Success Stories & Recent News
What happens to a container of Books For Africa books once it arrives in Africa? What kind of impact will your donation have on the lives of children in Africa?
Here are some photos and stories about BFA shipments as well as recent news about our organization.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania to keynote BFA luncheon, May 7 in St. Paul
Please join Books For Africa for our annual spring Fundraising Luncheon: Reading Rocks!
Help us welcome our very special guest, Her Excellency Liberata Mulamula, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States.
To RSVP or for more information on hosting a table, please contact Carole Patrikakos at email@example.com or (651) 209-3488. No ticket purchase required.
Thank you to our sponsors:
A new library for Nedjo!
The Nedjo Public Library stays so full of eager students that the staff had to order more chairs after its first month of operation!
Just 30 days after opening, a total of 3,926 people had used the library, with 500-600 people visiting each day. It is the first library in Nedjo Town, Oromia Region, Ethiopia. Many of these students had never held a book on their own. Now, they have a beautiful new library filled with books to read.
The 3,000 students who visited the library are not the only community members taking advantage of the resources it holds. 913 teachers (462 of whom were women) visited the library. There, teachers can learn to improve education in Nedjo and expand possibilities for their pupils.
Nedjo Public Library has more than just books: visitors have the rare opportunity to surf the web. In a country where only one-percent of the population uses the internet,* broadband access is invaluable. Of the 594 visitors who logged 550 hours of internet use in the first month of library operations, 337 were female. Learners of all genders and all ages are able to embrace the digital content available on the internet at Nedjo Public Library.
The whole community is excited to have a place to celebrate reading. More than 700 people attended the Inaugural Ceremony including Jote Taddese, a member of the Books For Africa Board and the Container Captain who helped bring a library to Nedjo.
Thanks to Jote and the Najjo-Jarso Self-Help Foundation for stocking this library’s shelves so generations of students will read, learn, and grow!
*Kelly et al. “Freedom on the Net 2013 – Ethiopia.” Freedom House. Web publication. February 27, 2014. <http://www.freedomhouse.org/report>.
The Course Hero Knowledge Drive donates 100,000 books to Books for Africa!
Guest post by: Taylor Stanton, Campus Manger with the Campus Operations Team
As a Manager at Course Hero, I have the great privilege to lead a team dedicated to making an impact in the global landscape of education. The highlight of my career with the Course Hero team is the fact that I get the opportunity to be involved with donating books to Gambia! As we donate our 100,000th book to The Gambia, I am excited to see that the Knowledge Drive has made such a massive impact in creating a more educated future—both here and abroad! Through our partnership with Books for Africa the driven Knowledge Drive Interns continue to show a burning passion for making a real life impact by furthering educational opportunities in The Gambia.
We share the words of a few students who have expressed enthusiasm and pride in knowing that their promotional work with the Knowledge Drive has made a real world impact. Our internship opportunity demonstrates that every day college students have the power to provide children abroad with the very basic building blocks of their education—and future.
Sean Embrey-Stine, Occidental College ‘13
I didn’t know much about the book famine before I became an intern for Course Hero, but as I began pitching to more and more students, I started getting questions about where exactly the books were going. I felt a responsibility to learn more, and now that I have, it has only made me more proud to be working for Course Hero and helping Books for Africa provide books to the people who need them most. Course Hero’s partnership with Hand in Health is helping to provide resources not only to medical professionals and students, as Hand in Health had been doing before the partnership began in 2011, but also to libraries, local schools and hospitals. My favorite thing about the Knowledge Drive is that it provides a way for those of us who have limited financial resources, who are also very far away from Africa, to have an impact. Most organizations working in Africa simply ask for money, yet this partnership between Course Hero and Books for Africa allows young people like me to refine business, social media and development skills while simultaneously helping people overseas.
Sarah Grossman, Drake University ’16
I’m a huge supporter of education; I believe that a solid education can change the world. So, when accepting this internship, it meant so much to me that I could help not only the students around me to learn and succeed, but also those abroad who have an even greater need for resources. At the end of the week, I can honestly say it is not the paycheck that makes me proud of the job I’ve done, but rather the left top corner of “How you are helping” and “How your group is helping,” the “Books donated to students abroad” section, because those show me that I can be significant—I am really making a difference.
Abigail Carson, University of Oregon ’14
It has been an honor to be a part of Books for Africa’s new 100,000 book donation milestone. Working with Course Hero has made me feel that I have made an impact not only for the students on my campus, but also in educational opportunities worldwide. Every course upload and every book donation adds up over time to make a considerable difference in the world. I have found this to be the most motivating part of working with Course Hero and their philanthropic efforts.
A time to sing and dance in Zambia and South Africa!
Books For Africa Executive Director, Patrick Plonski, has been making quite the trek this past month. He met with partners and checked up on schools and libraries that have received Books For Africa books in South Africa and Zambia.
Some of the partners Patrick has met with include local Rotary groups in Cape Town, South Africa, Breadline Africa, and Family Legacy Missions, as well as other connections through our friends at Better World Books.
One of the high points of the trip? Our director was able to participate in an opening ceremony for a library with Family Legacy Missions near Lusaka, Zambia. The students and community celebrated their new place of learning with dancing, music, and fun. Patrick was even able to snag a little video coverage to share with you.
Overall, the trip has been a success. We at Books For Africa are always glad to visit the schools and libraries that receive our books. It is wonderful to see places where students can read, learn, and grow for years to come.
Remembering the life and death of a great African leader, BFA ships to libraries honoring the memory of Nelson Mandela
A mighty tree has fallen in Africa, and we at Books For Africa join the rest of the world in remembering Nelson Mandela and his tireless work toward peace and toward justice. Mandela believed in the power of education, and knew that a good education can change a life and change the world.
Books For Africa is proud to partner with several education organizations doing great work to honor Mandela's legacy in South Africa. This year, BFA partnered with Thomson Reuters to send new law library books to the Nelson Mandela School of Law at Fort Hare University. We also sent a container of books to support efforts to turn the small school that Mandela attended in his youth into a community library. Finally, early next year, we'll partner with another organization to help outfit Mandela Libraries across South Africa for the annual Nelson Mandela Day activities.
Our hope is that these projects will provide helpful resources to the next generation of South Africa's leaders. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." (Nelson Mandela)
Read more about and view media coverage of how Books For Africa is honoring Mandela:
Minnesotans reflect on Nelson Mandela's legacy
December 6, 2013 - Kare11 (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
Mandela's literary legacy thrives in Twin Cities
December 8, 2013 - Fox 9 News (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
Local non-profit Books For Africa honors Nelson Mandela
December 6, 2013 - KSTP – Channel 5 (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
Books For Africa helps alleviate poverty of the imagination where imagination is most needed—where war and hunger, corruption and injustice seek to crush inspiration.— Alexandra Fuller, author of the bestselling book Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight