40 foot containers of BFA books have recently been delivered to Kisii University in Kenya and the Sierra Leone Book Trust. Read more to learn about the different models these organizations used to successfully organize their container projects, and see feedback from recipients! Nelson Mandela said that "no country can really develop unless its citizens are educated," and this idea lies at the heart of BFA's mission. By putting high quality educational materials into the hands of as many African learners as possible, we can help to empower the next generation of African leaders, and promote social and economic development across the African continent.
Books For Africa
Books For Africa. A simple name for an organization with a simple mission. We collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to students of all ages in Africa. Our goal: to end the book famine in Africa.
Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 34 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. Over the past 12 months we have shipped 2.4 million books, 665 computers and 200 e-readers containing 1.6 million digital books, as well as 5 new law and human rights libraries to 21 African countries. More than $2.3 million was raised last year to ship the books to the students of Africa.
To learn more about groups currently fundraising to ship books to specific African countries, view the Projects page>>
Success Stories & News
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In partnership with the MN Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, BFA was honored to host Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director General of the Alexandria Library in Egypt, for a presentation on the history and current role of this historic institution. Also on hand for the occasion was special guest His Excellency Mohamed Tawfik, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Serageldin received a standing ovation for his engaging, informative, and visually stunning presentation, capping a wonderful night of learning and fellowship.
A recent World Bank report ( May 2015 ) emphasizes the urgent need to get textbooks into the hands of every student in sub-Saharan Africa. This report is part of a growing body of evidence reinforcing the efficiency and efficacy of putting the right books in the hands of African learners. The report states that "No other input is likely to be more cost effective than making high-quality learning materials available to all students…" Other studies have reached similar conclusions to the 2015 World Bank report.
Cass and Andy Stillman hosted Books For Africa’s 2015 Kilimanjaro Society Reception at their beautiful residence in Woodland, MN. We were fortunate to be joined this year by special guests, a delegation of twenty-five Young African Leaders participating in the Mandela Washington Fellowship at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute. The YALI delegates also spent time volunteering at our St. Paul, MN warehouse in conjunction with Nelson Mandela International Day, named for the late South African leader and dedicated to service in his honor.
Books For Africa has earned its 4th consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. This marks the 13th time that BFA has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating since 2002. This rating shows great ability to efficiently manage and grow organizational finances.
Books For Africa is a simple idea, but its impact is transformative. For us, literacy is quite simply the bridge from misery to hope.— Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General
Books For Africa has earned its 4th consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. This marks the 13th time that BFA has received Charity Navigator’s highest rating since 2002. This rating shows great ability to efficiently manage and grow organizational finances. Books For Africa consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and we are grateful for the continued recognition from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.