African Library Project

Monson Family African Library Project

09/15/2014 to 02/15/2015
Longmeadow MA

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 ...

The Monson Family. We are family of four that live in a beautiful town and feel so fortunate to have access to many local libraries. Our favorite family activity is exploring a new library and finding books we have never read before. We love sharing our favorite books and stories with our friends and family. We also enjoy performing Acts of Kindness and seek out ways, no matter how small, to make the world a kinder place every day.

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

We love to read and want to share our passion for reading and great books with those that do not have the same resources and opportunities that we have. Reading together as a family brings us to imaginary places without ever leaving home.

About our African Partners...

We have chosen to partner with Fundza, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that provides reading materials aimed at improving the quality of education in Swaziland. The word Fundza is a SiSwati word meaning "to learn" or "to read" depending on the context. Fundza is headquartered in Mbabane, Swaziland's capitol city.

Fundza's mission is to raise the literacy rate and promote life-long learning among Swazi children. Fundza trains teachers in library management and in methods to improve literacy. In the last 25 years Fundza has helped develop over 400 school libraries throughout Swaziland.

Swaziland is a small, mountainous country with a mostly rural population of 1.3 million people. Unfortunately, the country has the highest HIV infection rate in the world. Families have tried to absorb the huge numbers of orphaned children, but many orphans live at home alone doing their best to survive.

In 2010, Swaziland opened up its public school system to all children who want to learn. Although the schools are now very crowded, there are high hopes that eventually, this opportunity for education will make a huge difference in the country.

Learning English is a critical skill for Swaziland students. Exams are conducted in English and students must do well to compete for places in secondary school. English fluency levels remain low as there is no emphasis on speaking English at home and even in some schools.

Getting students to read their textbooks is hard. There is no reading culture in Swaziland and no books in homes so children find it hard to read. There is even a saying in Swaziland "If you want to hide something from an African, then put it in a book!" We want to change that!

Please contribute these kinds of books...

We are seeking books for a primary school library in Swaziland. We need books that are for preschool through 4th grade reading levels.

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

WE HAVE EXCEEDED OUR GOAL OF 1000 BOOKS! Thank you to everyone that helped us collect 1308 books for our Swaziland library!

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

In order for us to accomplish our goal of sending 1000 books to Swaziland, we need your help! It costs approximately $500.00 to ship these books, and we would happily receive any financial contributions that are offered.

Here are some ways that you can help...

Please help us reach our goal of raising $500.00 to ship our books!

Contact us to find out more

Name: Heather Monson

Name: Dan Monson

Name: The Monson Family

Progress Report

Our Goal 1000 books $500.00 fundraising
Results so far
(updated: 1/23/15)
1308 books $110.00 fundraising

Thank you to all that have helped make our book collection a success so far.

Thank you to everyone who helped us collect over 1300 books for our friends in Swaziland! We still desperately need funds to ship our books. Our goal is $500.00 and we have $110.00 so far.


Thank you so much to our book angels:
Shelley Steadman from Webster Bank and her sister Sharlene Lape
Yvonne Bear-Eldehini from Webster Bank
Amy Goldman, Laura Gasparro Dowd and all the other anonymous donors from Heartsong Yoga
Donna Hutton, Principal & Elaine Weiner, 1st Grade Teacher, Center Street School
Tony Enright & Margaret Superneau for their fundraising contributions

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