African Library Project

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book charityWhile many book drive organizers know that rural schools in Africa are starved for books, Amie Breed has had first-hand experiences that led her to become a book drive organizer. 

She is married to a South African, and her son, now in middle school, studied in South Africa for six months.  He saw the difficulty students had in accessing books.  Her sister is married to a man from Uganda, where it is also hard for students to get books.

The family has helped her son’s South African school in a number of ways.  When the director of the school could not get books through Amazon, the family ordered some from the U.S. to send to the school.  And when Amie asked her son, “What do you want for Christmas,” his response was that he wanted to give presents to the other children in his school—chicken feed, money or books.

Once Amie learned about ALP’s work, she decided to do even more-- a book drive for a library in Malawi with her two sons, one in middle school and Morgan, her first grader. 

donate books to africaBook drive organizers looking for creative strategies to raise funds for shipping and mailing may not think that ugly sweaters could be much help, but Tanvi Hathiramani found that Ugly Holiday Sweater Day was a successful way to raise money for a 2016 book drive at the Greater Miami Academy High School

“For a fund-raiser,” she said, “we held an ugly sweater day.  Students who wanted to wear an ugly holiday sweater to school that day had to buy a $3 ticket.  Not only did Ugly Holiday Sweater Day raise money for shipping the books to Africa, but it also prompted holiday spirit at the school.  It was fun!”

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donate books to africaThat is one piece of advice that Mira Wadehra has for anyone thinking about doing a book drive. The 16-year-old living in Cupertino, CA, has walked her talk. She organized her first book drive the summer of 2014 when she was an incoming high school freshman.  Three years later, she has started collecting books for her third book drive.

Mira believes, “You will feel very accomplished.  Knowing that you are helping feels really good.”

donate books to africaWhen Gina Finley, Librarian and Technology Assistant at Dublin Scioto High School (DSHS), Dublin, Ohio, was asked to help with a service project required for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, she said it had to involve literacy. Knowing the project must have a global impact, she realized that ALP was a perfect fit for her interests and IB’s requirements.

The students at DSHS embraced the book drive project.  Many of them have an international background, including some from Africa.  Gina explained, “They feel they are helping friends in their own country while sharing their love of reading.”

Even students without an African background find working with ALP meaningful.  “I love helping others. I found collecting books hit close to home for me because my parents were born in Sri Lanka, a third world country that cannot obtain books and suffers greatly financially with a genocide going on," said Anujanaa Baskaranathan.  “I thought collecting books for African schools was important.”

For Ashley Robertson, the value of the book drives was that “I got to share something that I love with others and promote the idea that everyone has the right to read and learn.”