MoneyGram Foundation Grant Provides Access to Education

The MoneyGram Foundation, established to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources, provided a $50,000 grant to Books For Africa to sponsor a shipment of 66,000 books, computers and maps to schools in Ghana, Cameroon, and Ethiopia. 

Moneygram International employees volunteer at the Books For Africa MN WarehouseA team of employees in the MoneyGram International Minneapolis office volunteered to sort donated books at Books For Africa’s St. Paul, Minnesota warehouse. The MoneyGram volunteer team leader is Suri Kumaran, Head of Enterprise Program and Portfolio Management. Mr. Kumaran was raised in Malawi and knows first-hand that obtaining an education in Africa is threatened by a lack of books in schools and libraries.

Their effort was recognized by representatives of two of the container recipients - Books For Africa Board President Jote Taddese, and Molly Rolfsmeier, Container Captain of the Buea Book project in Cameroon.

Jote, who grew up in Oromia, Ethiopia and Nairobi, Kenya, recently visited the site in Addis Ababa that will receive 22,000 books. He toured the three story building that will function as the library, and was thrilled to see that local students were already visiting the building in anticipation of the books arriving!

BFA Board President Jote Taddese speaks at the inauguration of the Nedjo Public Library in EthiopiaHe shared the generational impact that grant will have, telling the volunteers “I traveled back to attend the inauguration of the new community library and computer lab that we created. I saw a young boy who was so delighted to finally be able hold books in his hands. It occurred to me that the boy could have been my father. If my father had not had the opportunity to leave the village and obtain an education, that boy could have been me. It could have been my son.

Molly thanked the MoneyGram team on behalf of the book recipients in Buea, Cameroon. She shared that “The books are being received by a forward thinking university. Their goal is to provide access to education in the whole region, but they have literally no books. The agriculture instructor is especially eager to receive your specialty agricultural book collection.

She also shared a letter from George Nkeze, on behalf of book recipients in Cameroon, who wrote that "Education remains the greatest asset our continent needs. We are trying to bring up a new generation of Africans, pupils, students, young Entrepreneurs who will eventually be owners of their own development and bring the needed change that our continent so badly requires.

Books For Africa is grateful to the MoneyGram Foundation for a grant to sponsor three containers of books and for the volunteer effort in the warehouse. For more information, please contact carole@booksforafrica.org.

About MoneyGram Foundation

MoneyGram established the MoneyGram Foundation in 2012 to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources. Its mission is firmly rooted in the belief that education is at the heart of better economic opportunities, healthier families and individual freedom and empowerment. The MoneyGram Foundation is focused on inspiring minds and improving lives and grants funds to deserving organizations with this mission in mind. To learn more, please visit moneygramfoundation.org.