African Library Project

Laurie and Annette's Lesotho Library

02/01/2016 to 05/15/2016
Pittsburgh PA

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 ...

Laurie and Annette were total strangers before Laurie's first African Library Project in South Africa in 2014. Annette found Laurie online while looking for a Nelson Mandela Day project, and now the two of us spend time collecting books and money to fulfill and shared the dream of global literacy. We both live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and are fanatics about reading.

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

The opportunity to read, the passion for the written word, the freedom that lies waiting for us when we disappear into the pages of a book are only a few reasons we are organizing this library in Lesotho. We think it's marvelous that we can make even a small improvement in the world, and that we are able to help others find the magic that lies between the covers of a book. This project speaks to us because we are sharing our passion for reading with people we will never meet, people who walk for miles to get to a shipping container that offers a fraction of the number of books we could smell, touch, read within moments of our homes. We feel privileged to be able to serve these communities of Lesotho and hope you will join us.

About our African Partners...

Our library is the ACL (Anglican Church of Lesotho) Kolonyama Centre Library. This library will be in a two-room brick building in Lesotho, a small, beautiful country that is geographically surrounded by South Africa. The library will serve five primary schools, five high schools and six villages, so our books need to range from board books for babies all the way up through the high school level. The village where the library will be located, Ha Rakobeli, currently has 30 books, all but one of which were donated by the current Peace Corp Volunteer's friends and family. Most of the people of Ha Rakobeli are shepherds and subsistence farmers, and the GDP per capita is about $1,200.

More than 30% of all children in this and the surrounding villages have lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS. They have no electricity, no running water and many walk more than an hour to get to school each day. While the official language of Lesotho is English, most of this region's villagers are not exposed to English except for on school premises. Even so, students cannot enter high school without passing a standardized English exam.

The people in this region have expressed a great desire for books and learning materials, and are anxiously awaiting our shipment. They have even taken up a collection to help prepare for our books, refurbishing the building with anti-theft windows, and using their carpentry skills to revamp the space for shelves.

Please contribute these kinds of books...

The teachers, Peace Corp volunteer and community chief and leaders have specifically asked for dictionaries, storybooks, non-fiction, science books and teaching resources. We have very few teaching materials at this time, and would appreciate them the most.

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

If you are in the Pittsburgh, PA area, we will be happy to pick up books at your home. If you aren't close by, please email Laurie at, and we'll send the snail mail for her home. We need to ship books by May 15, 2016 so keep that deadline in mind if you're planning on shipping to us. We are already very confident about the number of books we will have; now we are more concerned about shipping costs, so if you are planning on buying books for us at garage sales etc., please know we would appreciate a few dollars on our GoFundMe even more.

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

We will be raising funds on Facebook via GoFundMe, so you can donate that way, or feel free to send a check made out to Laurie Holding. Email or call for the address. Even $5.00 will help us get these books over there!!

Here are some ways that you can help...

If you are in the position to have any kind of fundraiser at your work place, your school, or at a local merchant's place of business, please know that a tax receipt with the African Library Project is available on this site, or we would be happy to email you the document for you to print. As we've said, the funds are really the most urgent need at this time, for boxes, tape and shipping costs.

Contact us to find out more

Name: Laurie Holding
Phone: 412-953-1422

Progress Report

Our Goal 1,000 books $500.00 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 4/1/16)
700 books $150.00 fundraising

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About the African Library Project

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