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. 

2014 Project for Awesome supports Books For Africa


Books For Africa was well represented at the 2014 Project for Awesome (stated mission: "decreasing worldsuck").  At least half a dozen supporters created videos on our behalf, and thousands of others viewed and commented on those videos.  As a result BFA finished as one of the top 20 most viewed charities, securing a grant of over $10,000!  BFA extends our thanks to everyone who supported us during this event, especially those who created these videos on our behalf.  This grant will go a long way towards "decreasing worldsuck," sponsoring the shipment of over 20,000 books to the African continent!  Stay tuned for more details on where these books land, and thanks again to everyone who made this possible!

Submitted by "Made by Mommy"

Submitted by "Hanna T"

Submitted by "vlogsiblings"

Submitted by "Alisa Lai

Submitted by "Addison Wand"

22,000 Books to Liberian Students Affected by Ebola Outbreak

More than 22,000 primary and secondary reading books collected by Books For Africa will be shipped to students in Liberia, who are currently out of school due to the Ebola outbreak. Funds for the shipment were donated to BFA during Give to the Max Day in November.

BFA staff and volunteers prepare materials for shipment to Liberia

A ceremony recognizing the shipment and welcoming Ahmed Sirleaf of the U.S. Embassy staff in Monrovia was held Dec. 23 at the BFA warehouse in St. Paul, MN.  Sirleaf, formerly with The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis, will accept the donation on behalf of the Local Employee Staff Association of the U.S. Embassy. This container is currently en route to Liberia, and BFA is preparing additional books for shipment in 2015 to assist with continued efforts to educate Liberian children.  Sirleaf detailed how the U.S. Embassy will distribute the books to Liberian families to encourage children to keep reading even though school is not currently in session.

Major General Neal Loidolt of the Minnesota National Guard was a special guest at the ceremony. General Loidolt will be commander of U.S. ground forces, including members of the Minnesota Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, who will be operating in Liberia supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development's response to the Ebola crisis from April to October of 2015.

Major General Neal Loidolt, Mr. Ahmed Sirleaf, and BFA Executive Director Patrick Plonski (Photo Credit: Sam Runyon)

This collaborative effort has received a great deal of support, you can learn more by checking out the additional media coverage below:

WCCO - Books For Africa Helps Kids Idled By Ebola Crisis (Video, Story)

KSTP - Books Sent to Students in Ebola-Stricken Liberia (Video, Story)

Pioneer Press - National Recognition (Story)

MPR - Student books heading from Minnesota to Liberia (Story)

Star Tribune - Books For Africa sending 22K books to Liberian students affected by Ebola outbreak (Story)

Mr. Sirleaf addresses the assembled media (Photo Credit: Sam Runyon)

BFA books distributed across South Sudan

Two BFA containers of books were recently delivered to the Catholic University of South Sudan thanks to the generous support of The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, Harriet McGuire, and Catholic Relief Services of South Sudan.  One container has been put into circulation at Catholic University to enhance the educational experience of students there, while the other container has been distributed to 23 public and private learning institutions across the country.

These books will benefit more that the students at the recipient schools; each institution receiving books has a library or reading center that is open to both students and the general public! The supplies delivered by this collaboration range from Law books for the Law School at Juba University, to educational materials for teacher's training centers, to high school texts and literature for schools and public libraries.  This project will promote literacy and learning for students and communities across South Sudan.

Publishers Weekly profiles BFA-Little Free Library partnership

Both individually and together, two Upper Midwest nonprofit organizations are reaching beyond America’s heartland to fulfill their mission of making books accessible to all. In 1988 Books for Africa was founded in St. Paul, Minn. Little Free Library was founded in Hudson, Wis., in 2009 and works on all seven continents. The two have partnered on shipping books to Africa for distribution to schools and libraries there since 2013. Read more>>

50,000 French and English Books arrive in Senegal


Two containers carrying 50,000 books have been delivered to Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal thanks to the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation and The Nichols Foundation!  These books are being distributed to schools and libraries across the country, including the "Bibliothèque Maleme Niani," as described below:

Peace Corps volunteer Lauren Thomas tells BFA "thank you again for working with Peace Corps to bring books to rural villages in Senegal. The gift of knowledge is immeasurable and my community gives you many blessings! The villagers of Maleme Niani were eager to learn and grow through eduction, but they lacked the proper resources. Peace Corps and local community group AJSDN partnered to construct a full-functioning library in the joint middle school/high school. The local school not only serves the 3000-person village, but also students from rural villages within a 50km radius. Students and villagers alike are welcome to come and gain knowledge and empowerment through the simple act of checking out a book. The first of its kind in the area, Bibliothèque Maleme Niani will have profound effects on community and youth development."

BFA strives to continue working with our outstanding partners to impact communities such as Maleme Niani across the African continent, furthering our mission of ending the book famine in Africa!

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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