Success Stories Archive

Educating Africa: Sir Emeka Offor Steps up to the Plate

A new business model is emerging in Africa and it has the potential to benefit millions of underserved people around the far reaches of the continent. The model embraces corporate social responsibility and involves business leaders giving back to the places where they built and acquired their wealth. These private benefactors are now also collaborating with NGOs and governments to advance core development needs and goals. No better example exists than Sir Emeka Offor, a leading Nigerian businessman, who since 2011 has donated $950,000 to Books For Africa (BFA) to ship 1.7 million books and computers valued at over $18 million to children and students in 19 African countries, including his own home country Nigeria.

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Books arrive in Banjul thanks to the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation

Thanks to the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, Books For Africa has been filling a lot of empty library shelves across Africa. Last year, the Foundation started an incredible project to ship one million books to Africa by the end of 2014. These books will go to Books For Africa partners in 25 African countries. One such organization is the Better Communities Association in Banjul, The Gambia. BCA received a container of 22,000 books thanks to the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation in March 2014. A ceremony was held to celebrate the book delivery. These books will be distributed to 16 different schools in the greater Banjul area, including the University of Gambia.

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Ambassador Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania to keynote BFA luncheon, May 7 in St. Paul

Help us welcome our very special guest, Her Excellency Liberata Mulamula, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United States.

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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.

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The Course Hero Knowledge Drive donates 100,000 books to Books for Africa!

Books For Africa could not achieve all that we do without the help of our friends and supporters around the globe. One such group, Course Hero, challenges college students to share the gift of education with fellow students at home and abroad. Course Hero student leaders have helped us put more than 100,000 books in the hands of students in the small West African country of The Gambia. Learn more about Course Hero in this guest post from Taylor Stanton, Campus Manger with the Campus Operations Team.

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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.

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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.

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Why are more African countries adopting English as an official language?

On November 23, Books For Africa Executive Director Patrick Plonski presented research at the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association on a topic that comes up often at BFA: “Why are more African countries adopting English as an official language?”

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A Second Chance for Students in Niger

At the Barbara Kirker Second Chance School in Maine-Soroa, Niger, students who enroll in school late get another shot at getting an education. After receiving books from Books For Africa through Medshare, these students now have plenty of reading materials to help them catch up to their peers who were able to start school at a younger age.

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Books For Africa Board Members React to the Westgate Tragedy

As Books For Africa was celebrating 25 years of work towards ending the book famine in Africa, tragedy struck half way around the world. On September 21, 2013, jihadists stormed Nairobi’s upscale shopping center, the Westgate Mall, firing indiscriminately. This violence struck home with all Books For Africa supporters. We support our cause in hopes of creating a more peaceful future for people across the African continent through education. Especially for supporters who are members of the African diaspora, this act of violence highlights the importance of initiatives to create peace. Photo credit: Thomson Reuters

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In Kenya, we were in a small village and the students had a wonderful school. They were eager to learn. They had motivated teachers, but they didn’t have any books in the school. They had no library. And so, imagine how proud I was to open up this box of shiny new encyclopedias and dictionaries from Books For Africa. They want more of your books. They can’t wait. They can’t get enough of these books.

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (MN)