African Library Project

US Teenager on Shortlist for International Children's Peace Prize

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., USA, (Nov. 13) –  A teen volunteer for the African Library Project is among the four finalists for the prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize, to be awarded Nov. 29 in The Hague by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. The finalists were announced on Nov.13 during the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Hiroshima by the KidsRights Foundation, which awards the prize annually and gives 100,000 Euro ($140,000) to the winner's cause.

Tatiana with Books, photo by Justina Jong

The first-ever American finalist, 15-year-old Tatiana Grossman of Palo Alto, Calif., is being recognized for helping to start 18 libraries serving 25,000 people in 78 schools and villages in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Tati gave tens of thousands of African children gifts that will last a lifetime – education, hope, and inspiration.  They benefit both from the books and from knowing that Tati, a child their own age, is committed to promoting literacy,” says Chris Bradshaw, founder of the African Library Project, who nominated Tatiana for the Peace Prize.

At age 12, Tatiana learned that as many as three-fourths of the kids in some sub-Saharan nations never learn to read. So she started collecting books and raising money to ship them to Africa as part of the African Library Project, which helps Americans start community libraries with African partners. The African Library Project is an all-volunteer organization based in Portola Valley, Calif. that has mobilized volunteers from across the United States to start 561 libraries in 8 countries over the past five years.


“Just being nominated is such a surprise and honor,” Tatiana said. “I hope that others who learn about this year’s prize will collect books and support literacy. Libraries are so important to the children and communities that receive them. They change lives, generation after generation.”

Tatiana has spoken with thousands of children and adults across the United States and Africa including an audience of 1,000 dignitaries, politicians, educators, librarians, journalists and students from five nations at the Botswana Ministry of Education’s inaugural celebration of International School Library Day.

Kids who have won the annual prize in past years have made remarkable efforts to improve children’s lives around the world, working to end child slavery in India, stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, and protect kids from violence in the favelas of Brazil. The Amsterdam-based KidsRights Foundation and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Committee launched the award in 2005.



African Library Project

The African Library Project matches schools and organizations in the United States with African communities to create libraries. U.S. children and families donate their books and share the gift of reading with children in Africa.  Books are collected in the U.S. through book drives and shipped by volunteers directly to the communities requesting them.

Contact: Chris Bradshaw (USA 650 851 3640,

International Children’s Peace Prize

The International Children’s Peace Prize, an initiative started by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Committee and the Dutch organization KidsRights, honors exceptional children between the ages of 12 and 18 who devote themselves to children’s rights and make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children.

Contact:  Ellen Vroonhof  ( +31 (0)20-343 5313,

KidsRights Foundation

The KidsRights Foundation is an international children's aid and advocacy organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that offers a platform to children usually unable to attract the eyes and ears of the world. The organization supports and empowers vulnerable children by raising awareness of children’s rights internationally and funds small-scale local projects.

Contact:  (+31 (0)20 343 5313,

Tatiana Grossman




Media Resources:

Tatiana Video -- downloadable version (.mov, 38MB): download here
(to download the movie you can right-click on the link above, and select 'save link as')
(click on the thumbnail for the full-resolution version)
Tatiana with Books, photo by Justina Jong Tatiana with Books
Photo by Justina Jong
Tati at Sebako School
Photo by Lauren Janov
Sebako Class
Photo by Lauren Janov
(click on the thumbnail for the full-resolution version)
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