The Eric James Harms Memorial Library (Kim Harms & Pam Pappas Stanoch) - Rwanda

Project Goal: $17,300

Current Progress: $10,319 (60.00%)

Eric James Harms conducting his high school band at St. Thomas Academy.In 2009 the Harms family lost their beloved son Eric.  Eric, a freshman student at Columbia University in New York City was a kind, caring and compassionate student leader and a wonderful and loving brother and son.  Eric's parents and sisters were devastated by his loss. In 2011 Eric's mom, Kim, began to read books written by Rwandan Genocide survivors to help her understand how others were able to rebuild their lives after a devastating event.   These books helped her to rebuild her own life and find joy again.  Kim's dear friend Pam, a Books for Africa board member, suggested that they send a library to Rwanda in Eric's memory.  Since books written by Rwandans had helped her to heal, bringing books to Rwandans seemed like a perfect fit.

In 2019, Pam Pappas Stanoch, who encouraged Kim to start this project, travelled to Rwanda and was inspired by the students she met there:

"I arrived in Rwanda with the hope of teaching, I got so much more.  These precious students reached into my heart and grabbed it!   I fell in love with them and spent the most glorious month with them.  They shared their hopes and dreams with me, their goals and desires for themselves and their country.  They have no text books, 30 books in a library for 2000 students, as Tom Warth would say, 'We can do better, we can do more.'  Please help us fill their library so that they can fill their minds with all they need to begin their journey to realize their dreams."

Pam's new friends in Rwanda inspired her to do more

The Eric Harms Libraries Project has created 65 libraries in Rwanda in partnership with Books For Africa. The Harms family has gained so much comfort from this project that now works to provide memorial libraries in Rwanda for others who have lost loved ones.

If you would like to donate the shipping costs for a memorial library (Books for Africa has the books) for someone you loved, please contact Erin Moran at We will work with you to find just the right school, church or community and dedicate the library for you.  You could also visit Rwanda yourself to dedicate the library, it is a beautiful country.

Project Contact: Kim Harms,