Partnership with U.S. Department of Defense Spreads Books Across Zimbabwe

Books For Africa recently received interim distribution reports and photos from the recipients of a 5-container shipment of books in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Transportation Program that arrived in Zimbabwe in late 2022. This shipment of over 175,000 books was organized by longtime partner the Zambezi Schoolbook Project and distributed to a number of different organizations including Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Padenga Holdings, Rotary Club of Harare West and African Wildlife Conservation Fund (AWCF).

Since the shipment arrived, these organizations have been hard at work distributing the books across Zimbabwe. CITW’s portion of the shipment went to the Victoria Falls area, and they have been transporting the books to 20 rural schools and community literacy centers. As CITW wrote in their report:

With many of these schools being quite far off the beaten track, the CITW teams often have to find alternative ways to get these books to their final destination. This was seen at a recent distribution when a few men from the community helped the CITW team for an entire morning, using their humble ox cart [….] [The] community members were more than happy to lend a helping hand (and donkey) to ensure that every box of books got to the school, knowing that these were going to hugely benefit every single child within their community.”

Padenga Holdings has distributed a total of 604 boxes so far to 18 schools in the Lake Kariba area, many of which are remote and difficult to access. They report that feedback from the recipient schools had been very positive, with the books closing a huge book deficit. They also included letters of appreciation from schools, including Jongola Primary School and Mayovhe Secondary School, which you can read by clicking on the links.

AWCF has been working for nine years establishing libraries in over one hundred schools in the Southeastern Lowveld area of Zimbabwe. This shipment was distributed to 24 schools around Gonarezhou National Park and 8 schools around Save Valley Conservancy to replenish libraries with fresh content.

One recipient, Madam Kuzonyei of Dumisa Primary School, said, “Our learners enjoy reading these books so much. Since 2017 our pass rate has been increasing on a year-by-year basis.” Hassani, a Form 2 student at Samu Secondary School, who uses the Dumisa community library, said, “We travel a long distance to come and study here because the environment here is quiet and peaceful, there is no disturbance during studies and more so, this is the only place with lights in our area, we can’t afford to buy lights at home.”

The synergy of the project partners who worked on this shipment through the coordination of the Zambezi Schoolbook Project has been instrumental in accomplishing this large-scale distribution, getting books to remote areas of Zimbabwe that need them.

Books For Africa is proud to be a preferred partner of the U.S. Department of Defense Humanitarian Assistance Transportation Program.  This high-level partnership allows us to send large subsidized shipments to the continent, multiplying the impact of our work and donations. It is also a reflection of Books For Africa’s outstanding reputation and commitment to transparency. In fiscal year 2023, this partnership is helping us ship a total of over 600,000 books to Africa.

You can see the full report from Children in the Wilderness, read the thank-you letters from Jongola Primary School and Mayovhe Secondary School, or view photos from all three partners here or by flipping on the arrow at right of the slideshow below!

2022-2023 Zambezi Schoolbook Project Distribution