement with the slave trade ended in 1787 after Freetown was established by repatriated former slaves. In the twentieth century, Sierra Leone became a British colony and later gained its independence in 1961. From 1991- 2002 Sierra Leone experienced a bloody civil war that killed over 50 thousand people and displaced over 2 million people. As a result of this civil war, today the country faces high poverty and unemployment rates. Over 70% of the population in Sierra Leone lives under the poverty line. However, through the leadership of the current president Ernest Bai Koroma, the country has increased agricultural production and productivity which means rural incomes have also increased. Also, over the years Sierra Leone’s government has worked extremely hard to ensure the freedom of religion. Sierra Leone is one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world. In 2014, Sierra Leone was hard hit with an epidemic of Ebola. Schools were closed for seven months to minimize transmission of the disease, and 3,300 people died (as of Feb. 2015)

English is the language of instruction. The law mandates that students receive free primary education, and it requires them to attend six years of primary school and three years of junior secondary school. However, this has not been happening and as a result Sierra Leone has a low school enrollment rate. The civil war destroyed over a thousand primary schools and pushed a lot of families into poverty. Many students have been forced to drop out so that they can work to support their families. Also there is a shortage of key resources such as text books and teachers. Only about 7% of schools have libraries. There are over 20 higher education institutions in the country.
Fourah Bay College, now part of the University of Sierra Leone, was
established in 1827 and is the oldest university in West Africa.
The African Library Project In 2012, the African Library Project developed a partnership with the Reading Initiative Salone (RISE) Network to found libraries
in Sierra Leone. Each rural community provides the space, furniture and staffing for a library while ALP provides the books and RISE coordinates book distribution and librarian training. Together, ALP and RISE Network evaluate and monitor the
libraries. Founded in 2012, RISE Network is a consortium of organizations committed to the development of libraries and
reading rooms in schools in Sierra Leone as a way of promoting literacy and a love for reading. ALP has sent 82 libraries to
Sierra Leone (as of 2014).

Please contribute these kinds of books...

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 puzzles

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

Volunteer to host a drop off box at your location, we will retrieve it as needed.
Contact me to pick up books.
Help with getting the word out and collecting more books.
Read to a child, love of reading leads to love of learning.

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

The heavier the book, the more it costs to send it to Siera Leone. Please consider also donating to cover expenses such as- Drop off boxes, Print Material, Shipping Costs.
Please consider donating to the effort, any little bit helps.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Welcome any help:
Donate Books
Donate Money-towards shipping books to destination
Ask Others to Donate Books
Develope Awareness
Ask Others to Donate Money- for shipping books to destination
Have a fundraiser,
Host a Donation box at your business
Host a Donation Jar at your Business- Money towards Shipping
Host a Fundraiser
Ask people coming for a event or party to bring gently used kids books

Contact us to find out more

Name: Anastasia Valimaki

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $550 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 08/13/2018)
1039 books $538 fundraising

I am so glad I was able to complete this book drive. All the books have been shipped to New Orleans where they are loaded into a container going to Sierra Leon.
I am very grateful to all the book donations and want to make a sincere thank you to BCER for donating the funds to ship these books to Sierra Leon and keep them from landfills. Thank you

A love of reading leads to a love of learning! Every child deserves to be read to, every childs deserves to learn to read and every child should learn to love to read. Every good book deserves to be read over and over again.


DROP of Locations:
Living Word Church @2116 W. Lantana Rd, Lake Worth, Florida 33462 Thank you Pastor Blue.

Tips for Other Book Drive Organizers

Share, share, share your mission. Get the word out, this is a mission everyone can agree on. Keep the books from landfills, allow children to learn to read and enpower everyone with learning to read.

Share this Book Drive Page

About the African Library Project

Learn more about the African Library Project at
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