Books For Africa Board Members React to the Westgate Tragedy

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.

Education brings about understanding of those with different views, backgrounds, religion, and skin color. Reflecting on his education in Mombasa, Kenya, BFA Board Secretary Tom Gitaa noted that “A young person growing up [in Mombasa] experienced people from other countries firsthand and could make up his own mind about them based on those relationships. But not everyone in Africa has that opportunity; for many, the written word is the only way to learn about other people and other ideas. Literacy gives people hope and broadens their perspective.”

Read more from Tom Gitaa and fellow BFA board member Asratie Teferra on the Westgate Tragedy from the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN, USA).